Startup news

Startups are gonna start: meet the Net Prophet 8

cape_town_silicon_cape As a startup journalist I am always looking for interesting startups to chat to. I want to write about them and tell you how they are going to save the world, or not. As part this year's Net Prophet event, an annual gathering of 2 000+ geeks and one of the bigger tech conferences on the South African calendar, the Silicon Cape Initiative decided to do give some startups a little press time. It's a pretty nifty idea: get a ...


3 steps for accelerating your startup’s productivity into high growth

business ipads Our main focus here is entrepreneurial productivity and it can teach you how to be strong and financially powerful, so you can free yourself up to go on to other, more important things in life. With that in mind, I am going to fill you in on 3 important steps to increasing entrepreneurial productivity. These three steps will help you take action to build skills and create an environment that supports consistent focus, business growth and profit. 1. Know ...

Startup news

SleepOut raises $200 000 seed funding, launches online travel mag

sleepOut logo SleepOut - Kenya's leading online accommodation marketplace announced today that it has raised approximately US$200 000 in seed funding, intended to finance expansion across Africa and the Middle East. The site, which allows users to find, offer and book accommodation, launched its BETA site in June 2012. Leading the funding round for the Nairobi-based company was Africa Media Ventures Fund (AMVF) coming out of Amsterdam. Lot Carlier, Managing Partner at AMVF remarked, "We are truly excited to embark on this venture. As ...

News, Startup news

Rocket Internet-backed Zalora lands 100-million big ones

Zalora The Rocket Internet-backed Zalora startup recently secured US$100-million in funding through investors like Summit Partners, Investment AB Kinnevik, Verlinvest and the Tengelmann Group. Yes, that's right, US$100-million. This hefty investment marks one of the biggest startup investments in emerging South-East Asia. The massive confidence boost comes after the South-East Asian online fashion and beauty store managed to get its hands on US$26-million from German retail group, Tengelmann, a few months back. Zalora also received funding from JP Morgan last year. This ...


Trending: the boom in startups for pets

pintofeed For a while, pet-related startups seemed to be a rarity. Ever since the debacle in which the venture-backed startup went from a Nasdaq IPO to liquidation in about 9 months, entrepreneurs have given pet-ecommerce a slightly wider berth. Looking back, it was a difficult time for online startups in general. Not to mention one that spent US$1.2 million on a super bowl ad without any profitability in sight, right at the dot-com bubble's popping point. Since then, the online economy ...


GoGifting seizes social gifting gap after Rocket Internet bins DropGifts SA plans

go_gifting Last year, we reported that DropGifts, Rocket Internet's social gifting startup was about to enter South Africa. Fast forward roughly a year, and there is still no trace of the Wrapp-clone. What happened? Kevin Tucker, the serial-entrepreneur who would have headed up DropGifts South Africa, tells Ventureburn that Rocket Internet was due to launch DropGifts in 27 countries, but scratched South Africa off the list days before the launch. "We were due to launch within days and they suddenly, due to all ...

Competition, Startup news

88mph leverages BlackBox Connect to pull in serious and global entrepreneurs

88mph logo Seed accelerator 88mph isn't content just offering entrepreneurs funding and mentorship with its upcoming three-month acceleration programme in Nairobi. Now its sweetening the deal for startups who apply before 31 May with a chance to visit Silicon Valley for two weeks. One lucky startup will participate in the Blackbox Connect Summer 2013, a two-week "immersion" programme for founders based outside of the USA taking place from 15-26 July in Atherton, California. The programme is effectively an exchange: startups live and collaborate with ...


Dineplan: a unique dish or just another restaurant booking service?

dineplan Dineplan is launching its digital reservations system for restaurants today. While it joins a veritable smorgasbord of web-based restaurant reservation systems, Dineplan's customer profiling and trend analysis features look promising. The service is management-focused. There's no patron-facing restaurant database to browse; instead, the South African-bred Dineplan is all about helping restaurants manage their reservation processes -- from the real-time booking plugin that restaurant owners can add to their websites, to statistics and analytics. A nice departure from traditional web-based offerings, ...

Africa, Competition

Everything you need to know about 88mph Nairobi from Nikolai Barnwell

88mph featured Seed accelerator 88mph's Nairobi director Nikolai Barnwell spoke to Ventureburn about its upcoming three-month acceleration programme in the Kenyan capital: what they look for in a startup, mentors and the African investment space. Whether you're an entrepreneur considering entering the programme, or just interested in tech in Kenya and Africa, you won't want to miss this Q&A. What does 88mph value in a startup? Are you looking for innovation or sound business models? I don’t think they necessarily contradict each other. More ...

Startup news

Launch48 Cape Town: 5 startups that could become real businesses?

Launch48 Can you come up with an idea, build a business and launch that business in 48 hours? That's what the folks at Launch48 try to do a monthly basis. Take a bunch of aspiring entrepreneurs, give them a space to work for 48 hours and see that they come up with. According to the initiative since its inception in 2009 "Launch48 has helped over 50 startups, with alumni going on to accelerators such as 500 Startups, Seedcamp, Springboard, and Oxygen ...