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Startup news

  • Fresh out of beta Moneysmart reveals bank integration, master plan

    Moneysmart, the online personal finance manager (PFM) we covered last year, will be exiting beta in the next few days. It sports a new look, iOS and Android apps, and now, direct integration with all but one South African bank. Absa is yet to give Moneysmart its blessing, but CEO Tobie van Zyl is confident that an agreement will be reached by the end of this year. With big name backers and a maturing feature set, Moneysmart is coming out guns blazing in its bid to lead a pack of new personal finance tools that aim to give you a...

  • The Sable Accelerator: A gateway into Silicon Valley for SA startups

    With the imminent launch of The Sable Accelerator, South African businesses look set to benefit from a new network of advisers and investors based in Silicon Valley and London that can help with international expansion. Founded by South Africans now living abroad, The Sable Accelerator is backed by angel investors, CEOs, directors and consultants from companies such as McCann Erickson, Grant Thornton, McKinsey and Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa. According to Tech Central, Vinny Lingham, founder of Yola and more recently Gyft -- check out Ventureburn’s exclusive peek at Gyft -- is also onboard as an investor. Sable’s website, a...

  • With rumoured sale looming, Zoopy founders depart

    Mere days after Ventureburn was tipped off that parent company and mobile operator, Vodacom, could offload a large portion of its investment in Zoopy, the mobile video company, founder Jason Elk and co-founder Pat Elk announced in a statement that they will be leaving Zoopy at the end of September. The statement reads: "After launching Zoopy in March 2007, we have built a company and service that we have been incredibly proud of....

  • Ice cream on demand: All scream for Uber ice cream!

    Starting today, a new ice cream cone icon will appear in the Uber app, which lets users summon an ice cream truck to their location. Uber, the startup behind the app that lets users hire cars from their phone, is putting ice cream trucks on the road as part of National Ice Cream Month in America. It costs US$12 for a bundle of five ice creams -- types are location specific -- and the app will give you an estimation of how long the ice cream truck will take to arrive. When the truck pulls up, Uber users can also...

  • Zando: online fashion clone claims big successes

    When online shoe and fashion outlet Zando hit the South African market six months ago, it was clear that the local stores in the country, like the Naspers-owned Kalahari and the newly relaunched Takealot were about to get some serious competition. The company, which apes the model pioneered by US-based company Zappos, is owned by Rocket Internet, which lays claim a global ecommerce empire -- GigaOM estimates that it owns some 38 companies across 58 countries. A number of these properties follow the same model as Zando, including Zalando in Germany and the UK, Locondo in Japan, The...

  • RunwaySale: selling high-end fashion in a flash

    Recently launched RunwaySale is a new and exciting flash-sale website that brings high-end designer labels to the consumer at hugely discounted prices -- all at the click of a button. Although this concept is already entrenched in the minds of European, American and Australian fashionistas, the idea is relatively new to the South African market and RunwaySale has hit the ground running, taking the South African public by well-dressed storm. We spoke to founders Elmien Smit and Karl Hammerschmidt about some of the challenges they're facing in the South African market: Ventureburn: Hey guys, how does this work? RunwaySale: Once signed up,...

  • FNB Private Clients and AngelHub partnership heats up SA startup scene

    Readers of Ventureburn are probably well aware of AngelHub, the business angel investment group that pools funding, expertise and networks from a range of early stage investors to foster startup growth. AngelHub has recently extended its network by partnering with FNB Private Clients, First National Bank's specialist banking solution that works with wealthy entrepreneurs, business professionals and others to increase their asset values. So basically, FNB Private Clients help make rich people, richer. The...

  • Social wine discovery service Real Time Wine uncorks delicious mobile apps

    The world of wine is about to get super social and dramatically less snooty. Real Time Wine, the 140-character wine blog is now available in the form of beautiful apps for iPhone and Android phones. Real Time Wine makes it easy for those who don't consider themselves intrepid wine connoisseurs to venture out and try something new “Most wine buyers are not wine experts,” says founder Andy Hadfield. “The challenge of discovering new wine at the right price is so great that we tend to stick to the old and familiar. Real Time Wine makes the process of choosing, drinking...

  • Lending goes peer-to-peer with RainFin

    Let's be serious for a minute folks. Getting a loan from a bank can be a right royal pain in the arse. Surely you could save a load of admin if you, the willing borrower, could sit down at your computer and find a willing lender? That's exactly the premise behind a RainFin, a social lending company that says it wants to completely change the way people borrow and loan money in South Africa. The company provides a compelling alternative to banks for consumers who wish to invest and borrow money at more competitive interest rates. RainFin’s online platform...

  • Blueseed: The seaborne startup incubator

    Immigration laws are tedious and work visas are expensive, especially for foreign entrepreneurs wanting to work in the US. Max Marty and Blueseed cofounder Dario Mutabdzija, aware of this fact, are ambitiously hacking the system to bring talented foreign startups closer to Silicon Valley. How? By drawing up plans for floating office space, 12 nautical miles off the coast of California. The idea of cities at sea have long been the fodder of libertarians and climate watchers, but Blueseed is the first to utilise the so-called “contiguous zone” for fostering startup growth. Marty and Mutabdzija, both formerly of the Seasteading...

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