Mobile, Startup news

Instant messenger 2go is targeting smartphones, hedging its bets, hiring

2go Ventureburn recently reported on 2go, the instant messaging startup that was seeing significant traction in Nigeria. The company attributed much of its success -- 10 million active users compared to an estimated five million on Facebook -- to its feature phone focus. It might be surprising then, to learn that the company will be expanding to smartphones. With that, 2go is also growing its team of software developers and support staff. The instant messaging service is currently pushing 6 billion messages ...

Entrepreneurship, Mobile

RIM opens second BlackBerry apps lab in SA, further boosts entrepreneurship

blackberry_apps_lab_cape_town RIM recently opened its second BlackBerry apps lab in South Africa, this time in Cape Town, and hopes to both accelerate mobile apps development for its own platform and to create new job opportunities in the mobile space. The app economy is real and with RIM estimating four percent more revenue per app/per month than iOS and about 40% more revenue than Android, the BlackBerry platform appears attractive, especially in emerging markets where the smartphone maker has managed to weather its ...

Featured, Interviews

Can Silicon Valley be repeated in Africa? Ventureburn asks IBM’s Martin Kelly

Martin_Kelly_IBM_Venture_Capital_Group IBM's Venture Capital Group is a really interesting cog in the startup machine. It's not a fund and yet, through it, IBM has managed to invest in a bevy of startups that align with its Smarter Planet initiative. Smarter Planet is an umbrella concept under which IBM aims to uncover and foster technology that moves society forward in big ways. Think about smarter systems across just about every industry that can lead to things like improved electrical grids, traffic management systems ...

Africa, Startup news

Nokia and the Kenyan government team up to fund mobile startups

Flag Of Kenya Finnish mobile phone-maker Nokia has partnered with the government of Kenya through the Kenya ICT Board to work towards ensuring tech startups specialising in agricultural, health and educational apps benefit from technical and financial support. During the two-year partnership, Nokia will fund the startups as well as provide technical expertise, while the Kenya ICT board will be in charge of the coordination of the activities. Speaking during the signing of the partnership, Jussi Hinkkanen, Nokia Vice President for corporate relations in charge ...

Startup news

Valuation startup wins Tech4Africa’s Ignite competition

Tech4Africa Ignite winner ValuationUP has won the top spot at Tech4Africa's ignite startup competition. The competition is part of the annual conference that looks at tech innovation in Africa. The company allows businesses owners to learn what drives the performance of the business they are buying, growing, selling or advising. ValuationUP benchmarks the financial performance of companies to see if they can take a knock, what it's currently worth and if it will be around next year. The market for this product is truly ...

Africa, Startups

Demo Africa: the future of African startups looks bright

Africa Map growth startups entrepreneur Flowgear, a South African startup that offers application integration for the cloud era, was named one of the Demo Lions and will be joining four other African startups in the US for mentorship and introduction to potential investors. The Demo Lion awards are under the auspices of the US State Department. Flowgear offers companies pre-built connectors that allow quick and easy implementation for developers without the need for coding. The company bridges cloud and on-premise applications and simplifies integration management with ...

Startup news

GoMetro and iROKING partner to bring free music to SA commuters

iroking_gometro Man, mobi.lity is on a roll. First, the startup's GoMetro service got picked up as the official traveller information system of commuter rail agency, Metrorail, and later became one of the four finalists selected for IBM's SmartCamp programme. Today, the service announced its rollout in Gauteng and a partnership with iROKO Partners, the world’s largest online distributor of African music & movies. Not bad for a service launched in September this year. The GoMetro mobile site provides commuters with real-time ...


Events to diarise for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012

Screen Shot 2012-10-31 at 12.42.48 PM It's almost time for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). This year, the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship will run from 12 to 16 November in more than 100 cities around the world, and Cape Town is one of them. Since 2008, during one week in November, GEW inspires people everywhere through activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. In the Western Cape, Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week will feature a host of expos, workshops, hackathons and startup pitching ...

Africa, Ecommerce, News

Zando gets €20 million investment boost from Summit Partners

zando_logo International growth equity investor Summit Partners is set to invest €20 million in South African online retail giant Zando. This shows a huge vote of confidence in the South African ecommerce industry. Summit, a growth equity and credit investing company, has investments in more than 350 rapidly growing businesses across North America, Europe and Asia, raising nearly US$15-billion since 1984. "We seek to invest in companies that build long-term value," said Scott Collins, managing director and head of the Summit ...

Featured, Startups

How to build a successful startup

Venture Capital When it comes to venture capital, Keet van Zyl is as savvy as they come. He's worked for companies such as Procter & Gamble, Investec Bank and HBD Venture Capital, and helped set up private equity funds in the Southern African region for a US-based investor. He also co-founded fund manager, Knife Capital as well as the business Angel investment group, AngelHub, which invests in startups with high-growth potential. Based on his experience as a partner and board member of various ...