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Startup news

  • SnapScan rolls out pilot phase for ecommerce payments

    A South African-based mobile payment application, SnapScan, has started rolling out its test phase for ecommerce plugins. The new system will enable customers to purchase from select online stores using the SnapScan application. Up until now, SnapScan has only been available for retail outlets. The payment process is near identical to standard SnapScan usage. You proceed to the store's checkout system and select the SnapScan button for payment. You'll then be presented with a QR code to be "snapped" with the app. Once payment is complete the store and SnapScan will notify you. Rupert Sully, the head of new business at SnapScan, reiterates...

  • Innovate much? SA Innovation Summit competitions might be just for you

    The SA Innovation Summit is back this year, showcasing some of the country's most exciting talents and ideas in Cape Town. While the eighth event of its kind will host a range of speakers and exhibit the latest innovations from across different industries, it's also inviting inventors, entrepreneurs and companies to pitch their ideas and businesses. There will be two competitions at the SA Innovation Summit this year: The PwC Pitching Den and The Inventors’ Garage. There are two categories for the PwC Pitching Den catering for startups as well as emerging companies with tech-enabled solutions. Startups have a chance to...

  • Rwanda’s Think adds 4 new startups to its accelerated incubator

    Think, a Rwandan-based startup accelerator, has recently added four new startups to its new programme. Taking place over the course of three months, entrants in Think Accelerated will be part of a high-intensity offering. The programme hopes to be faster and more immersive than its standard six-month course. Having launched in 2014, Think, based in Kigali, Rwanda, aims to incubate tech startups with digital solutions that can scale across Africa. The decision to add a three-month fast-track offering, while still continuing the core six-month version, allows entrepreneurs to return to their home markets after the intense session. Entrants will receive financing, strategic...

  • Upforit challenges, rewards South Africans to get fit

    Could you do ten days without sweets and chocolate? No? What if you get free coffee or have a couple of friends spotting you all the way? Upforit is a new online platform that hopes to get South Africans healthy and fit by introducing elements of motivation, prizes, health tips, product information and expert advice. Essentially, you sign up with your email address or cellphone number to do a lifestyle challenge, invite friends to join you, and get rewarded. It's as simple as that. The rewards consist of things like vouchers or customer loyalty points. Currently there are Vida e Cafe...

  • PoS terminal startup Nomanini, TranSol partner to expand to Ghana

    Nomanini, a South African-based Point of Sale (PoS) service provider, has partnered up with Transactions Solutions Ghana Limited (TranSol) to substantially scale the number of its cloud-based PoS terminals in Ghana. The TranSol partnership signals Nomanini’s first scaled project commitment in West Africa, with Kuda Mushambi, the COO of Nomanini, revealing the company’s hope to use this opportunity to further Nomanini’s involvement in the Western African region. The South African-based Nomanini is responsible for an innovative and "highly scalable" cloud-based mobile PoS terminal. It has until this point been plying its trade in six countries (Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa...

  • M4JAM appoints WeChat, Tencent big guns to board of directors

    South African micro-jobbing service M4JAM has appointed a couple of big hitters -- in the shape of Brett Loubser, head of WeChat Africa, and Poshu Yeung, general manager of international business at Tencent -- to its board of directors. In a press release issued to Ventureburn by the company, it says that the two "will work closely with other board members to bolster M4JAM’s disruptive business model to be a global success". Involving both does make sense, given that M4JAM's service is predominantly WeChat-based. Being able to tap directly into the mind of a Tencent executive (the company owns WeChat)...

  • SA’s mobile TV app Tuluntulu part of Foundry50’s top global startups

    South African TV and audio streaming app Tuluntulu is named one of Unilever's Foundry50 top startups from around the globe. Tuluntulu is the first startup from Africa recognised by Foundry and will be introduced to relevant marketers and agencies from around the globe at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Unilever is one of the world's biggest ad agencies with over 7 000 marketers at its disposal and 300 designated as mentors for the selected Foundry50 startups. "The reality is that the more the marketing industry can get behind startups, pilot with them, partner with them and help them scale,...

  • Startupbootcamp Insurance Accelerator gets support from JSE listed financial group

    Global startup accelerator Startupbootcamp's Insurance Accelerator programme is getting early investment support from South African financial services group MMI Holdings, which along with Lloyds Banking Group, Momentum and many others hope to foster innovation in the financial services space. Based in London, the three-month accelerator programme invites startups from all over the world, that focuses on different areas within insurance, including consumer, re-insurance, back-office efficiency and new risk models. Nektarios Liolios, the co-founder of Startupbootcamp FinTech, says in a press release that the Insurance Accelerator programme aims to connect early-stage companies with relevant communities. "The insurance industry is calling out for...

  • Microsoft BizSpark Plus offers $120k Azure credits to startups, partners with Sw7

    Tech companies dominate the startup scene, but it's often difficult to get these businesses off the ground. Starting 1 July, Microsoft's BizSpark Plus platform, in partnership with top global accelerators, will offer Azure credit to select businesses. This new partnership will give select startups US$120 000 Azure Cloud Credits in order to cultivate their business ideas. The partnership is in conjunction with 150 startup accelerators in 47 countries around the world. Sw7 will be representing the African-arm of the BizSpark Plus program. Odette Jones, Sw7 co-founder, is excited about the announcement:"This is a very exciting endorsement for what we have...

  • SA’s fire detection startup Lumkani named finalist in Index Awards 2015

    Lumkani, the South African startup behind the innovative fire detecting device, is a finalist in the globally renowned design competition Index: Award 2015. Lumkani and the other finalists had to meet vigorous criteria to be chosen as finalists. The most important being their strength and creativity in improving people’s lives, as well as their overall rank across the INDEX: Award criteria of form, impact, context. Ranging from body, home, work and play, other finalists include Foldscope by Stanford engineers Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski, language and text translation platform Duolingo, the Ambulance Drone by Dutch designer Alec Momont, the Google...