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Startup news

  • Zando founder, MD Manuel Koser resigns

    Zando co-founder and managing director Manuel Koser today announced his resignation from the South African online retailer. The entrepreneur will reportedly be leaving Zando to co-found Silvertree Capital, a "company builder and venture investor" in African startups. In a statement, Koser said that he would remain a shareholder in Zando. “I have decided to step down as MD of Zando.co.za to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures, as I am startup enthusiast and miss the excitement and hectic environment of setting up a company from scratch. I will still be a shareholder of Zando and leave the business on a...

  • Axel Springer Plug and Play: accelerator with Silicon Valley link opens

    While the debate still rages on whether or not Berlin will become Europe's new tech hub, it's not stopping some major players from placing their bets. A new accelerator from Germany will allow startups -- from all around the world -- dreaming of a Silicon valley experience, to get a foot in the door. Axel Springer, the German mega media company behind publications such as Bild.de and Die Welt is teaming up with Plug and Play Tech Center, the Silicon Valley-based to fund and accelerate early stage startups. Plug and Play Tech Center has a network of over 300 tech...

  • Mxit’s CEO quest: our picks for the top job

    It's been about five months since Mxit's board of directors (aka the people with the money) and Alan Knott-Craig Jnr had a showdown that resulted in his stepping down as CEO. Five months on and the company is still under acting CEO Francois Swart. The Vatican found a new leader in less time. So we thought we would help Mxit along with some candidates to consider. There have been some major shake ups since Knott-Craig's departure: retrenchments, products announcements and reshuffles. The way we see it, Mxit needs something new and different, it needs a non-Mxit person who can...

  • Mobilitrix Telmap partnership set to turn SA drivers into bargain hunters

    Telmap, the Israeli mobile navigation company that was acquired by Intel in 2011, recently announced a partnership with South African mobile rewards company, Mobilitrix. The deal will allow Telmap users in South Africa to search Mobilitrix's database of vouchers and coupons, as well as navigate to retailers where the mobile rewards can be redeemed. Telmap runs on iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms. While its main feature is navigation, Telmap has a legacy of offering users the ability to find things like restaurants, banks and other points of interest based on proximity. Mobilitrix was founded in Cape Town in 2007 with the aim...

  • The City of Cape Town can’t keep a good startup down, Powertime is back

    Powertime, the startup behind the unique mobile app that allows South Africans to buy prepaid electricity, is back on its feet. Last year, The Cape Town Electricity Department abruptly suspended, without notice, Powertime’s connection to sell prepaid electricity to residents in the City of Cape Town. The action subsequently killed 45% of Powertime's business and left the startup's future in doubt. Having taken back a key area for the company, Powertime is reporting growth of between 300 and 500 sign-ups per month. The City of Cape Town also allowed Powertime to reinstate its 2% VAT inclusive service charge, which the city...

  • Mega-corp Oracle to acquire South African enterprise cloud startup Nimbula

    American-based enterprise software titan, Oracle, will acquire South African startup, Nimbula, for an undisclosed sum of money. In an official blog post, the enterprise software maker said that it has agreed to buy Nimbula, a provider of private cloud infrastructure management software, in a bid to strengthen its own cloud offerings. Prior to the announcement, there had been speculation that the deal was going through in order to give Oracle a means...

  • Deal will see Habari Media advertising on 2go’s 10m strong chat network

    Instant messaging service, 2go is on a roll. Following the partnership announced with Nigerian music service iROKING recently, advertising house Habari Media today announced that it's adding 2go to its mobile advertising strategy. This partnership will allow Habari’s customers to target 2go's 10 million active users in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, of which 9 million are in Nigeria. While smartphone adoption in Africa is growing, 2go's support for 800 different types of feature phones allow Habari to reach a wider audience. Habari and 2go are reporting click-through rates of up to 15% on full-screen clickable Splash Ads and engagement...

  • Deal discovery and sharing startup Found launches, ‘Sport Shoppers’ rejoice

    Found Shopping, the deal discovery and sharing service from Cape Town launched its free app for iPhone and Android at the city's Design Indaba last week. We've been tracking Found's evolution for a while. The team behind Found's previous app, Pashash, was backed by Google Umbono -- now Google for Entrepreneurs -- and showed promise when it went on to win Startup World South Africa last year. Co-founder, Faheem Kajee, subsequently spent two months in Silicon Valley marketing and getting feedback before deciding to refocus the proposition specifically around sharing deals. Pashash was renamed to Found in order to represent...

  • Entrepreneurs Bootcamp launches with free online courses for entrepreneurs

    Entrepreneurs Bootcamp is a collection of nine free courses covering different aspects of entrepreneurship, designed by leading South African entrepreneurs. It's all kinds of brilliant and well worth a look. The project was designed for the Cape Town branch of the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) by online education company GetSmarter, with sponsorship from Van Schaik Publishers. The courses on offer include “Identifying opportunities”, “The legal environment”, “Effective marketing” and “Management and growth”. According to Sam Paddock, Managing Director at GetSmarter, “These 9 courses have been designed specifically for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. We’ve recorded over 90 video interviews with some of...

  • Hot SA tech startups from towns and rural communities head to the UK

    We recently introduced you to 18 entrepreneurs hand-picked by BT Global Services and MEDO from towns, townships and rural communities across South Africa. The group competed to secure their place on a trade visit to the United Kingdom in April later this year. The selected entrepreneurs will spend a week in the UK participating in training programmes, networking events and business and investor pitches. After a final pitching session to top level executives, we now know who made the cut. According to Judi Sandrock, CEO of MEDO says that although all the teams were well prepared and delivered business pitches...