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  • Startups, listen up: No, you don’t need an app

    It seems like everyone who’s starting a business nowadays wants an app. They want to go mobile first and launch an app -- maybe just on one platform too. Because, you know, that's how you launch a lean startup right? “I want it to be like Uber crossed with AirBnB” or “the way Instagram launched on only one platform.” If you’re thinking about your app in this way, you’re doing it all wrong. Going mobile-first only makes sense in a couple of situations where (a) your users need to use you on the move or (b) if the service requires a...

  • Ventureburn presents: the beginner’s guide to growth hacking

    The term growth hacking has been thrown around for a while now. Well, pretty much since 2010 when it was coined by Sean Ellis at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Despite having been around for five years now though, it seems that there is still a lot of confusion around exactly what a growth hacker is. Simply put, a growth hacker is an individual whose sole focus is around growth. Growth at all costs. Every action and every strategic or tactical decision is centred on growth. Growth hackers are not necessarily marketers; nor are they better than marketers (as I have...

  • Lagos StartupWeek hopes to become ‘next big thing’ in Africa’s tech ecosystem

    Lagos is fast becoming a startup powerhouse in Africa. It’s not only the second fastest growing city in Africa, but the seventh internationally. In the past year the city launched car ordering service Uber, CcHub announced three new incubator companies, and a continent-wide logistics program from two of its largest ecommerce stores, among other things. The city will soon be host to Lagos StartupWeek, an event geared towards entrepreneurs and business owners not only in Lagos, but all over Africa. The week-long initiative expects to host one thousand participants from across Lagos, the greater region, the US, and the UK...

  • Kenya’s million dollar bitcoin startup BitPesa expands to Tanzania

    Kenyan bitcoin startup BitPesa is expanding to neighbouring Tanzania about a year after it launched its mobile-friendly digital currency exchange. Since then, the innovative company has raised a total of US$1.8-million from international investors and is slowly but surely expanding across Africa with other emerging markets in its sights as well. Company CEO Elizabeth Rossiello recently spoke at the Bitcoin Africa Conference in Cape Town where she highlighted the real need bitcoin technology can address in the continent's financial services sector. "We're the first company on the planet to link mobile money with bitcoin," she boasted. "About 97% of the...

  • PwC Vision to Reality 2015 is looking for SA’s top up-and-coming companies

    PwC Vision to Reality competition is gearing up for its second programme to help find and promote South Africa's top 10 up-and-coming companies that are tech-enabled. Last year, mobile transacting startup WiGroup walked away as South Africa's top company in the industry. Online security startup Entersekt got second place while animation studio Triggerfish received third prize. Other notable companies in the top 10 were GoMetro, Euphoria Telecom and Mellowcabs. Similar to last year's Vision to Reality competition, the top 10 up-and-coming companies will enter PwC's mentorship programme with access to local and global industry leaders and strategic advisors providing them with...

  • Is the office out of fashion? New survey suggests it might be

    Whether it’s to save on costs, or just to avoid the pain of having to go into an office, it seems that South African entrepreneurs have a thing for working from home. In fact, if preliminary findings from the 2015 Ventureburn Startup Survey are anything to go by, then home is the number one choice when it comes to workspaces for fledgling tech companies. This finding is in line with the history of some of the world’s most successful startups, some of who have started in kitchens, home offices and garages. Just look no further than Mark Shuttleworth -- the...

  • Raru director Waine Smith weighs in on South Africa’s ecommerce industry

    Since its launch last year, Raru has become a go-to name in the South African ecommerce market. Headed up by ex-founders of Take2, they have put their knowledge to use and grown the new store into one of the largest in South Africa. On Thursday, Ventureburn sat down with the director of Raru, Waine Smith. We spoke about Raru’s growth and success, his take (excuse the take puns) on the Takealot & Kalahari merger, and where the South African ecommerce industry in heading towards. Ventureburn: How much has Raru grown since its launch last year and has it met your expectations? Waine Smith: It’s...

  • Shopstar celebrates anniversary with over 2600 online stores registered

    South African ecommerce builder Shopstar is celebrating its second birthday. Since launching in May 2013, the company has achieved a variety of impressive milestones. Apart from being chosen as one of VC firm Knife Capital's accelerated startups for Grindstone 2015, Shopstar today boasts over 2 600 clients, with a combined revenue of R10-million last year. These range from big creative brands to small design startups. "At Shopstar our focus is not to just blindly develop technology. As our client base grows we are spending more and more time looking at how our merchants operate in the physical and virtual space," explains...

  • African online sellers to get logistics upgrade, more jobs

    This week, Nigeria’s two largest marketplaces, Jumia and Kaymu, announced a fulfillment and delivery platform joint initiative for Africa. Their goal is to provide online sellers in Africa with a system to deliver their products and create jobs. The joint initiative is called Africa Internet Group (AIG) Express. AIG itself provides easy-to-use services and solutions across the African internet market and are part of Africa's startup ecosystem. Indrek Heinloo, who is leading the initiative, says a larger delivery network needs to be put in place of Africa. We’re currently delivering up to 100,000 packages a day for Jumia and Kaymu, and we...

  • SME management startup Magnetic partners with global distributor after R15m valuation

    Cape Town, South African-based online business management platform Magnetic is partnering up with Australian digital marketing company Titan Digital. The distribution deal would enable the startup to expand its reach to agencies and SME's across Australia, New Zealand, and the UK and comes, after Magnetic just raised a second round of funding in January worth R15-million. Magnetic started up in 2012 on a bold mission to corner South Africa’s B2B space with its all-in-one online management platform. The product on offer aims to take care of everything ranging from sales, CRM, project and task management to accounts and HR, taking...