• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Three MENA developers win Facebook’s Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge

    Facebook has announced the three winners of its Facebook's Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge, launched earlier this year. The social media company made the announcement on Monday. The selected winners, from the Middle East and North Africa, have competed against startups from across 64 countries and have each won $20 000 and three months of mentorship from Facebook. The challenge was launched on 15 February. "It's been nearly five months since we first invited submissions for the 2017 Bots for Messenger Challenge and we’re excited to share the winners," said Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa in...

  • Company Office

    Tshwane free Wi-Fi TV – TV by the people, for the people, on the people's network

    The City of Tshwane has added another trailblazing project to its name with the launch of the WiFi TV, a Video-On-Demand service made available over the Tshwane Free WiFi network. The WiFi TV is another pioneering project geared towards positioning Tshwane as a Smart City by using technology to bridge the digital divide, engage communities on government affairs and bring about social cohesion.  Local crews have been recruited and trained to create videos covering local topics including music, current affairs, entrepreneurship, religion, jobs and sport in the townships of Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and the Tshwane CBD. These videos are then uploaded...

  • Cell C’s new online reality show Hangman looking for SA’s next top innovator

    Cellular provider Cell C yesterday opened entries for Hangman, a new online reality show which aims to uncover South Africa’s top innovator, with R1-million in prize money. “Cell C’s strategic focus is around bringing relevance to the South African market through service offerings,” said Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos, in a press release. “A key focus is providing value-added services and segmented content that is being consumed daily online. Customers are hungry for new, unique, fresh and entertaining content,” he said. With this in mind, Cell C embarked on producing the 10-part Hangman series which represents a new genre in unscripted entertainment and...

  • I was like Jekyll and Hyde – Spur founder on dealing with customers, staff

    Spur founder Allen Ambor credits his restaurant success to keen customer service and a "draconian" management style which was "my way or the highway". Ambor, 76, who last month sold most of his shares in Spur, was speaking at a Startup Grind event held on Tuesday evening at Workshop 17. Read more: Spur founder Allen Ambor on selling shares, that incident "My attitude was I don't care who suffers as long as it's not the customer. And I promise you I did suffer plenty. I was overworked to an incredible extent and I demanded a lot from my staff. "So often I would get a...

  • Spur founder Allen Ambor on selling shares, that incident

    Spur founder Allen Ambor says he still owns shares in the restaurant franchise he started in 1967 -- despite an announcement last month by the company that he had sold all of the almost 3.1 million shares he held at the time, totalling R100-million. Speaking at a Startup Grind event held at Workshop 17 last night, Ambor, who is also the company's executive chair, said he still holds almost 500 000 shares -- equal to 20% of his original holding. The original holding made up about 3.2% of the Spur group before he sold the shares in March, Ambor added. "I've got a family trust that...

  • DFS Labs invests $250 000 in four African, US startups

    The Digital Financial Services Labs (DFS Labs), an initiative backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has announced that it'll be investing $250 000 in four separate fintech startups. "We are excited to have the opportunity to invest in companies that are focusing on consumers in emerging markets," DFS director Jake Kendall said yesterday in a press release. The four were chosen out of an initial nine startups that presented their products at the DFS Lab's Fintech Bootcamp in Sri Lanka earlier this year. 'Expanding access to digital financial services can transform people's lives' In addition to finance, the chosen companies will also receive six...

  • King Baudouin Foundation puts African startups in presence of Belgium royalty

    Independent pluralistic body The King Baudouin Foundation has awarded three young entrepreneurs the King Baudouin African Development Prize for their contribution to social change across Africa. The biennial award ceremony took place yesterday at the Royal Palace in Brussels and was attended by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. "Young entrepreneurs are changing the economic landscape on the continent. They represent the future, a future that is happening now. Illustrating this in three key sectors was the only way of doing justice to the diversity of this transformation," said the chair of the prize selection committee Koen Vervaeke in a press release. This marks the...

  • Mastercard Foundation opens call for African projects that address rural poor

    The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) in Nairobi yesterday launched a new competition to find and support providers of innovative and scalable financial products and services that improve the lives of poor people in rural areas of Africa. In a press release the fund said the 2017 competition will be open throughout the year with applications submitted and evaluated periodically. The first submission period will close for judging on 10 August. Unsuccessful applicants will be able to refine and resubmit their applications subsequently, along with new entrants in the competition. The Fund for Rural Prosperity will accept applications for innovative financial solutions...

  • Bloemfontein startup secures $2m funding from Canadian investment bank

    Bloemfontein-based startup Xineoh is making waves internationally thanks to its unique algorithm, which has already generated in excess of $30-million in revenue for clients across the globe, attracting the interest of investors, with $2-million received in backing to date in 2017. The startup has developed a series of algorithms that help connect the right buyer to the right producer -- in a similar way to how Amazon.com and Netflix taps into user behaviour to predict potential purchasing behaviour and serve users bespoke information likely to incite conversion. Xineoh CEO and founder Vian Chinner told Ventureburn that King and Bay West, a investment...

  • Wallettec to represent South Africa at the EcoBank Fintech Challenge

    Online payment solution Wallettec will today (20 June) represent South Africa, competing against 19 other companies at the EcoBank Fintech Challenge held in Togo. "South Africa is filled with really great startups and businesses especially in the fintech space, being the only one selected for this event is truly an honour," said Wallettec's founder, Johan Meyer in an interview with Ventureburn. Founded in 2013, Wallettec allows merchants to process any payment without transmitting any personal or payment information. Currently operating out of six countries including Kenya, Uganda and SA, the company will be establishing a presence in Ghana as well. Meyer explained...

  • Consumer lending has dropped to ‘almost zero’ under new regulations – Rainfin CEO

    Consumer lending on marketplace lending platform RainFin has ground to a halt since the new National Credit Regulations threshold came into effect on 11 November, the company’s chief executive Sean Emery said yesterday. "Our consumer lending has dropped almost to zero," Emery said, adding that before the new threshold came into place consumer lending made up half of the platform's focus. Under the new threshold, lenders who lend even one cent to consumers have be registered with the National Credit Regulator to do so. Emery said most consumers are reluctant to go through the process of getting registered with the National Credit Regulator. Under...