News from around the world – June 25

A compilation of important news from the startup world:

How to value your tech startup: How much is my business worth?
In a world where messaging app Snapchat could be valued at $20 billion (£13.5 billion) the maths behind tech company valuations is as murky as ever. The reality is that valuing a tech startup is as much of an art as it is a science.  Speaking as part of London Tech Week, former Bank of America Merrill Lynch technology analyst and now a consultant with his own company Oakhall Advisors, Andrew Griffin said: “There is no right way to do valuations.” Instead, “it’s what you can sell your business for.” “What you can do is take tried and trusted methods and triangulate them, and this is what investment bankers would do,” says Griffin. Use broker/websites to find a consensus price earnings (PE) and earnings per share (EPS) growth among your peer group (say SaaS, fintech, analytics etc.), check if they have a similar cap structure, think about when you will be considered a mature business and what that implies about the investor’s required return and if your business is loss-making then use the peer group to map your future profitability.  First you need to know the difference between your return on equity (RoE) and return on capital employed (ROCE).

5 mobile operators backing African tech startups
Primarily, operators have fought the idea they are “dumb pipes”, merely platforms upon which more innovative services can run and prosper. Yet in the last few years there has been an acceptance that they are in fact pipes, even if not “dumb” ones. And this realisation has seen a change in approach towards African tech startups. Kenyan giant Safaricom made waves towards the end of 2014 by launching a US$1 million investment fund for local tech startups. Though things have been a bit slow on the funding front, with e-courier startup Sendy the only company to have received investment so far, chief executive officer (CEO) Bob Collymore said last week more investments were imminent. Another operator willing to back African tech startups, through its early-stage investment programme named Orange Digital Ventures, Orange has invested in money transfer startup Afrimarket and subscription video on demand (SVOD) services Afrostream in the last couple of years. Active primarily in the Nigerian startup ecosystem, Airtel does not have a fund so to speak, but has funded a handful of tech startups through its Catapult-a-Startup initiative.

France calls for Singapore entrepreneurs to join its startup ecosystem
The French government is inviting Singapore entrepreneurs to join its startup ecosystem via its global competition called French Tech Ticket. The competition hopes to attract Singapore ‘startuppers’, in the areas of Big Data, IoT, Fintech, and Cleantech. Following the success of the first season, the second season aims to host 70 winning teams in more than 40 high-caliber incubators around France as of next January. The competition promises the fastest ticket to the booming innovation ecosystem in France, allowing local startups opportunities to expand their horizons and take their next big idea to new markets outside of Singapore, according to a press release.  As such, the winning teams will each be provided €45,000 in funding, and a 12-month tailored programme of Master classes, Networking Events, Mentoring sessions to accelerate their growth. They will also enjoy a fast-track procedure to obtain a French resident permit, and receive a soft landing pack to relocate easily to France.

The 9 coolest technologies that startups are pitching to NASA right now
Turning a big idea into reality often comes down to convincing the right people to throw money at it. The Starburst Accelerator Global Summit, happening Thursday, gives 10 inventors a chance to pitch their ideas in front of agencies like NASA, venture capitalists, and aerospace companies, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin.And, even more excitingly, it offers us a first glimpse at the best ideas coming down the pike in aviation, space travel, and related fields.

Bournemouth tech accelerator has £300,000 to give digital startups
‘First Bourne’ is the name of the accelerator which is giving away a total of £300,000 in funding along with mentoring and office space for a three-month residency in the centre of Bournemouth. Tech startups which have been going for less than two years and are based outside of London can now apply to take part in the programme, which has been funded by Creative England and delivered by Silicon South. The deadline for applications has been set for July 4. The actual scheme itself will begin on September 5, with eight selected businesses getting an initial £25,000 investment. During their three months in Bournemouth these firms will receive a wide range of support from various coaches and mentors, along with a number of workshops covering topics such as business strategy, marketing and brand positioning. When the three months are up, participants will pitch to investors with Creative England picking out the two strongest contenders who will receive further funding to the tune of £50,000.

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