Freelancing platform Mintor wins $4k funding at #PitchVinny

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South African freelancing platform Mintor won US$4,000 in funding from angel investor Vinny Lingham at the #PitchVinny event in Cape Town last night.

Disrupt Africa reported last week four local startups were picked to take part in the event at Workshop 17, providing access to Lingham, who aside from co-founding Silicon Cape is one of South Africa’s best known technology entrepreneurs and investors.

He co-founded Clicks2Customers, TrafficSynergy, Yola and Gyft, and is an increasingly active angel investor, having made early investments in the likes of Quirk and SkyRove. Lingham was most recently seen doing his thing on television during Dragons’ Den SA, putting money into EkayaSA Florist and eShip.

Mintor beat off competition from online marketplace Cloudlife, real-time communication app HOWXIT and learning app SquirrelThat to win the funding, subject to the agreement of a term sheet.

“Mintor is excited to scale up with Vinny Lingham’s endorsement, and join forces to radically improve graduate employability and small business growth. And by the way, we are looking for amazing tech talent to join our founding team,” Mintor founder Leànne Viviers told Disrupt Africa.

Disrupt Africa reported last month Mintor plans to disrupt the model adopted by freelancing platforms in order to make it accessible to students and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In many ways a freelancing platform much like Elance or Freelancer, the startup is specifically tailored towards students on the supply side and SMEs on the demand side, and looks to marry the talent pool with businesses with needs in a mutually beneficial manner.

Viviers said the concept for Mintor was established in September of last year after she had returned from a number of years abroad working with SMEs to find South Africa suffering from the effects of unemployment.

“Coming back to South Africa the one thing that hit me was how vast youth unemployment was and that helped me marry my expertise with this idea to help graduates find the right matches for where they could develop their lives,” she said.

Unemployment has broken the 26 per cent mark in South Africa, with more than 20 million employable South Africans out of work. Statistics compiled by Good Governance Africa (GGA) say South Africa has the highest levels of youth unemployment on the continent. This is something Mintor is trying to address by assisting students and recent graduates in obtaining solid on-the-job work experience.

“We essentially supply a service where students can place their skills, and gives them the ability to quickly portray their skills. It hands businesses a very quick and easy way to find the specific skills they need,” Viviers said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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