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Startup news

  • Snapplify readies ebook distribution platform for SA schools

    ePublishing startup Snapplify is set to provide South African learners access to (digital) educational content through a new, and free, eBook store. Snapplify states that it has been watching South Africa's academic space for some time, all the while developing solutions "aimed specifically to help more schools access eBooks." The thinking behind the move is that while many students in the country, and other emerging markets, don't have access to physical textbooks, a lot of learners do have mobile phones or tablets. Working with publishers Oxford University Press, Pearson and Macmillan, Snapplify's free eBook store will function as a platform through...

  • Get in the Ring: calling all startups keen for up to €1-million investment

    Get in the Ring: The Investment Battle is startup pitches meets boxing. Except for the fact that there's no actual boxing involved. There is a ring, though, in which participants must battle it out to stand a chance of securing up to €1 000 000 (R15 000 000) in investments. Now, that's a lot of money, so competition will be tough with 2 000 participating startups hailing from 50 countries. This year, Get in the Ring (GITR) by Erasmus University Rotterdam will take place in South Africa for the very first time with the national final hosted by Silicon...

  • Online art gallery named winner of Lean Startup Machine Cape Town

    This weekend, at the first ever Lean Startup Machine Cape Town presented by ROI Media, we saw about 15 teams of young entrepreneurs pitch, plan, pivot, plan and, ultimately pitch their startup ideas again. Though the competition was incredibly impressive and tough, online marketplace for art, The Artery, stepped up as the ultimate winner. The winning team consists of Cara Coetzee, Nathan Burstein, Werner van Rooyen and Jason Sive and Nic Robertson. By democratising art, the team hopes that a new generation of art lovers will be created. The startup eliminates the art gallery middleman. It sells art online, which means...

  • HP opens up SMB Forum to help SA business with tech solutions

    HP South Africa recently announced the HP SMB Forum which, together with Intel and Microsoft, aims to further the interests of local small business by strengthening their relationships with tech and other professional services. According to Microsoft’s recently concluded economic impact report entitled Ahead of the curve: Lessons on technology and growth from small business leaders, SMEs are more willing to embrace new solutions and are better positioned to encourage job growth. Tracey Newman, SME Lead for Microsoft SA says, "We feel that the small to medium business market is critical to the economic success of South Africa as a...

  • India’s Flipkart raises $210 million, investors include Naspers

    Hot off the back of acquiring rival online shopping site Myntra, India's ecommerce leader Flipkart announced that it has raised a new round of funding at US$210 million. Flipkart, which is often referred to as the 'Indian Amazon' saw this round led by DST Global, while other investors included Tiger Global, Iconiq Capital, and South African-based Naspers. Flipkart's acquisition of fashion ecommerce site Myntra was reported to be around the US$300 million mark and it was anticipated that Flipkart would raise more capital. In total, the company has now raised around US$540-560 million in VC funding, all this without being profitable. Flipkart, whose founders...

  • Yachtsie makes booking yachts easier than a flight, car or hotel

    Booking a car, flight or hotel has become pretty darn easy in the 21st century thanks to smartphones, Google and specific online services. However, for fans of sailing, booking a yacht has always been a time consuming, and difficult endeavour -- at least that's how Steve Raw, an Oxford-educated engineer and RYA Yachtmaster, felt about the process. That's why he founded Yachtsie, a web-based yacht booking service that hopes to make securing a yacht for hire as easy as booking that car, flight or hotel. "The purpose of Yachtsie is to make it really easy to find and book high quality yachts....

  • Lean Startup Machine launches Cape Town event: ‘Fail fast. Succeed faster’

    Lean Startup Machine (LSM) is a tried and tested, world-renowned methodology that's based on the principle for startups to "fail fast and succeed faster." Brought to us by ROI Media, from 30 May to 1 June, LSM Cape Town will host a three-day event consisting of fifty-second pitches, essential workshops and training, judges and ultimately winners. Participants' ideas will be refined and put to the test under the guidance of well-acclaimed mentors such as Snapscan co-founder Kobus Ehlers, Andrew Smith from Yuppiechef, co-founder of WooThemes Mark Forrester, Groupon SA CEO Wayne Gosling, and many more. Trevor Owens, founder of Javelin, is...

  • MzansiStore takes SA crafters online as it surpasses crowdfunding goal

    MzansiStore is an online marketplace for South African merchants selling handcrafted products to both national and international audiences. A member of Cape Town World Design Capital 2014, the online shop recently managed to raise funds using the local crowdfunding site, Thundafund, in an effort to support local talent. The Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 matched MzansiStore's R10 000 funding goal which brought the total up to decent R22 750. MzansiStore founder Deidre Luzmore told Ventureburn that although the marketing of the crowdfunding campaign was tough, it's success does highlight the great support from the community. The funds will be...

  • Meet the 7 startups that pitched at Net Prophet’s Sparkup!Live

    Last night the big names in technology and investment met up in downtown Cape Town with some of the most promising startup offerings in the city. Net Prophet's Sparkup!Live is a self-professed business gauntlet connecting founders to secure investment and (for some) a very prosperous future. The event hosted pitches by the top seven startups to come out of Net Prophet’s coveted training program for startups this past weekend. The key angel investors were made up of Cape Town’s technology investor, including Justin Stanford, founder of Silicon Cape Initiative and 4Di Capital. Here are our impressions of the startups that...

  • Zimbabwe Startup Weekend crowns winner: Kwese Music

    Zimbabwe's first Startup Weekend was hosted by the local tech hub Hypercube recently and saw a three-day event full of mentors, judges and pitches. Out of all the entrepreneurs who pitched, the three finalists were MoneyGame, Combi Code and Kwese Music. The latter of which walked away with a bunch of prizes worth US$78 000. Tech Zim reports that Kwese Music has made an app and device called K'tamba which can conduct electrical current using everyday objects, such as fruit, as musical instruments. These instruments are then connected to a computer and an app which could then be used to...

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