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Startup news

  • Nigerian startup Knack launches affordable laptop and tablets

    Knack International Limited launched a trio of smart devices and a laptop over the weekend. The young startup from Nigeria is attempting to provide local tablets, smartphones, laptops as well as support services. The company states that it has a specific target that will focus on personal individuals, students, and businesses as the key market segment. Knack is a young startup company that focuses on providing hardware as well as ICT solutions in an attempt to position itself as a top brand in the African market space. Providing both a product and a service, Knack wants to establish long term relationships...

  • Need a crash course in creating a business? Check out Startup Weekend Johannesburg

    Startup Weekends are getting quite popular in Africa. Give groups of people 50 or so hours, an idea and set them to task creating a business -- easy peasy. Well maybe not. The folks at Startup Weekend Johannesburg have faith though, their event in its third year is coming back to the city of gold. The basics of the event is to together entrepreneurs, designers, developers and startup enthusiasts to participate in...

  • MyDoorHandle receives Google invitation to Blackbox Connect

    Dylan Kohlstadt and Steven Ellis from the Cape Town based startup MyDoorHandle have been invited to attend the Google for Entrepreneurs and BlackBox.vc entrepreneurial accelerator programme in San Francisco. This is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain and share valuable knowledge of the Valley. As part of a sponsorship by Google for Entrepreneurs, the Blackbox Connect is a two-week immersion programme where non-US based startups get the opportunity to be inspired, grow and connect with the top VC's and game changers in Silicon Valley. Part of Bandwidth Barn's 88mph acceleration programme, MyDoorHandle is a location-based service that allows...

  • Savannah Fund’s first graduating class: Ahonya, Kola Studios & Safaridesk

    Kenyan-based accelerator Savannah Fund has graduated its first class of startups in Africa. Savannah Fund is a seed capital fund that specialises in US$25 000-US$500 000 investments in early stage high growth tech (specifically web and mobile) startups in sub-Saharan Africa. The Fund is a partnership between Mbwana Alliy, Paul Bragiel and iHub founder Erik Hersman and is touted as "a fund for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs". The announcement came on the eve of Pivot East, an annual mobile startups competition and conference held in a East Africa. According to Savannah Fund, the three chosen startups from Ghana, Uganda and Kenya who...

  • Rocket Internet’s Easy Taxi secures $15m funding round

    Latin American taxi app Easy Taxi has just secured a US$15-million funding round from its original backer Latin America Internet Holding. According to the company, which is a product of German startup clone factory Rocket Internet, it is one of the largest internet investments in the region in the past few months and shows that investors are confident in its performance. The app has expanded across Latin America since its founding in Brazil in 2011 and plans are apparently afoot to take it to an even wider market. Dennis Wang, Head of International Expansion of Easy Taxi: “When we started the...

  • Rocket Internet’s SE Asian LAZADA secures huge funding for the region

    Things seem to be going well for Rocket Internet, with news and investments coming every week from the ecommerce cookie cutter company. This time it's with LAZADA, Southeast Asia's (SEA) largest online shopping "mall". The company has announced a new round of funding and the welcoming of Verlinvest, a Belgian family-owned, consumer-focused investment holding company as an investor. Together, with existing investors Holtzbrinck Ventures, Kinnevik, Summit Partners and Tengelmann Group, LAZADA's investors have pumped in an impressive US$100-million in a new round of funding. Rocket Internet, the startup clone incubator behind LAZADA, claims that this is one of the biggest...

  • Rocket Internet boasts crazy growth for Nigerian Amazon clone Jumia

    German serial web company copiers, Rocket Internet, is reporting that its Nigeria-based Amazon wannabe, Jumia, will move to a new 90 000 sqft warehouse in Lagos which will house 500 employees and "create the largest ecommerce campus in West Africa." Jumnia has now served more than 500 000 customers since its launch, one year ago and is reporting approximately 100 000 unique visitors a day -- making it Nigeria's fourth most visited website according to Rocket Internet (and 18th according to Alexa). The ecommerce site, together with partners Kaymu, Vamido and hellofood, has secured U$35-million in funding from Millicom...

  • Every1Mobile closes R18m angel round, announces 3 million monthly visits

    Every1Mobile (E1M), the company that specialises in building mass audiences via mobile in sub-Saharan Africa, announced that it has raised R18-million in angel investment. The company that runs its core operations from Cape Town, operates nine mobile sites covering education, health, jobs and entertainment aimed at the 15 to 35 age group. E1M, headquartered in the UK was founded in 2010. It uses the power of its mobile-enabled social networks to attract organisations that...

  • Premier news site Daily Maverick offers qualifying startups free advertising

    At a time when many online newsrooms are shuttering their content behind paywalls in the wake of trickling advertising revenues, one of South Africa's premier news sites, Daily Maverick (DM), is launching free advertising packages for qualifying businesses. Following a successful trial period, Daily Maverick is launching the initiative with the aim of helping small ventures get more exposure. While digital marketing is accessible to large businesses, small businesses are often cash-strapped...

  • 88mph calls on local investors to back 2014 fund, before heading overseas

    88mph has had a busy year so far closing up its 2013 Cape Town programme, but the startup accelerator is showing no signs of slowing down as it now turns its attention to next year. The priority is to begin fundraising for the 2014 fund, and the mobile-web centric programme wants local investors to get involved before it heads off overseas on 23 June to search for international investors. The ticket size is US$15 000 to US$100 000. It might not be a lot of time, but 88mph has some impressive numbers to back up its performance. US$2-million has been committed...

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