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Startup news

  • Social hackathon to create solutions around early childhood development

    With the help of technology experts, creatives, and early childhood development (ECD) practitioners, the ECD hackathon hopes to find solutions to problems encountered in this sector. Some of the challenges include limited access to nutrition, lack of parental involvement, training for practitioners, and safety considerations. Along with its partners, Innovation Edge, the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University, GovHack, Ogilvy, and Silicone Cape, the Bertha Centre will be hosting the event. Seven Cape Town-based ECD organisations have been asked to think about their key challenges and how technology may help to facilitate. The creativity and feasibility of each solution will...

  • Are carpooling services Nigeria’s next big thing?

    In March, I spoke to the country manager of "the world’s sexiest startup", Uber, on how the company is faring in Nigeria. Among other things, Ebi Atawodi said the company is planning to introduce a carpooling service where individuals can use an Uber ride, consequently lowering cost. This is basically what Nigeria’s latest transport Jekalo is all about. The founders launched the company on 28 May mainly through a newsletter and social media. Its apparent novelty really got a lot of people talking about it, including social media influencers making me wonder how many of those that talked about it...

  • Pivot East 2015 announces mobile startup semi-finalists

    Pivot East, an East African-based startups competition for tech companies, has announced its semi-finalists for this year’s competition. All entries were based on a number of criteria were allowed from a large number of African countries, the majority being from East Africa. Going on its fifth year, the competition originally focused on app developers, but has shifted focus as a startup pitching event. The aim of Pivot East is to help startups organise and refine their business model. It also looks to expose these companies to investors, corporate, research and development companies, and the general public. According to the Pivot...

  • Tax assistant TaxTim starts expansion plans with PwC Namibia partnership

    South African online tax assistant TaxTim has helped more than 1.3 million local citizens do their taxes since it launched in 2011. With the help of advisory firm PwC, the company is expecting to boost that number even further by expanding to Namibia. More importantly, the neighbouring country acts as testing ground for its grander expansion plans. Having integrated with SARS eFiling late last year, the Cape Town-based company is now backed by 15 tax professionals at PwC's Windhoek office and contains all the knowledge and tax legislation required to output compliant tax returns for Namibia Inland Revenue. Read more: TaxTim will dramatically...

  • Rental startup Ekaya gets ex-Naspers angel on board amid expansion

    Specialising in finding and renting properties in Cape Town, Ekaya started beta testing its website last year. In a press release today, the company announced three new big expansions, which they hope will help them in their crusade to fix a broken rental industry. Considering how much of a nightmare renting is, this can only be a good thing. Ekaya will now be expanding its area of coverage to the whole of the Western Cape and Gauteng. After primarily serving Cape Town, and thus refining their systems while only operating in one city, Ekaya looks to be taking the rest of...

  • Seedstars World coins cinema booking site Moovi Mozambique’s top startup

    Global seed-stage competition for startups Seedstars World has kicked off its African tour in Maputo, Mozambique this week where cinema booking site Moovi walk away as the winning company. The inaugural event covers a total of 50 countries worldwide and managed 11 startups from Mozambique to pitch alongside Moovi. Runner-up Mozambikes provides branded bikes for rural areas while online shopping startup Compra came third. Online booking sites seems to be hot in Africa as of late. This week Nigeria's Hotels.ng announced an international investment worth over US$1.2-million. Moovi will be flown to Switzerland in February 2016 for the final event where it...

  • Startup competition Seedstars World 2015 to kick-off in Mozambique

    Seedstars World is a global competition for startups, which aims to find smart startups that solve regional issues, or develop profitable products for global markets. The competition's third incarnation kicks-off this may and will be taking place 26 May in Maputo, Mozambique. The seven-month event will be taking place in 12 different countries around Africa, which are Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Botswana. Once the regional winners have been selected, the final will take place in February 2016, in Switzerland. Contestants are competing for a US$1.5-million in equity investments and various other prizes. This final...

  • Ignitor wants to help create lean startups

    Many startups focus on obtaining funding as soon as possible instead of trying to make their idea work first. Ignitor, a Johannesburg-based company, is aimed at helping startups see this isn't always the correct path. More specifically, Ignitor is focused on helping entrepreneurs create a lean and break-even business. As a free course funded by sponsors, such as Standard Bank, Microsoft, and The Green Fund, Ignitor offers entrepreneurs -- what they call -- a new model in company development. The program consists of a 3-day boot camp, 12-weeks of coaching, 50 online video modules, and introductions to a local network...

  • Lagos StartupWeek hopes to become ‘next big thing’ in Africa’s tech ecosystem

    Lagos is fast becoming a startup powerhouse in Africa. It’s not only the second fastest growing city in Africa, but the seventh internationally. In the past year the city launched car ordering service Uber, CcHub announced three new incubator companies, and a continent-wide logistics program from two of its largest ecommerce stores, among other things. The city will soon be host to Lagos StartupWeek, an event geared towards entrepreneurs and business owners not only in Lagos, but all over Africa. The week-long initiative expects to host one thousand participants from across Lagos, the greater region, the US, and the UK...

  • Kenya’s million dollar bitcoin startup BitPesa expands to Tanzania

    Kenyan bitcoin startup BitPesa is expanding to neighbouring Tanzania about a year after it launched its mobile-friendly digital currency exchange. Since then, the innovative company has raised a total of US$1.8-million from international investors and is slowly but surely expanding across Africa with other emerging markets in its sights as well. Company CEO Elizabeth Rossiello recently spoke at the Bitcoin Africa Conference in Cape Town where she highlighted the real need bitcoin technology can address in the continent's financial services sector. "We're the first company on the planet to link mobile money with bitcoin," she boasted. "About 97% of the...