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Startup news

  • TrustFabric: One startup’s solution to call centre hell

    Pretty much everyone hates calling a call centre. They keep you on hold perpetually and when you finally get past the annoying repetition of bad eighties music and speak to a human being they have no idea how to help. So begins the "departmental bounce" and after you run the gauntlet of incompetence, running up a colossal phone bill, the call is ended without any real help being delivered. The days of the call centre gauntlet are apparently over according to a new Cape Town-based startup TrustFabric.com. The company claims to offer a service to individuals and businesses to...

  • Kenyan startups jump on the ‘Groupon’ bandwagon

    Groupon has been a massive success in the United States. It’s a deal-of-the-day site, with projected revenue of US$500m in just it’s second year of operations. It uses the framework of "collective buying", which means that if enough people sign up for a particular deal, then it’s on. If not enough people sign up, then the deal is off and everyone walks away. Revenue is shared per deal, which means that Groupon only wins if the company doing the deal wins. Of course, this framework has caught the attention of savvy business people in Africa. Rupu Rupu is a similar site...

  • 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...

  • SA startup selected as one of Techcrunch’s ‘Best New Startups’

    The TechCrunch Europas, the European Startup Awards for tech companies, has listed Cognician, a South African technology startup, as one of the top 11 Best New Startup's in 2010. The Europas serve to honour the best technology companies and startups across the web and mobile space. The awards span 22 categories and recognise and celebrate the most compelling technology startups, internet and mobile innovations of the past year. Cognician, the original thought processor that...

  • Evly.com: The art of outsourcing crowdsourcing

    Evly.com claims to be the "world's first crowdsourcing social network" and launches next Monday with the goal of bringing users together to "solve new challenges". The site is the brainchild of the team who developed Springleap, a Cape Town-based T-shirt design crowdsourcing company, based on threadless.com, which has carved out a remarkable niche on the web. Crowdsourcing is the method of sourcing a solution from a crowd, community or social network as opposed to a single contractor with the understanding that the wisdom of the crowd is greater than the wisdom of the individual. As an example South African snack-food...

  • iSigned.com: A new age of digital storage

    Storing a document to last for a long period of time in one physical location is not only difficult, but risky as well. Secure digital file storage is also problematic, with risks of lost external drives, corrupt hard-drives, missing discs amongst the many potential problems. The easier and supposedly safer option is cloud storage, which involves storing the document on a network online for easy, secure access from anywhere. iSigned.com, launched in July 2010, is an online file storage platform that offers secure, permanent storage for legal records and other important documents with the aim of "helping individuals and...

  • Startup GetAGreatBoss fills a gap in the recruitment process

    The dearth of systems to rate and recognise great bosses prompted Gavin Symanowitz to create GetAGreatBoss.com, a rating system that helps job seekers to identify companies that have exceptional leaders. Symanowitz launched the startup in 2009 from Johannesburg with the belief that "people join companies, but they leave bosses." The site is not a recruitment portal itself, but rather targets six different groups of people that work in the recruitment field: Career-seekers looking for great bosses, recruiters, online job portals, HR professionals, executive coaches and great bosses themselves. According to a Gallup Organisation survey of one million people, ''what...

  • Three South African startups chosen for Seedcamp week

    South African web startups, Cognician, GetAGreatBoss and iSigned are packing their bags for London. Seedcamp, the European micro-seed fund that focuses on early stage startups has announced the selection of three South African technology startups to attend ‘Seedcamp Week’ in London from the 13th till the 17th of September. This is great news for South Africa, having secured three of the 23 available places at Seedcamp week, from the more than 600 teams worldwide that have applied over the year. The Seedcamp finalists 2010 include a wide selection of teams from 16 different countries, active in more than 19 cities. The South...

  • Kenyan startup proposes solution to modern-era information overload

    In an age of information abundance, curating meaning is key. Nine months ago that is just what Jon Gosier set out to do as he took over the reins of the SwiftRiver initiative at renown crowd-sourcing activism site, Ushahidi. Recently he announced the Beta release, and unveiled a new website at Swiftly.org. What is SwiftRiver? SwiftRiver Open Beta Announcement. from Ushahidi on Vimeo. “SwiftRiver is an open source intelligence gathering platform for managing realtime...

  • Cred and the art of micropayments

    The topic of micropayments has struck a heated note amongst online paywall experts and content providers. There are many who denounce the system, marking it as a tried-and-failed experiment, while others proclaim it as the future of online transactions. A micropayment can be defined as a financial transaction of a small sum of money, usually in an online context. PayPal defines this sum at US$12.00 or less, in terms of its own micropayment system. For the average end-user, micropayments are extremely useful. For a minor fee, the user can gain access to their desired content, albeit only in bite-sized...