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Startup news

  • ZiNG wants to shake up the Mobile IM space

    The mobile Instant Messaging (IM) space already has a number of big players -- think MXit, WhatsApp, Facebook chat... the list goes on. But at least one new player thinks it can make an impact by playing to the business world. A company called Blazingchilli is looking to utilise the opportunities inherent in the mobile IM space to leverage its new enterprise level messaging platform -- ZiNG. The technology at the heart...

  • New York VC invests in Fine Art startup

    A New York-based early-stage VC fund called Founder Collective is taking an unusual bet on a niche online market: Fine Art. According to TechCrunch, the company is investing a cool US$4-million in Paddle8 -- an online marketplace that aims to provide people “With new access points to premier artworks”. Founder Collective is reportedly no stranger to investing in niche tech markets, having previously put capital into luxury vehicle hire app Uber and...

  • New startup 22seven under fire from banks [Updated]

    The high-profile launch of new financial management startup 22seven has faced some early criticism, from the very institutions it relies on: The banks. Prolific tweeter and CEO of First National Bank (FNB) Michael Jordaan tweeted yesterday that he thought 22seven was a "cool concept", but warned "against disclosing password(s) to any 3rd party". He ended his tweet with this ominous warning: "Risk all yours". Getting tweets re 22seven. Cool concept but have to advise...

  • 22seven, the gamification of personal finances

    The well-known founder of the pioneering online bank 20Twenty Christo Davel is hitting the market with a new startup, also in the financial management space. 20Twenty was an acclaimed South African online banking platform and an acknowledged leader for its time, but eventually went under when its bricks-and-mortar backing bank, Saambou, collapsed. 20Twenty was later sold to Standard Chartered for a cool US$10-million and closed. The new venture, the similarly-named 22Seven, is billed as an “intelligent money saving tool” that plugs directly and securely into your personal bank accounts and then delivers analysis on your spending habits. And this is what...

  • Triloq paves the way with virtual credit cards, email bill payments

    Online shopping was a pain before I got my first credit card. Painstakingly transferring money from my bank account to an online vendor is not ideal. With a credit card though, online shopping becomes easy. For the unlucky few who cannot get a credit card, online shopping dreams are dashed. Not so, says Triloq Payment Services. Its products, 1-2-Pay Online  and AcceptEmail have been in development from January 2011 and aim to “free”...

  • Body Thrills: doing eCommerce the natural way

    Natural Body product company Body Thrills launched recently launched its eCommerce play. The site, formerly a blog with a basic ordering form, has rebranded and gone full eCommerce just in time for the holiday buying season. We sat down with majority shareholder and founder, Tamaryn Watkins, to get the scoop behind their products and approach: Memeburn: Tell us more about how Body Thrills started. Tamaryn Watkins: It all started three years ago. I was...

  • Airborne, the viral solution to music distribution

    Music, now more than ever before, needs to make its mark in an ever-fickle market. Rampant piracy, combined with legal downloads and streaming services, have all but destroyed the traditional revenue market for music. This is where a website like Airborne steps in. Why AirBorne? Because "Music is the virus, and the virus is AirBorne." Catchy. It's like Spotify, but not really. Well, if you're prepared to listen to music which is...

  • App development made easy with Tappnology

    App stores are big business and with US$15-billion in revenue expected to pour into their combined coffers by 2012, everyone is looking for a slice of tasty, app pie. Especially the Dube brothers, Fredrick and Michael, creators of startup Tappnology. They promise "to go the extra mile to make sure your application shines". Enthusiasm we like. Tappnology creates mobile applications for smartphones and tablets, with the iPad being the only current device with a workable app. Tappnology currently has one product to show for its hard work, the clumsily named Tweetwallsaver. Did I need “dazzling photo, tweet and video...

  • Lights out for Powertime in Cape Town

    Powertime, a South African mobile and web-based prepaid electricity vendor, is in trouble. As users in the Western Cape may or may not know, they are no longer able to purchase electricity online. This issue lies not with Powertime, but with the government of the Western Cape, or more specifically, the municipalities. Powertime launched two years ago as a bright-eyed startup project, servicing most municipalities as well as the major electricity providers such...

  • This Army: Gunning for the big time

    This Army first launched Tank five years ago as a hosted site-builder application in an already competitive DIY web publishing arena. Slowly but surely it gained a following in the local market, mostly spread by word-of-mouth amongst the creative crowd. The simple, minimal designs and a certain “less is more” approach has seen it gradually being adopted by everyone from photographers to galleries and wine farms. Tank empowered those with little to...