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Startups

  • This startup wants to help you level up your knowledge in the most fun way possible

    These days there's a sense that if you're not constantly looking to improve yourself, you might as well be standing still. Given the rate at which the sum total of human knowledge is expanding, there's probably some merit to that. There are plenty of tools out there that aim to help you keep up, but the truth is very few of them are actually fun to use. Enter 42Courses. This Edtech startup, founded by ex-head of Innovation for Ogilvy & Mather in Africa Chris Rawlinson, aims to make the digital world of education the best, fun and most speedily...

  • 8 SA companies using the Uber business model to disrupt their industries

    Whether you like it or not, Uber's on-demand business model has resulted in a flood of companies using a similar strategy. There are Uber-like services for rival taxi companies, doctors, massages and even dagga, showing that the business model is here to stay. What about South African services that use this strategy? PicUp PicUp promises to take the hassle out of package deliveries by harnessing the power of WeChat. The delivery service boasts a fleet of couriers at your fingertips, using everything from bicycles to cars to transport your goods. Essentially, if it can be hauled on a bicycle or put on the backseat...

  • 5 startups that will help you automate SEO-related processes in 2016

    Although factors such as keyword distribution, domain age and URL structure still play a critical role in SEO, they are not really enough to get your website to the first positions in Google search. Instead, with the world of SEO shifting towards content and context, intelligent tools that help in gathering information on user behavior, media mentions, industry contacts and competitors have become essential for a successful SEO strategy. Having in mind all these processes, there are obviously plenty of areas where automation can help individual SEO experts or agencies work more effectively. This is particularly true considering the...

  • Solving global problems is the best way for Nigerian startups to scale globally

    Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is getting attention from within and outside Africa even though the ecosystem is less than a decade old. The successes of ecommerce giants, Jumia and Konga, were an eye opener to the potentials of the tech market in Nigeria yet few startups are profitable, very few are scaling up and expanding to other markets. Simeon Ononobi, Founder and CEO of MyAds.ng, an advertising platform that recently expanded to India and plans to roll out in more countries outside Africa, believes that the chance of Nigerian startups growing to become ‘unicorns’ such as Google, Facebook and Twitter...

  • Peer-to-peer review platform Hi5 shows success outside of SA

    Peer reviews and 360s can be a daunting and challenging task for employees and companies alike. Cape Town-based startup Hi5 is looking to try and simplify the entire process. To date, 90% of the signups for Hi5 have come from outside of South Africa, specifically from the US, UK, and Australia. "I think the reason it's doing well, is that it's helping fast-paced companies take the laborious time intensive administration out of managing staff and replaces it with a solution to help managers focus on staff growth, which ultimately increases efficiency and reduces employee turnover," writes founding partner, Gary Willmott. Each employee is...

  • Exclusive: Sendr delivers SA’s next big courier startup

    South African-based startup Sendr wants to deliver your packages in a flash. Its on-demand service means parcels can be delivered in an hour. "We're an Uber of parcels, documents and small items. We see ourselves as a personal concierge service," says co-founder and CEO of Sendr, Neo Lekgabo (pictured above centre). Sendr is based around a delivery app. The customer books a collection and the company handles the rest, including insurance for all items that are transported. Where this startup stands out from the rest is its utilisation of a one-time password (OTP) system. In order for any delivery to take place, the...

  • This crowdsourced phrasebook app wants to help South Africans understand each other

    South Africa, like our ever globalising world, is made up of a really diverse bunch. It's colourful but often messy. This is where Aweza steps in. It's a novel app that wants to help people better communicate and understand each other. Developed in Cape Town, Aweza is a phrasebook app which essentially pairs pictures with common phrases. It relies on crowdsourcing and gamification techniques to ensure correct pronunciations of South Africa's 11 languages. Pretty cool, right? But for the guys currently behind this project -- Glen Stein, Jeanne Fourie and Farrel Strul -- it's more than an educational product. It's about...

  • This app wants to completely change the way South Africans pay for parking

    We've all been there. You go to the mall, get your shopping done, and head towards your car, only to find that you have no cash for the parking machine. And so you find an ATM, draw some cash, break that cash, and finally pay for your parking, muttering "there must be a simpler way" all the while. It was just such an experience which led KaChing founders Jaco Marais and Rudolph de Wet to decide enough was enough and build such that simpler way themselves. That decision led to KaChing, an app which aims to take the hassle out...

  • Ideo: the mattress startup that wants to look after your sleep [Update]

    Purchasing a mattress can be a tiring, frustrating process; there are a lot of sales hoops to jump through. Ideo is the startup looking to make purchasing mattresses easier with its own online store and product. The it may not be a fintech solution or a Uber-style business, but it’s a damn fine idea. "Everyone has a mattress shopping story as I found out," says Robin Jones, CEO and founder of Ideo. The idea for Ideo came together from two different events in Jones's life. He had previously been working in the online space for the past five years, trying different ideas,...

  • This Google-backed startup from SA is training thousands of coders

    If South Africa is to really become a knowledge economy, it seriously needs to develop the youth's Computer Science skills. That's a no-brainer. But while government and academia have their hands full, creative minds are putting inspiring initiatives in motion to foster the country's next generation of software developers. Hyperion Development is one of these gems. Since it launched in 2012, the Durban-headquartered company has allegedly helped over 8 500 people from six Southern African countries in software development training. "We are fortunate to have the ability to scale this online platform to the point where I don't know everyone's names...