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Startup news

  • 6 brilliant SA startups chosen for U-Start startup showcase in Milan

    Last week we took a look at the finalists for the U-Start Bloom Business Plan Competition. U-Start, the Italian funding platform behind the competition, have now released the names of the six winning South African startups chosen for the startup showcase to be held in Milan later this year. Winners are split between two groups. Growth sector winners Medical Diagnostic -- The company manufactures lateral flow rapid diagnostic test kits. Ad Dynamo -- An advertising network. The startup isn't listed as an initial finalist and appears to have been a late entry. Mimiboard Umuntu -- Umuntu helps communities create and share content. Read our...

  • Seed Engine selects first 6 startups, applications remain open

    Since we last checked in on Seed Engine, the accelerator has begun its first 13 week accelerator boot camp. Six teams of entrepreneurs have been selected from more than 300 applications. Each venture has been given R100 000 startup capital to convert their ideas into practical business plans ready to attract further investment at a demo day in May. Entrepreneurs hope to raise between R200 000 and R2-million. Marc Elias, CEO of Seed Engine says that the ventures selected are all tech focused, have international appeal as well as disruptive and scalable qualities. "There is tremendous energy in our Sandton based...

  • CityMob gets Wantitall investment boost

    South African ecommerce player Wantitall has just closed a deal which will see it invest an undisclosed sum of money in flash sales specialist CityMob. According to Business Tech, the investment is designed to help CityMob improve its logistics, warehousing and systems as well as giving it access to more potential customers. Wanitall has steadily climbed the South African ecommerce ranks over the past few years, stocking electronics, toys, jewellery and books, meaning that it competes with heavy hitters in the space such as Kalahari and a Takealot. “We’re extremely excited about this new partnership, it will allow us to...

  • Corporates courting startups: entrepreneurship in the enterprise

    When we spoke to IBM last year, the world's largest IT company predicted a decrease in consumer-facing startups. New ventures, it said, will be increasingly targeting enterprise environments. It's no longer just enterprise heavy-weights such as Oracle, IBM, Accenture and SAP that can compete in corporate environments. Powerful, cost-effective cloud services and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies have opened up an industry ready for disruption -- slow-moving corporate environments offer opportunities for nimble startups, that can often tailor make solutions. Still, it remains harder to build solutions for the enterprise. Startups often end up working on larger, more complex problems with higher quality...

  • Vinny Lingham’s Gyft launches APIs for third-party apps

    Gyft, the mobile gifting service from Yola founder Vinny Lingham, has announced the launch of APIs to extend gift cards into third-party apps. While the APIs also allow people to integrate Gyft into websites and other services, the focus is primarily on mobile. "A lot of developers out there have points, rewards, and unredeemed credits, and they want to offer a way for their users to cash out those points or credits,” Lingham told TechCrunch. Gyft, he says, offers a better alternative for developers than bill pay systems which charge transaction fees “We’re focused on mobile,” he adds. “There...

  • Seed accelerator 88mph gets a VC boost from 4Di Capital

    Independent early-stage VC fund, 4Di Capital is investing in 88mph, the African seed accelerator. Details of the deal remain under wraps, but CEO and founder of 4Di, Justin Stanford, tells Ventureburn that the investment deal will see 4Di share a stake in 88mph graduates. In addition to funding, the investment from the Cape Town-based 4Di will provide 88mph startups greater access to a network of local investors and enhances the possibility for follow-on funding. Stanford says that the deal is part of building a credible ecosystem, one he hopes will draw more angel investment and move the "Silicon Cape" concept forward. He...

  • PhotoMania looks to carve niche as a ‘social-photo editor’

    There are two parties going on in the photo-sharing-platform world. The first party is outgoing, social, and the more guests talk and share between themselves (and with their friends outside the party), the better. This type of party often only has one or a few tricks (filters, effects), and prefers to rely on the social nature of their guests to provide entertainment and thrive. These are the photo-social platforms and their king is Instagram. The second type of party is a bit more quiet. Far fewer guests attend even though there is much better entertainment and tricks (filters, effects) for...

  • 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...