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All posts by Mich Atagana

  • Takealot’s Kim Reid talks new millions, expansion and the future of ecommerce

    News of popular ecommerce site Takealot's US$100-million investment round has set South Africa's tech scene abuzz. Late last week we reported that the site secured a staggering US$100-million from its long time investor, Tiger Global Management. Founded in the 2002 as Take2, the site was later relaunched as Takealot in 2010 by Tiger Global Management and CEO Kim Reid. Takealot offers an extensive range of locally supplied and imported books, DVDs, music, games, electronics and toys with delivery to your doorstep. In 2012, Takealot acquired a majority stake in delivery company Mr Delivery to launch its same-day delivery service in major...

  • Wanted: entrepreneurs under 40 to take to Israel, must love startups

    Arguably, the best access any entrepreneur can have is access to the world. Access to new markets, possible trade partners and the ability to understand the startup landscape and consumer market beyond their borders. This is what MyStartUp and the South Africa-Israel Forum, with the support of the Entrepreneurship Development Trust as well as Investec, are trying to do. The idea is to take 12 South African entrepreneurs on a one-week trip to Israel. " introduce the group to their Israeli and international peers, with the hope that they will do business together," says Dan Brotman, Executive Director...

  • Takealot gets $100-million from Tiger Global but no expansion plans… yet

    Things are looking good for one of South Africa's biggest ecommerce players -- Takealot. According to a TechCrunch report, the site has just secured a staggering US$100-million from Tiger Global Management. The site was founded in the 2002 as Take2, but was later relaunched as Takealot in 2010 by Tiger Global Management and CEO Kim Reid. Takealot offers an extensive range of locally supplied and imported books, DVDs, music, games, electronics and toys with delivery to your doorstep. This investment is a major coup in the South African tech scene. But if you think the ecommerce site is about to go...

  • Notes from inside: lessons from Rob Stokes on building Quirk [Net Prophet]

    Hot on the heels of the sale of his company Quirk to global mega-corp WPP, Rob Stokes took the stage at technology and trends conference Net Prophet to divulge some lessons he's learnt as an entrepreneur. A few weeks ago, WPP announced it was in talks with Quirk to purchase a majority stake in the company. Quirk's unaudited consolidated revenues for the year ended 28 February 2014 were approximately R140-million, with gross assets at the same date of approximately R68-million. It's understood that the deal was made, at least in part, to aid in the company's expansion into Africa....

  • Built in Africa: Meet the young African scientists and engineers competing at Intel’s ISEF

    Built in Africa focuses on entrepreneurs, startups and technologies that hail from the continent and empower its citizens. Touted as the world’s largest international pre-university science competition, Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) provides a platform for young innovators to create, invent and reinvent in the field of science and engineering and hopefully change the world. Annually the competition brings together more than 1 700 high school students from over 70 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research and compete for more than US$5-million in awards. The competition begins with local and school-sponsored science fairs, with the...

  • New opinion network launches in SA just in time for the elections

    State, a new global opinion network that links individuals based on their point of view, is making a major push into South Africa ahead of the May 7th elections. The London-based company was founded by brothers Mark Asseily and Alex Asseily. Alex Asseily is also the founder of mobile lifestyle company Jawbone. According to the company, the idea for a global opinion network like this is to give a powerful voice to everyone rather than a few. "Often only the most popular, least tolerant or loudest get heard," says the company. This is why the network says it was important to make...

  • Built in Africa: RLabs is using tech to restore our faith in humanity

    Built in Africa focuses on entrepreneurs, startups and technologies that hail from the continent and empower its citizens. Social entrepreneurship is becoming a key point of development for African entrepreneurs. In this, our sixth instalment of our “Built in Africa” series, we feature Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs), a South African-based social entrepreneurship project aimed at bringing hope through technology education. RLabs is a global community-based movement and registered social enterprise that provides innovative solutions to address various societal problems in troubled communities facing issues such as drugs and gang violence. RLabs essentially hopes to train people within such communities to find...

  • Built in Africa: Shaking Sun’s Akaliza Keza Gara on using tech to tell African stories

    Built in Africa focuses on entrepreneurs, startups and technologies that are born on the continent and empower its citizens. In this, the fifth instalment of our “Built in Africa” series, we feature Rwandan entrepreneur Akaliza Keza Gara, who runs a web development agency and is passionate about using technology to tell African stories. I got introduced to Gara through Microsoft’s 4Afrika youth advisory board, of which she sits. Gara is the founder of Shaking Sun, a multimedia company that specialises in graphic design, animation and web development. She has lived in nine different countries and has travelled extensively around Africa. As a result,...

  • Obituary of a startup: Realtime Wine, courageous social app, bows out

    Realtime Wine (RTW), a social discovery app for wine, died last night from complications after failing to monetise quickly in an aggressive startup ecosystem. It was three years old. Plain-spoken and unassuming, RTW never assumed the part of a wine guide. In what can only be described as a courageous piece of moxie, RTW sought to get rid of highbrow reviews and instead provide wine consumers with honest opinions. RTW's quasi-warrior persona attracted the attention of investors such as former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan, owner of Bartinney Wines, and Mike Ratcliffe, managing director at Warwick Wine Estate. They were two...

  • Via Afrika’s digital libraries want to solve SA’s textbook problems

    We wrote earlier this week about Via Afrika and its mission to use technology to change the face of education in Africa. The publisher this week, in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and Breadline Africa, launched its national Digital Learning Centre initiative at Ithemeleng Primary School in Reddersburg in the Free State, South Africa. Breadline Africa is a Cape Town based NGO that specialises in converting old shipping containers and recycling them for essential community purposes and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is the home of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. According to a release by the...