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Startup news

  • 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...

  • South Africa’s mobile messaging services industry to get a shake up

    South Africa's mobile services industry is apparently getting a shake up. According to Panacea Mobile, a mobile a services company, 40% of SMS campagins sent to customers fail to deliver due to incorrect or out-dated information. Since companies can send millions of messages in a month, the cost for these undelivered messages can be compounded tremendously. The company aims to rectify this. The startup claims to offer South African companies a unique...

  • Mobile payment solution Gust bursts into beta

    Mobile payment solutions Square and PayPal Here have yet to enter Africa and with the gap left wide open, we're seeing startups stepping forward to stake a claim. Three distinctly different non-NFC mobile payment solutions, all currently operating in stealth mode, are on Ventureburn's radar: the card-free, pin-entry system from Ching Payments, the Square-like card-reader solution from CheqOut and now, a Wi-Fi geo-fence startup called Gust. When Ventureburn's sister site, Memeburn, first wrote about Gust, the company was on track to deliver a beta in June of this year. The Gust app should be available in the Apple App Store...

  • SA startup to publish Arabic ebooks in deal with major regional online player

    Snapplify, a service that transform PDFs into company branded mobile applications, has signed a deal with Kotobarabia, an online e-book store that specialises in Arabic content. The deal with the South African-based startup has apparently been signed in a bid to make Kotobarabia's content available to a wider audience. In part this is because it's easier to make Snapplify's mobile apps available to a wide range of devices and also because conventional e-publishing...

  • Meet 19 of Korea’s hottest startups

    South Korea is a leading player in the global tech industry with Korean brands leaving their mark in various sectors. Thing is, you don't usually hear all that much about the country's startup ecosystem. If BeLaunch, which calls itself "South Korea’s first and biggest global startup-tech conference", has its way all that could soon change. The conference aims to connect the emerging startup ecosystem in Korea with global players through a two-day event taking place over 13 and 14 June. The conference has just announced the final group of startups that will pitch at the event, selected from a...

  • 3 up-and-coming Asian startups to keep an eye on

    It's a crowded marketplace for startups, but there are quite a few companies who are doing something interesting. Hopeful startups battled it out in pitch sessions at the recent Echelon 2012 event in Singapore, hoping to walk away with the title of the top startup and a smattering of prizes. Builk, a niche social network for construction industry professionals, eventually came out on top, but some of the other finalists are just as innovative. Here are three startups working in the cloud storage sphere, developing HR solutions for businesses and streamlining consumer rewards. PayrollHero This payroll management software from the...

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