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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Groupon raises $500m

    Internet sensation Groupon, which specialises in dishing out local bargains, says it has raised $500-million, just weeks after rejecting a multi-billion-dollar takeover bid by Google. The mega-financing, revealed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was part of a funding round launched on December 17 that could fetch up to $950-million dollars. Google was believed to have offered more than five billion dollars to buy up the online discount shopping site early this month,...

  • India’s mobile money revolution

    India's hunger for new technology is as sharp in its countless small villages as in its shiny office towers or shopping malls -- and businesses are waking up to an area of massive potential growth. Specific designs being aimed at Indian villagers include a mobile phone cash-transfer system, similar to that of the lauded M-Pesa mobile currency in Kenya. Other innovations targeted at India's rural communities include robust low-energy refrigerators and a clever twist on the humble kitchen stove. Household cook Shivnath Yadav, 35, says he regularly sends funds via his mobile phone to his mother in the tiny village of...

  • CrowdFlower: Providing a global 24-hour workforce

    Labour-on-demand startup CrowdFlower envisions future workplaces without stifling offices and unyielding daily schedules. The San Francisco firm has taken another step in that direction with the launch of a Business Listing Verification service that lets people, ranging from stay-at-home moms to refugee camp dwellers, cash in on idle moments. The service essentially parses and distributes to many hands the daunting task of checking to make sure each business contact in a colossal database...

  • Popular SA magazines go digital via kalahari.net

    One of the country’s largest online retailers kalahari.net has expanded its digital content offering by selling electronic versions of some popular magazine titles online, mainly from the Media24 stable. These include You, Huisgenoot, Go!, Ideas and other titles. They are now available for purchase in digital format, with others to be added on an ongoing basis. Gerjo Hoffman, Senior Category Manager of eContent at kalahari.net says the addition of eMagazines to kalahari.net’s offering...

  • Viewdle gives mobile phones the ability to ‘see’

    High-powered players are pumping US$10-million into Viewdle, a technology startup crafting ways that enable smartphones "see" things the same way people do and identify faces. The influx of cash announced this week is coming from Qualcomm, BlackBerry Partners Fund, US electronics retail chain Best Buy, and Anthem Venture Partners, an investment firm that has backed Viewdle from the outset. "We are giving smartphones human eyes," said Viewdle co-founder and chief executive Laurent Gil. "Letting them see the world the way people do... it is artificial intelligence," he said. "It is happening." Northern California-based Viewdle bills itself as the leading independent facial recognition company...

  • Tourism is now ‘the top selling online industry’

    With annual global sales skyrocketing to over US$150 billion, and robust growth that has shaken off the recession, tourism is the 'top selling commodity online', according to Damian Cook, Founder of E Tourism Frontiers. This is good news for South African Tourism, the organisation responsible for increasing tourism to South Africa, which is staging this year's 3rd annual E-Tourism Africa Summit. The two-day Online Tourism Conference and Travel Technology Exhibition will be taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Center on the 25th and 26th of October 2010. The trend towards online travel booking is confirmed by South African...

  • 11 top African tech startups to watch, says Seedcamp

    Seedcamp, a European micro-seed fund that invests in early stage startup companies, has selected 11 South African technology startups to possibly attend the Seedcamp Week programme held in September in London, UK, where they will be in line for a potential €50 000 investment. Seedcamp, in conjunction with the Tech4Africa conference, put out a call for applications for funding and received more than 40 entries from technology startups across South Africa. The selected African entrepreneurs will have a rare opportunity to pitch their businesses at a group of people connected to powerful investors, mentors and startups throughout EMEA, with one...

  • Twangoo brings the power of collective buying to South Africa

    Do you like the idea of saving 25% on a floatation hydrotherapy session? Or what about a R100 saving on a meal at Gourmet Burger. If these deals appeal to you, then you might want to consider joining Twangoo.co.za, a new Cape Town-based startup which is harnessing the power of collective buying to make great deals available in cities around South Africa. Collective buying is one of the hottest trends on the web right now, and it's a timely introduction to the South African market. The concept was pioneered by Groupon, the American powerhouse in this field who offer deals...

  • Kalahari.net expecting big things from its new and used goods platform

    South African online retailer kalahari.net is forecasting impressive growth by the end of the year from Marketplace, its new and used trading platform which was launched in February this year. Kalahari.net believes that the trading platform, which lists both used and new products for sale, will provide South Africans with a way to earn extra money, which is especially important in the current economic climate, and speaks to South Africa’s natural entrepreneurial spirit. “The launch of our marketplace allows online users to sell their new or used products on a platform that has an enormous database of existing customers and that is...

  • Exploding 7 myths about venture capital

    The venture capital investment industry is laden with myths and misconceptions, often causing entrepreneurs to lose faith in funding and enthusiasm for their business. Andrea Bohmert, chairperson of South Africa's Cape IT Initiative’s Board of Directors and director and co-managing partner of Hasso Plattner Ventures, helps demystify some of the more destructive fallacies. 1. There is no money The first common misconception is that there is no money to fund entrepreneurs. This idea exists largely because so many business plans are declined, and so few are accepted. The first thing that counts against an applicant is failing to take...