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Startups

  • 13 South African startups to look out for in 2013

    It’s been a busy year for South Africa’s startup scene and as we start winding down the last quarter of 2012, we decided to reflect on some of the successes we witnessed. The startups listed here either secured funding this year, or were recognised at a competition. While the list isn’t intended to be exhaustive, these are the stories we reported on, so you can read more about the startups, competitions and venture capital companies that help drive South Africa’s entrepreneurial community forward. Being self-funded is great, but if you find yourself weighing seed capital, new funding rounds or...

  • Design like a machine? Get your original infographic featured on Ventureburn

    Some of the biggest names in tech have... um... interesting beginnings. Motorola was originally the name of a car radio, Facebook started in a dorm room and Google began its life as a research project. Think you can tell their stories better than a boring Wikipedia page? We’re looking for a talented designer to create an original infographic that shows how major players in the tech industry went from hopeful startups to household names....

  • Meet Hike: the Indian messaging startup going after WhatsApp

    As Korea gave birth to Kakaotalk, Japan to Line, and China to WeChat, an Indian startup is looking to have its own group messaging smash hit with the new Hike app. For the moment, Hike is Android-only, but versions for iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Symbian are in the works. Also, Hike has been focusing on just India in its first few months of running – but the aim is for it to go global. Of course, New Delhi-based Hike will need to challenge some other behemoths in this space, such as Whatsapp, and eventually Apple’s iMessage too. To do...

  • Daterly: a new social dating network emerges from the African startup scene

    Online dating sites like Match and eHarmony use matching algorithms to identify romantic partners, but this approach is believed to be flawed. The New York Times cites a study that divulges 80 years of scientific research on what makes couples romantically compatible. It turns out, the core of traditional matching algorithms, similar interests and personality traits, are not key to predicting happy relationships. So what works? Well, good old fashion dating is still the best way to tell if you’re a match, but a new “social dating network" called Daterly, believes that by building “an online social resume," couples could...

  • 6 data journalism startups you need to know about

    The Knight News Foundation has announced the six winners in its latest Knight News Challenge, focused on data journalism projects. The six winners -- who "make it easier to access and use information on local communities, air quality, elections, demographics and more" -- received a combined total of US$2.22 million in prize money. The data challenge, one of three launched by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation this year, accelerates projects...

  • If I see another Chinese eCommerce startup, I may get sick

    It seems like one in every three startups I come across these days — especially in China — is an e-commerce startup. I understand why this is the case. People look at companies like Alibaba and think, ‘holy cow, there’s an awful lot of money to be made here.’ Or they look at a company like La Miu working in a niche and think, ‘hey, there’s room for me in there.’ No, there isn’t. Also, I hate you. I get that you want to do a startup, but China has e-commerce sites, both big and niche. Your idea for a...

  • A closer look at GE Software: a rising startup in Silicon Valley

    One of the largest startups in and around Silicon Valley is GE Global Software in San Ramon, California, a brand new division of giant General Electric, built from scratch into an organization of 400 engineers, growing to as many as 800 software engineers and researchers by year end. Betting big on software is a key business strategy for GE. The business group's annual revenues were more than $142 billion in 2012. In 2008 they were nearly $180 billion. Software businesses have high profit margins especially if they can be applied across a large user base. Software is a far more...

  • Health and welfare mobile service Impilo is powerful, free

    Impilo is a new mobile service that helps people easily locate health and wellbeing service providers in South Africa. It can also be used to give confidential feedback on the services received at public health and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) service points. The service is free -- no airtime is required -- and as it is USSD based, it will work on any mobile phone. To use it, simply dial *130*448# and follow the menu prompts. Impilo is the only service of its kinds that has been zero-rated by almost all of the major mobile phone networks in...

  • Plans this weekend? No? You should probably check out Gigham

    Gigham popped up on our radar earlier this year when the guys behind it pitched their idea for a new type of online events portal at Google's startup incubation project, Umbono. People living in the Mother City and Jozi are not exactly left wanting for things to do, but it's not always that easy to find out what's going on. Some folks are particular about what they're looking for and others are more intrepid and would like to try something new. Gigham aims to cater for both groups with over 2000 events in total listed for both cities. When the...

  • No Picket Fence: a new hub for South African entrepreneurial knowledge

    I’ll admit that I was skeptical about No Picket Fence, essentially a Quora for South African entrepreneurs. Like the popular question and answer site by ex-Facebook CTO, Adam D'Angelo, No Picket Fence is a knowledge market, but niched to cater exclusively for South African entrepreneurs. With a lot of functionality overlap I wondered, “what’s the point?" I’ve been lurking around the site for months now and it’s clear my initial skepticism has no merit. There’s something special here. Founders Michael Bouchier and Michael Cowen are candid about their appreciation of Quora. The site’s engagement format and the community quality inspired...