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Startup news

  • Financial app 22seven gets a makeover, slashes subscription fees

    Personal financial management service 22seven has been given a revamp, with its subscription rates slashed. The company, bought by Old Mutual back in January, cut its subscription fees from R60 a month to R25 a month. While some might see that as a sign of desperation, the company insists that this is not the case and that it's simply looking to carry on in its evolution. In Facebook post, the service also reavealed that loans and investments from companies like Allan Gray can now be added to 22seven alongside your bank, card and store accounts. The reduced cost and...

  • PublicBeta online-learning platform for entrepreneurs launches, 40+ courses

    PublicBeta, "the online learning community for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs" and brainchild of WooThemes co-founder Adii Pienaar, has launched today with V1, and over 40 tantalising courses for you to sink your teeth into. PublicBeta aims to live by a 'for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs' motto and its courses reflect just that. All the courses have been designed by 41 entrepreneurs across categories such as: Personal Brand. Example -- "The easiest way to build your brand" Bootstrapping. Example -- "Bootstrapping a competitive industry with well-funded competitors" Investors. Example -- "Words are money: how to fund messages and write copy that will resonate with prospects and...

  • Uber gets massive $258m cash injection from Google Ventures

    This is big. Luxury private car company Uber has US$361.2-million in its latest funding round and US$258-million of that is believed to have come from Google Ventures. At its core, Uber is an on-demand private driver. Users of the service can request a ride at any time using the service’s iPhone and Android apps or from its mobi site. With your credit card registered on the service, the car picks you up and the trip is tracked from the moment you get in ’til you get off. News of the funding round comes courtesy of a Certificate Of Incorporation...

  • Nigerian company-builder Spark secures $2m international investment in 9 days

    Lagos-based internet group SPARK, which invests in Nigerian startups, has raised US$2-million in seed-funding from a syndicate of international investors -- based on a US$10-million valuation of the company that is just three months old. Seventeen high net-worth individual investors contributed to the total investment made to the company, founded by Jason Njoku, Bastian Gotter and Mary Remmy-Njoku, all of iROKOtv -- the Nigerian-content streaming service -- fame. SPARK was launched as a US$1-million fund intended to revolutionise Nigeria's angel investment ecosystem, with a focus on the startup scene. SPARK defines itself as follows: "We are not a fund and we...

  • Watch Nigerian tv shows online with streaming service NextSpeel

    For the longest time, we've been waiting to see who will rise up as the Netflix of Africa. As bandwidth and mobile data gets cheaper, and more Africans get connected, it's only a matter of time before streaming movies, music, and television shows becomes commonplace on the continent. There are a few players emerging already in the streaming space, such as iROKO (iROKOtv and iROKING), Wabona, and Buni TV. What separates them, besides billing models, is a focus on certain geographies. For example iRoko services mostly West African content whilst Wabona has a strong sub-Saharan focus. What we haven't...

  • HelloFood plans world domination with Brazil success

    More from the Rocket Internet camp, its online food delivery service HelloFood is taking over as a top food delivery service in Brazil surpassing its competitor Jánamesa. The move signals the consolidation of HelloFood as "a leading player in the contested Brazilian market" says Rocket. According to the online business builder, "HelloFood with its affiliated brand foodpanda is the largest group of online food ordering platforms worldwide". HelloFood, together with its affiliate brand Foodpanda, helps restaurants to increase sales through online and mobile platforms (iOS and Android) and provides them with constantly evolving technology and analytics. For consumers, hellofood offers an...

  • Uber drives into Johannesburg with secret tests

    No more speculating, Uber is coming to Africa with a South African play. According to a press release by the company, secret Ubers were spotted across Johannesburg, marking the company's entry into Africa and its fifth continent. Uber is a US$50-million San Francisco-based company which makes a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of luxury vehicles for hire. At its core, the company is an on-demand private driver. Users of the service can request a ride at any time using the service’s iPhone and Android apps or from its mobi site. With your credit card registered on the service,...

  • Gust Pay launches social currency component to its offering

    Mobile payments startup Gust Pay launched a new version of its Gust Finder app for iOS this week. The app rewards you with a Free Coffee when visiting participating Gust Coffee Club merchants. So here is how the rewards work: simply choose any coffee from the menu when you are within 100 meters of a partner location by showing your Gust Finder deal confirmation screen to the merchant. The app has a map, list and Augmented Reality view to help you discover new coffee shops and restaurants. Shake your device and you'll get suggestions for nearby places to visit. Gust Finder...

  • SA developer launches public transport app to ease the daily commute

    Geolocation and mapping apps are a rich market to tap into in Africa. Even Google, with all its glorious Maps, has yet to outline and document Africa's routes in detail, given its sheer scale and connectivity problems, especially in rural areas. Apps like Waze and HopStop show that new competitors can contribute with innovative tools like social aggregation, but in all likelihood will be bought up and incorporated into larger firms, as happened with Waze and Google, and HopStop and Apple respectively. South African-based developer Lebogang Nkoane has joined the party with a public transport route manager application named awayto.be,...

  • Rocket Internet launches online hotel booking service Jovago in Nigeria

    I am starting to think that Nigeria is Rocket Internet's new pet project. You can't really blame them, with Africa's biggest population, an obsession with tech and people who like to spend, it's an easy fit. The company today announced the launch of Jovago -- an online hotel booking service in Nigeria. According to a release by Rocket, Jovago offers around 140 000 hotels worldwide that users can choose from and its free. "Jovago provides all information about hotels, as well as means to compare different options and find the ideal location. In Nigeria the portfolio consists of over...