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News

  • Saul Klein: Price of SA broadband an ‘absolute disgrace’

    One of South Africa’s most successful exports, web entrepreneur and venture capitalist Saul Klein, has labelled the cost of broadband in his home country “an absolute disgrace” and urged the members of The Silicon Cape to function as a pressure group in lobbying for cheaper broadband. Klein, who was born in Johannesburg and is married to a South African, currently manages a $2.5-billion venture capital fund, and is a “massive believer” in early stage venture capital. His CV reads like a greatest hits of the Internet over the last 10 years, from early work at Blogger, last.fm and Betfair then...

  • FNB announce host of PayPal features, plan to implement Rand

    South African bank First National Bank (FNB) rolled into a crisp and windy Cape Town last night with a challenge to entrepreneurs to embrace the opportunities presented by its new partnership with international e-commerce giant, PayPal. It was The Silicon Cape's, a local body formed to support and promote the web community, third networking event was hosted by FNB and included an introduction by the bank’s CEO Michael Jordaan, who painted a picture of entrepreneurs as people who are “intellectually curious and unhappy with the way things are”. Paypal was invented by South African Elon Musk so it's...

  • Net Prophet: Africa is a sea of opportunity

    Free coffee, wi-fi and pumping music tunes was how more than 800 tech geeks, freaks, entrepreneurs and industry leaders were greeted at the Net Prophet Conference in Cape Town on Thursday. With an impressive line-up of speakers and the sense of a growing tech community in the Silicon Cape, it was no surprise to see a packed and enthusiastic auditorium at Old Mutual Park. Speakers included Erik Hersman, co-founder of Ushahidi.com, and Mocality.com CEO Stefan Magdalinski, who shared insights on mobile and internet innovation in Africa -- and how South African entrepreneurs in particular are well-placed to take advantage of...

  • BetTech secures multi-million rand seed funding

    Software development startup BetTech Gaming has announced that it has secured a multi-million rand seed funding packet from South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital. Founded in 2009, BetTech develops gaming software, the first of which is their sports book package which will be licensed through bet.co.za’s web and mobile interfaces. When asked what persuaded 4Di to invest in BetTech, 4Di Director Justin Stanford cited the "marriage of a great idea with a capable...

  • New SA crowd-source fund hits R1-million

    Crowdfund is the South African tech industry’s latest step toward fostering a culture of angel investment for online start ups in South Africa, and it’s taken off at rocket pace. After launching in March of this year, the fund has banded together 229 investors to raise a total of R1-million in capital for budding online start ups. After less than thirty days since its inception, Crowdfund is already primed to spark new entrepreneurial life in South Africa. The investors enthusiasm about Crowdfund  illustrates a wide-spread recognition that South Africa has the potential to become major player in the global tech industry if...

  • Personera launches Facebook print calendars

    Whoever declared that print was dead may soon have to swallow their words. Personera, an online-to-offline media technology startup, launched its unique service to Facebook users around the world this week. The company is offering the world's first print calendar that is fully personalised with a user's Facebook friends' birthdays, upcoming events, and photos. The company says it is also first to launch under the banner of the Silicon Cape initiative, a...

  • Opening speech @ #SiliconCape

    Here is the text of the speech I gave at the opening of Silicon Cape in Camps Bay. I'm not alone in saying that this was an inspiring and well-supported event. Welcome everyone and thank you all for coming. A special welcome to the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Mr Johann Rupert. It’s an absolute honour and it’s humbling to be speaking in front of such an important gathering...

  • Online chess play scoops $1.25m in funding

    ChessCube has concluded a US$1.25m funding agreement with Venture Capital fund, InVenFin (Pty) Ltd. InVenFin, the VC-focused subsidiary of VenFin Limited, invests in intellectual property-based start-ups with global potential. This transaction brings ChessCube’s total funding to date to US$1.8m. ChessCube is an online chess site, which allows players of all skill levels to compete and learn chess, while socializing with others. With a potential market of over fifty million active chess players in...

  • Internet Solutions to create new VC fund for web innovation?

    It looks like Internet Solutions (IS) may be creating some kind of incubator or venture capital fund to encourage local web innovation and startups. The details are sketchy at this stage, but it in fact looks like the new initiative will launch as soon as this month, possibly middle of the month, with the launch of their website. I've been promised further clarity on the new venture in the coming weeks. I am...

  • SA aggregator cracks CNN mention

    This is killer. CNN.com mentioned Afrigator as a hot web 2.0 startup. Afrigator is the Africa-focused blog aggregator by Justin Hartman and Mike Stopforth. Nice. Very nice guys. Just noticed that my evil twin, who called me about it on the way back from work, also blogged about it here. This is the second time an SA Web 2.0 project has cracked a mention. Neville Newey's muti, a local Digg, was also recognised...