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Startup news

  • Rocket Internet continues its African onslaught with Jumia Uganda

    Jumia, the Rocket Internet-driven "Amazon for Africa," today announced that it will extend its services to Uganda. Jumia also operates in Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and the Ivory Coast. As with these countries, Ugandans can order goods and pay in cash once the items have been received -- "a made for Africa" method which is called ‘Cash-On-Delivery’ (COD). Co-founder of JUMIA, Jeremy Hodara says that after launching in other North, East and West African territories in less than one and a half years, the company "saw the same potential" in Uganda. Jumia's growth has been remarkable. Midway through last year, the...

  • Micro lending startup ApexPeak to raise massive $200-million fund

    ApexPeak is a micro lender that aims to loan money faster and easier than traditional banks would allow. Small companies in need of a smooth cash flow can borrow money from it to pay their invoices. Last year, the startup received seed investment from the Google-sponsored accelerator 88mph and is now raising a massive US$200-million to meet the growing demand of SMEs. Using the company's Global Receivables Fund, ApexPeak allows SMEs who are cash-strapped to sell their invoices in return for money. The business uses credit rating data as well as integration with the suppliers of the invoices. Since last...

  • 22seven’s new Android app expresses mobile’s importance in its future

    Money management apps have proven popular since the advent of the app store. Some are simple daily budgeting assistants while others are more comprehensive, linking your existing bank accounts, credit and store cards together, so that you can monitor, and ultimately manage your money better. In the latter camp of more comprehensive apps, something like Mint comes to mind, an American-based app that pulls information from your bank accounts, and now has more than three million users. Mint though, only works in the US, and that's where South African-based 22seven found its niche. Functioning as a subscription-based online money management service...

  • Foodpanda chews down $20-million in funding, targets 40 new markets

    Foodpanda and its affiliated brand, Hellofood, have received US$20-million in funding from a group of investors including Phenomen Ventures. This comes after it secured more than US$20-million in funding from Phenomen Ventures and Investment AB Kinnevik last year. Since launch in 2012, Foodpanda gives customers the ability to conveniently choose their favourite meal online which it then delivers to their doorsteps. This online marketplace for food in turn helps drive traffic to restaurants. Last year, the Rocket Internet-backed brand expanded to 20 more countries and successfully launched a mobile app for iOS and Android. Foodpanda currently cooperates with more than 22 000...

  • Microsoft 4Afrika picks five startups for its innovation grant

    Things are going to be very interesting for African startups this year and Microsoft 4Afrika wants to be right in front for it. Today the initiative announced a new innovation grant for African startups designed to invest in notable startups that will help further Africa’s global presence. According to the press statement, in addition to financial backing these startups will receive technical support and mentorship from Microsoft. Last year the tech giant expanded its venture's arm into Africa through this initiative and showed its interest in investing in tech startups from Africa. The five selected startups seem to be more East...

  • Budgeting app ExpenZa hits surge in user activity, R1-billion transactions

    Budgeting apps will never go out of style. Until people stop worrying about where their precious money is mysteriously disappearing, personal finance management tools such as ExpenZa won't get old. The company has recently announced that it has had a surge of user activity in the last three months and has processed transactions worth more than R1-billion. Based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, ExpenZa is an app available to Android users with the need to effectively organize their income and expenses. The app saw user activity increase since its latest update in October and during the high-volume retail period leading...

  • Nigerian investor puts undisclosed cash monies into Silicon Valley startup

    Things are getting exciting with Heirs Holdings. The pan-African proprietary investment company founded by Tony O Elumelu has just announced its investment in Silicon Valley-based startup Planet Labs. Founded in 2010, the tech startup specialises in Earth imaging satellite network with open data access. Last year the company launched a number of demonstration CubeSats, Dove 1, Dove 2, Dove 3 and Dove 4, which circle the planet in low orbit. Planet Labs' 'Doves' are supposedly "significantly cheaper to produce and deploy than existing technology". According to the company, it is set to launch Flock 1, a constellation of 28...

  • Atmospheir app: an all-in-one social contact manager

    Since the advent of social media, managing your contacts and address book has become a whole lot tougher. Adding multiple accounts, numbers and services for every person's entry can be a headache, and organising the fragmented information can sometimes feel like the stuff of folly. A new app called Atmospheir wants to change all of that by re-imagining the mobile address book. Available for iPhone and iPad, the Atmospheir app aims to solve ever-changing contact info by giving each user a personalised ID -- their 'Atmospheir handle' -- which centralises data from multiple social networks, separates your personal and professional...

  • SureThing launches online gadget insurance in SA for portable devices

    SureThing is South Africa's newest insurance company, covering all things portable and electronic, and it's all done online. The 'online gadget insurance solution' covers precious personal items like your cellphone, tablet, laptop, e-reader or game console, reportedly from just R70 per month. The company was founded by Richard Neville, an insurance entrepreneur, who noticed a gap in the insurance market for portable electronic items and designed SureThing as a cost-effective and quick service for the youth of South Africa. "Historically, portable gadgets were only included on insurance policies if you owned your own home. SureThing is an easy online insurance solution...

  • Everything Hair offers South Africa real-time beauty advice and products

    The beauty care products industry is predicted to be worth US$265-billion by 2017. Startups and VCs the world over have started to take notice. In America Makeoverly is forging its own way as part online-beauty consultancy part etailer, while in South Africa try-before-you-buy startup Rubybox has gone from strength to strength having received funding from HPV Africa. Joining the race in South Africa is online salon Everything Hair offering products, service and advice, making it something akin to the South African Makeoverly. On the one side of the business, customers can order their favourite hair products in one place, online, and...

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