• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [30/11/2015]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • Company Office

    Netflix: What do South Africans think?

    With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America. But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect? There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do...

  • How Flickswitch is enabling Africa to become a continent of connected things

    The Internet of Things (IoT) -- or the concept of connected devices -- is becoming more prominent by the day. It's estimated that there will be around 38 billion connected devices by 2020. While still in its infancy in South Africa, it's growing fast. In fact, Kees Snijders along with his partners Hein Koen, Gerrie Swart and Kristien Wolmarans from South Africa's Flickswitch are banking on it. And so far, it's boded them well. Since bootstrapping Flickswitch back in 2007, the SIM management company is today recording R22-million in annual turnover, generating R1-million in profit. "The IoT market is ripe in...

  • SA drop-off point courier service Pargo grows to 1 500 pickup points in 2015

    Collection and drop-off point courier service Pargo has shown significant growth over the past year. Ventureburn had a chance to catch up with the founders Lars Veul (pictured right) and Derk Hoekert (pictured left) about the company. When Ventureburn spoke to the duo in February of this year, the company had 20 client stores in the Western Cape. Since then, Pargo has grown to around 500 pickup points around South Africa with access to an additional 1 500 points. They have partnered with the likes of Vees Video, Clicks, and Shell in order to grow their business. According to Veul, "There's a pickup...

  • Triggerfish Animation Studios named Western Cape Business of the Year

    South African animation powerhouse, Triggerfish Animation Studios, was named the Western Cape Business of the Year at the Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards (PERA). It also won the Business With Global Reach award. Criteria for the awards included turnover and job creation. The Cape Town-based company has generated over R1-billion at the box offices, and employs around 85 people. "Triggerfish is a world-class enterprise, making a major impact on economic growth in our province. They develop films which are translated into over 27 languages and licensed in over 150 countries," said Western Cape premier Helen Zille. Most notably, Triggerfish is behind feature films...

  • CEO of Supermart.ng Raphael Afaedor on the state of Nigeria’s ecommerce

    The last time I spoke to Raphael Afaedor in person, he was still the co-founder of Jumia, his face and that of Tunde Kehinde’s had just been on Forbes and they were the focus of the foreign press including CNN. I was able to drag him aside in the hall where Jumia was celebrating its first year anniversary and when I asked him what was next for ecommerce in Nigeria, he said the focus will continually be on satisfying the customer -- even if he or she expresses interest in buying cows online. He subsequently left Jumia and founded...

  • 20 startups from Asia that failed in 2015 and lessons learned

    2015 was a hot year for some startups in Asia. Venture capital flowed into China, India and South Korea in previously unheard of amounts. Southeast Asia saw a record exit with iProperty Group’s US$534million acquisition. Yet raising gargantuan rounds of financing is no guarantee for future success, and it’s in the risky nature of entrepreneurship that some companies emerge as winners while others bite the dust. Here are 20 startups from Asia that were forced to shut down this year. We clustered them by country and in no particular order. These 20 are by no means the only ones to cease operations...

  • PE incubator boasts 25% growth, takes on 10 new tech startups

    The SEDA Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) has taken on 10 new ICT and tech startups and shown a 25% growth for its clients over the past year. This comes from their performance findings, which covered the incubator from April 2014 to March 2015. The incubator aims to drive small business enterprise development through its incubation of South Africa, Port Elizabeth-based tech startups. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, 10 new tech startups were established from 11 projects in the same period. Along with these new ventures, it also has 26 SMEs in various stages of incubation. Over...

  • 20 successful years of backing independent news — Q&A with MDIF’s Mohamed Nanabhay

    The media world has seen major disruptions since the advent of the web, especially when it comes to social media and mobile. While there are a handful of publications and platforms reaping the profits, most are struggling to keep their heads above water. This pressure is especially felt by companies that face unfavourable economic or political conditions, where government often use the internet as a tool for censorship, espionage and control of information. Yet, in this state of transformation, the MDIF (Media Development Investment Fund) recently had its 20th anniversary, celebrating a total of US$133.6-million invested in 108 independent news...

  • SA small business to face tough 2016 if opportunities overlooked

    South African small businesses can expect a tough 2016, but there remain opportunities for those willing to search them out. In a presentation delivered yesterday at Property Point's To The Point session, Small Business Insight’s Stephen Timm (pictured above), joined by policy expert Septi Bukula of Osiba Management, outlined some trends SMEs can expect next year. Property Point is property group Growthpoint's supplier development programme. The seminar was held at the Southern Sun Hotel in Hyde Park in Johannesburg. Constrained outlook The National Treasury last month said the economy is set to grow at 1.7% next year, after an expected growth of just...

  • Governance and startups — the Ethiopia experience

    Last month, Seedstars World held its first challenge in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa and the event featured eleven of the country’s best startups. AhadooTec’s Fidel which is Ethiopia's first mobile learning platform, won the competition. And last Monday, as my taxi slowly left the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, I began to ponder on why Ethiopia -- which is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second-most populous nation on the African continent after Nigeri -- was just having its first mobile learning platform in 2015! Perhaps the Ethiopian calendar, which is seven...