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All posts by Graham van der Made: Editor

  • From coupons to furniture removal: first annual #Hack.Jozi Challenge winners announced

    The #Hack.Jozi Challenge recently announced the winner of its R1-million reward. Developed by the City of Johannesburg and Wits University, the event was aimed at developing digital solutions to everyday problems. First place was awarded to MoWallet, a startup focused around coupons and vouchers, and spearheaded by Desmond Mongwe, took the prize of R1-million. Lazy Lizard's Teachinator and MoveThisStuff both took runner-up places, which consisted of a R350 000 prize each. The top ten teams also received a subscription to IBM's Bluemix for a year. The City of Johannesburg pledged R5-million towards the #Hack.Jozi Challenge project and prizes. The judging panel...

  • Bitcoin exchange BitX launches digital currency services in Nigeria

    Bitcoin exchange company BitX announced today its rollout to Nigeria. Previously only South Africa, Indonesia, Kenya, and Malaysia were able to purchase the digital cash in their own currency from BitX. "We are very excited to launch a broad suite of Bitcoin products and services to the Nigerian market, all with the view of making it easier for Nigerian consumers and businesses to buy, sell, store and transact in Bitcoin," said BitX CEO Marcus Swanepoel. Last year, the startup secured a round of seed funding of over US$800 000 from a group of international investors to help bolster its international vision of...

  • ‘OpenCart’ review for startups: Is OpenCart right for you?

    OpenCart is one of the more light-weight ecommerce platforms. The system is built for ease of use, easy installation of modules and created around the Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework. The software is currently available in two different versions, legacy (1.5.6.4) and the newer 2.0.3.1. Both of these carry the same core features, but OpenCart 2 has a retooled admin interface, built-in responsive theme and added core functionality. This article will cover the newer version of OpenCart as it’s the one currently being supported and developed for. OpenCart is by far one of the easiest platforms to install. The only easier off-the-shelf solutions are VirtueMart and...

  • Naspers reveals the true numbers behind Takealot, Kalahari merger

    In a recent Naspers Provisional report, the company has revealed its true stake in Takealot.com. Kalahari.com and Takealot.com completed their merger earlier this year, but the exact numbers behind the relationship weren't disclosed. Many however believed that Takealot had benefited most from the deal. This merger was first announced in October 2014, but got the go ahead from the Competition Commission of South Africa in January. During the February 2015 merger, Naspers acquired 46.5% interest in Takealot.com (Takealot Online). The purchase equates to a R1.2-billion acquisition. Instead of handing over cash, Takealot received 612 977 worth of Naspers N ordinary shares. The...

  • VIGO, Bandwidth Barn offer 67 websites for Khayelitsha entrepreneurs

    South Africa's 2014 MTN App of the Year Award Winner, VIGO, and Bandwidth Barn Khayelitsha, are partnering to host the 67 websites for for entrepreneurs in celebration of Mandela Day this year. Taking place 18 July, the event will feature 67 township entrepreneurs building websites using VIGO's system. These small businesses will be utilising VIGO's recently launched Design Premium offering. This new system contains "crisp" pre-designed website templates, which range from R1 720 to R2 660 on the VIGO website. The 67 Websites for Mandela Day event aims to support early-stage entrepreneurs who will require a website. Apart from website creation, VIGO...

  • Meet SenseVirtual: the dedicated VR startup shaping frontiers in Africa

    On the back of the popular gaming show, E3, in Los Angeles last month, Virtual Reality (VR) is a really hot topic right now. Microsoft, Sony, HTC, and Valve are all backing the technology in different ways. And while it's still early days for the hardware, startups from around the globe are leaping at the opportunity, building immersive virtual experiences for customers and businesses alike. Ventureburn spoke to co-founder and co-CEO, Tyrone Rubin about SenseVirtual -- a Cape Town-based VR startup in South Africa and all its exciting applications. The idea of VR is what I love. I love the idea...

  • Exchange startup BitX now lets you purchase airtime with Bitcoin

    Bitcoin is slowly catching up with standard currencies, even with its uphill struggle. Bitcoin startup BitX now allows customers to purchase airtime with the digital currency. It's a small step, but a good one. Using their BitX platform -- which already allows users to transfer Bitcoin to one another -- the company has added an airtime purchasing option. South African customers can choose from local players MTN, Cell C, Vodacom, Virgin Mobile, and Telkom, and send the amount to any cellphone number. According to BitX product advisor Simon Dingle, the decision had to do with user needs: We're proud to provide mobile...

  • Kenya starts testing new online IP registration system

    The Kenyan Copyright Board (KECOBO) in development collaboration with Microsoft 4Afrika has created an online intellectual property (IP) registration system. This new prototype system should make things easier for those who wish to register IPs in the East African country. KECOBO hopes to replace the current IP manual registration process, which consists of downloading documents, paying a fee, and then submitting the documents to the KECOBO. The manual process isn't ideal in today's busy and internet-driven lifestyle. Dr. Marisella Ouma, the executive director at KECOBO, explains the benefit of the new system: With the new system, users will no longer have to...

  • SnapScan rolls out pilot phase for ecommerce payments

    A South African-based mobile payment application, SnapScan, has started rolling out its test phase for ecommerce plugins. The new system will enable customers to purchase from select online stores using the SnapScan application. Up until now, SnapScan has only been available for retail outlets. The payment process is near identical to standard SnapScan usage. You proceed to the store's checkout system and select the SnapScan button for payment. You'll then be presented with a QR code to be "snapped" with the app. Once payment is complete the store and SnapScan will notify you. Rupert Sully, the head of new business at SnapScan, reiterates...

  • Rwanda’s Think adds 4 new startups to its accelerated incubator

    Think, a Rwandan-based startup accelerator, has recently added four new startups to its new programme. Taking place over the course of three months, entrants in Think Accelerated will be part of a high-intensity offering. The programme hopes to be faster and more immersive than its standard six-month course. Having launched in 2014, Think, based in Kigali, Rwanda, aims to incubate tech startups with digital solutions that can scale across Africa. The decision to add a three-month fast-track offering, while still continuing the core six-month version, allows entrepreneurs to return to their home markets after the intense session. Entrants will receive financing, strategic...