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  • West Africa’s mobile startups set to battle for top honours

    Musicians want to go to the Grammys and actors dream of winning Oscars. For tech startups in West Africa, WAMAs is set to be their dream laurel as the inaugural West Africa Mobile Awards is open for entries. Pitched as the first truly West African technology awards targeting the leading mobile and tech companies across the region, organizers said it was created in order to measure how the provision of mobile connectivity, products, and services is having a fundamental impact on almost every aspect of society in West Africa. Supported by Mobile West Africa (MWA), AppsAfrica.com, and the Mobile Ecosystem Forum...

  • Company Office

    An Exclusive Sneak Peak At Compare Guru – Coming Soon!

    Cape Town, South Africa - The time is getting close to the relaunch of Click n Compare as Compare Guru. The rebrand – planned for mid February - comes as a strategic move to join the brand’s counterparts in Nigeria and Kenya, as well as to incorporate an animated character, The Guru, as their mascot. Compare Guru will fall under the umbrella brand Compare Africa (previously known as CNC Group), now also inclusive of PriceCheck. According to recent research, 31% of South Africans use the the internet to compare products / prices / features online, while insurance accounts for 7%...

  • How innovative companies should capitalise B2B ecommerce

    Ecommerce in South Africa -- while still just a slice of the overall retail pie -- is growing as much as 35% per year. However, of this, the lion’s share still operates in the B2C space, suggesting that B2B companies -- those that use the web to sell goods and services to other businesses -- have yet to cotton-on to its very lucrative potential. B2B is perceived as the less sexy sister of B2C, despite having a massive traditional footprint in South Africa. It’s also been slower to respond to customers’ new digital diets that sees them -- be it...

  • A Day in the Life of: CiTi CEO Ian Merrington [Native Article]

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is one of South Africa's oldest initiatives dedicated to boost local innovation. Founded in 1998, CiTi has established itself as one of the most renowned hubs for entrepreneurs in Africa by fostering through skills development and incubation services. At the helm of this initiative today is Ian Merrington, who brings with him a wealth of experience in advertising and consulting services. Before joining CiTi, he was Group Financial Director of BBDO SA, a director of Gloo Digital Design and later COO for iKineo, a leading Pan-African customer engagement firm. For the third edition of...

  • Travel booking site Travelstart lands $40m, asserts investor confidence

    Cape Town-headquartered travel booking company Travelstart has secured a whopping US$40-million from Amadeus Capital Partners and MTN, which is an investor in the VC firm. The significant capital injection again reaffirms investor confidence in South Africa as a fruitful market for internet companies -- a space which has seen growing interest within the last year. Founded in Sweden over a decade ago, Travelstart moved to South Africa in 2009 to focus on the growth of emerging markets. The online service today provides two million travellers in 16 countries with real-time access to thousands of flights. It operates in 16 countries,...

  • Ideo: the mattress startup that wants to look after your sleep

    Purchasing a mattress can be a tiring, frustrating process; there are a lot of sales hoops to jump through. Ideo is the startup looking to make purchasing mattresses easier with its own online store and product. The it may not be a fintech solution or a Uber-style business, but it’s a damn fine idea. "Everyone has a mattress shopping story as I found out," says Robin Jones, CEO and founder of Ideo. The idea for Ideo came together from two different events in Jones's life. He had previously been working in the online space for the past five years, trying different ideas,...

  • Ghana’s church management service reaps international honours

    A Ghanaian online church management, called Asoriba, has been recognised by Seedstars and Microsoft Bizspark recently in Casablanca, Morocco. Asoriba is a cloud-based church management software that allows easier administration of churches and members, faster communication and seamless payment for churches. "Asoriba impressed the jury with its huge market of 2.5 million unconnected churches in Africa alone and its significant traction with churches both in Africa and abroad. They also have an outstanding team that allows them to execute on their mission in a unique way," said Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager for Seedstars Africa. Founded by Saviour Enyam Dzage (pictured above) and...

  • Vox buys out SA cloud marketing outfit Everlytic

    One of South Africa's leading telcos, Vox, has just acquired a majority stake in local cloud communications startup, Everlytic. The buyout comes in the wake of impressive growth by Everlytic over the last few years. “The addition of Everlytic completes our portfolio of products and solutions that allow customers to communicate via any delivery channel -- email, fax and SMS. They also add significant intellectual property (IP) in campaign management and success that we are keen to leverage,” says Jacques du Toit, CEO of Vox Telecom in a press release sent to Ventureburn. Everlytic started out as a communications agency,...

  • 7 things startups should look for in their legal services

    In the last few years there has been a fair amount of commentary in business forums on digital disruption, and how technology is changing the way we interact with our service providers, friends and customers. A few well-known examples are Uber (taxi company that owns no taxies), AirBnB (accommodation provider that owns no real estate), Slack, Skype, Wechat (communication providers that own no telecoms infrastructure), Google and Apple (software vendors that don't develop the majority of the apps they sell), Kickstarter (funding provider that provides none of the funding), Twitter and YouTube (media and content providers who don't produce their...

  • Gartner is on the hunt for aspiring innovators

    Technology research house Gartner has put out a call for aspiring innovators to take part in its Aspiring Innovators Programme, which will take place at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2016. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the programme will highlight "interesting African startup technology companies who have something unique to offer enterprise organisations". The goal of this programme, Gartner says, is to both support the African startup technology scene, and provide delegates access to innovative local technology providers. Selected by Gartner research analysts, the startup companies will have the opportunity to describe what they are doing in...

  • This Google-backed startup from SA is training thousands of coders

    If South Africa is to really become a knowledge economy, it seriously needs to develop the youth's Computer Science skills. That's a no-brainer. But while government and academia have their hands full, creative minds are putting inspiring initiatives in motion to foster the country's next generation of software developers. Hyperion Development is one of these gems. Since it launched in 2012, the Durban-headquartered company has allegedly helped over 8 500 people from six Southern African countries in software development training. "We are fortunate to have the ability to scale this online platform to the point where I don't know everyone's names...