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Startup news

  • Startups to ‘Ignite’ Tech4Africa 2011

    Tech4Africa, one of the continent’s most prominent web and emerging technology conferences, has launched an initiative called Ignite, which will provide leading African startups with the opportunity to pitch their products to a carefully curated panel of Angel investors, mentors and business leaders. Startups selected to partake in the Tech4africa Ignite pitches will be given five minutes to showcase their products, with the opportunity to gain not only potential investors but also invaluable exposure to the wider Tech4Africa audience of thought leaders, decision makers, journalists, influential people and potential recruits. From the initial applications, a select group of the most...

  • Lessfuss and the Virtual PA — A workable concept?

    Few of us would turn down the use of a personal concierge service. With the rise in busy lifestyles and the need to still get the more mundane tasks of everyday life sorted, one online startup reckons it has a solution. Cape Town-based Lessfuss is an online personal assistance service for busy people who can’t afford or don’t need a full-time PA. This is according to Marije Pierson, one of the company’s...

  • Ra.ise a to.ast with some Bre.ad

    URL shorteners have become ubiquitous to social networking, especially with the sharing of links across Twitter. Bit.ly, Cli.gs, Goo.gl and many others offer an easy and painless way for you to shorten your URL within the 140 character constraint of Twitter. Most of these URL shortening services offer a simple analytics dashboard which is useful for tracking and analysing the number of times people shared your links or clicked on them. But a little known service called Bre.ad is gaining in popularity. What is Bre.ad? from Bre.ad on Vimeo. Bre.ad, which has only five employees and backers that include Lady Gaga's manager, has decided...

  • Myows: managing your copyright online

    Creative people are generally not well known for being legally switched on. But the challenges of protecting original work in the digital age means bloggers, freelance writers, photographers and web designers should all be prepared to interact with the law to protect their intellectual efforts -- and their businesses. Luckily, the concept of copyright is pretty straightforward: as soon as a work is created in a tangible form – be it on paper, film, online or in sound – it is eligible for copyright. It is automatic and, unlike patents or trademarks, official registration is not required. If, however, there is...

  • Visa snaps up SA mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110m

    Visa, the world's largest credit and debit card network, has snapped up South African mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110-million in cash. The Cape Town-based Fundamo is a privately-held company which has more than 50 active mobile financial services deployments across 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The company has been operating since 1999 and has a number of funders which include Cape Town venture capitalists and emerging market investment group PoweredByVC, investment company Remgro and financial services corporate Sanlam. PoweredByVC is also linked to dot.com billionaire Mark Shuttleworth. Fundamo’s deployments currently have...

  • Uconomy: The business of customer loyalty

    Customer loyalty is a problem for new businesses and one startup believes it may have found the solution through a mobile application service. Uconomy, a Cape Town-based company, claims it offers an integrated m-marketing and mobile loyalty option to the SMME and consumer market. Considering the importance of loyalty amongst the world’s large companies, the claim is worth considering. Henry Land and Florian Lucke, the founders of Uconomy, are targeting companies ranging from township entrepreneurs right through to established medium-sized businesses in the formal sector with their service. It’s part of the company’s effort to capitalise on the success of traditional...

  • GetGlue brings social check-ins to media and entertainment

    People like to be rewarded for things they would probably do anyway. Hence it stands to reason that sooner or later someone would capitalise on this. And that is what entertainment check-in network GetGlue did -- by offering real and virtual incentives for consuming media online. GetGlue, founded in 2009 by New York City entrepreneur Alex Iskold, has pioneered the media check-in space, piggybacking on the Foursquare phenomenon with more than one million users earning stickers and discounts as they watch, read and listen. Sites like Foursquare and Gowalla have come a long way offering virtual “badges” to complement the...

  • WebGrowth — Boosting your business’ Google ranking

    Many companies want to rank better in search. Many SEO tricks have seen companies try to fight their way to number one. Google's Panda has made things a little difficult for a few companies. Many SEO consultants claim to be able to help companies caught in the "Panda's" grip. Help companies work well with the "Panda". One such company is WebGrowth, a South African-based startup has a project management tool for SEO research using Google analytics, Google webmaster tools and Majestic SEO designed to meet the need - pulling data from the net to focus on boosting the profile of...

  • Mobiflock — Helping parents keep an eye on kids’ mobile habits

    We live in a mobile centric society. To deny that would be foolish. Everyone has a mobile phone -- adults, teens and children. The consequences of children using mobile phones have been constantly featured in the news. Parents fear the dangers that await their children on many mobile platforms. A new startup has entered the mobile stage to help parents keep track of their children's mobile usage. Mobilflock, a Cape Town-based startup, that says it makes "cell phones safe for kids by giving parents visibility over how they use their phones, and tools to protect their children from harm". The...

  • Kickstart your startup with Google and Silicon Cape

    How often have you had a great idea that you were convinced could become a major hit, if only you had a team to help you realise it? Or perhaps you're a great developer waiting for just the right project to work on that will maximise your talents? If either of these scenarios sound familiar to you, then you need to make sure you're at the Ideas & Builders event, hosted by Silicon Cape and the Google Umbono team. The Ideas and Builders Event takes place on Wednesday 20th April, 2011, and runs from 6:30PM to 9:30 PM. Umbono is...