Emerging Markets, Venture capital

Latin America’s VC space: big opportunity or illusion?

Sao Paulo After four years riding the roller coaster ups and downs of running an internet startup in Latin America, I feel that I have paid my duties in the race of chasing the Latin American dream. There are hard facts that any entrepreneur in pursuit of this sort of dream should be well aware of before jumping in. If you look at a continent and you see no more than ten big hitters, you need to be a little suspicious. This lack ...

Africa, News

GoMetro launches Email My Boss button for commuters stuck on trains

GoMetro The buzzing sound of murmuring voices in the train builds up to a mix of conversations. Often when the train gets stuck, you can, among the noise, hear a commuter trying to tell his/her boss that they are going to be late for work that day. Calling in, of course, only works for those who have the airtime to call. GoMetro, the public transport app, is trying to make this process a lot easier for commuters by introducing a new feature ...

Africa, Startups

Impact Beyond Innovation: How Lumkani’s fire detection system is saving lives

Lumkani fire box Impact Beyond Innovation is an article series that features startups from Africa putting social good at the forefront of their business models. In 2013, the thesis research of Lumkani co-founder Francois Petousis was accelerated because of a massive fire in the BM section of Khayelitsha that left over 4 000 people homeless. Petousis and UCT engineering lecturer Samuel Ginsberg then knew the project they were working on could have a massive impact -- and not just in South Africa but in any dense ...

Emerging Markets, Entrepreneurship

Total number of SA entrepreneurs dropped by a third last year

GEM report The percentage of adult South Africans involved in starting a business has plunged by 34% since last year, a new report shows. The Global Entrepreneur Monitor (GEM) global report for 2014 reveals that the percentage of adults involved in a business less than three-and-a-half years old (the TEA rate) fell to 6.97% last year from a 13-year high of 10.6% in 2013. This, while the percentage of South African adults running established businesses (those of older than three and a half years) has also ...

Advertising & Marketing, Startup news

Listen Up, 10 Plus Media launch growth workshops for SMEs

Notes In desperate need of growing your startup? Well, listen up! This might just be the thing you're looking for. South African marketing agency Listen Up has partnered with content marketing specialists 10 Plus Media to provide business workshops for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The workshops are designed with the established small businesses in mind which are struggling to achieve growth as well as for people just keen to start their own startup. The members of the 10-UP team have over 60 ...

Startup news

Africa 118 expands business directory service to Uganda

Infomoby Kenyan mobile directory service Africa 118, one of five startups to be awarded a Microsoft4Afrika innovation grant in 2014, has announced its expansion into Uganda. There it has launched a localised version of its offering, called ‘InfoMoby’. The service is designed to sort business information categorically and by location, making it easier for users to find business information, hours of operation, websites and physical addresses. At launch, the directory reportedly covers thousands of businesses in Jinja, Kampala, Entebbe and ...

Africa, Ecommerce, News

Jumia Nigeria’s former MD secures $850k funding from Interswitch for new venture

Credit card Pan-African integrated payment, processing and transaction switching company, Interswitch, has announced it has made an initial investment of US$850 000 in Africa Courier Express (ACE), formerly A-Post a company started by Tunde Kehinde the founding Managing Director of Nigeria’s ecommerce giant Jumia. Based in Nigeria and focused on the entire African continent, ACE is a technology driven ecommerce logistics and warehousing firm. It has developed and introduced a new cutting-edge technology to track, deliver and collect payments seamlessly for and on-behalf ...

Startup news

Exclusive: Google bigwig to join fast-growing M4JAM

Brett St Clair Ventureburn can exclusively reveal that Google's Brett StClair is leaving the technology giant to join up-and-coming micro-jobbing startup M4JAM (Money for Jam). Brett StClair, who is currently the Google for Work Regional Manager Sub Sahara Africa, will take up a position as Head of Sales at the startup, which burst onto the scene in the second half of 2014. Initially only operating within the Tencent-owned instant messaging platform WeChat, M4JAM is a micro-jobbing service that allows people to earn small sums of money ...

Africa, Ecommerce, Startups

Gingerbox: Why Nigeria’s clever niche startup is selling fruit online

Gingerbox The Nigerian city of Lagos is, simply put, chaotic. With horns blaring from 4am till 1am, the best way to avoid getting caught up in traffic is to rent a helicopter or drive between 11pm and 4am. Since these are not the most realistic options for the majority of the city's residents, spending long hours in traffic is inevitable and lots of things are compromised – including adequate sleep and a good diet. It's not too surprising then that many residents ...

Africa, Conferences, News

Soweto to host its first tech, digital conference in April

Soweto Innovation Week 2015 Soweto -- Johannesburg, South Africa’s south western township -- is about to host its first ever technology and digital conference. The Soweto Innovation Week will take place at the beautiful Soweto Theatre from 8 to 10 April. Hosting the event in Soweto is in itself a bold statement from the organisers as tech innovation is all too often viewed as an exclusively city phenomena. Gabriel Ramokotjo, President of Internet Society Gauteng Chapter and one of the organisers, points out the importance of ...