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  • 3 unique trends shaping Nigeria’s startup ecosystem

    In April last year, it was announced that Nigeria's economy had overtaken South Africa's, making it the biggest on the continent. This coincided with some notable happenings in the tech space. For one, arguably one of the largest pan-African startup initiatives, Demo Africa 2014, was hosted in Lagos for the first time. Microsoft Ventures also announced that it's expanding its mission to facilitate startups to include the West African country last month. Not to mention the massive rounds of investments that went to Nigeria tech companies -- only seconded by South Africa. To learn more about what makes...

  • Sideways wine farm app launches to make our summer more tipsy

    South Africa's Western Cape is renowned for its pretty, luxurious Winelands. It's also responsible for around 4% of the world's wine production. And so it's to no real surprise that we're seeing more and more wine-related platforms popping up. Cape Town-based digital agency iKineo recently launched Sideways -- a free iOS app that lets you find and connect with wine farms. Asked about what makes this app so special, Marthinus Botha who's behind this app says that, in the past, each of the wine routes have promoted themselves as separate tourist destinations. This, Botha says "made it difficult for visitors to...

  • Jumia partners with First Bank of Nigeria so shoppers can pay in installments

    "Those days of saving up all you had only to buy one single product are over," Jumia boasts. Nigerian ecommerce has always had a knack for being adaptive. Some unique implementations we've seen are cash-on-delivery, the popularity of scooters and the establishment of marketplaces that seeks to bring small merchants online. Nigerian online shoppers can now pay for their products via monthly installments. This comes after the major Rocket Internet-backed Jumia partnered with one of the country's biggest banks, First Bank of Nigeria. The deal is only available to customers with a First Bank Naira Card, though people can still sign...

  • Mobile startup Giraffe launches to help fill SA’s unemployment gap

    South Africa's unemployment rate hovers somewhere above the 20% mark with almost half of that number consisting of the country's youth. A new startup, called Giraffe, hopes to change these figures after just launching a mobile technology that connects medium-skilled jobseekers with opportunities. The company notes that one of the most expensive and time consuming aspects of finding a job is costly public transport and limited access to computers. Fortunately though, South Africa does have heaps of phones that -- with the help of platforms like Giraffe's -- can be used to find a job. "Although PC penetration is relatively low in...

  • Meet Mama Money, the mobile social startup looking to break open the African remittance market

    Remittances, or the transfer of money by a foreign workers to an individuals in their home countries, are huge, especially in countries with large migrant and immigrant populations. How big? Well, US$440-billion in 2010, of which US$325-billion went to developing countries, involving some 192-million migrants or 3.0% of world population. That's a number which will only have grown in the intervening years. The trouble is, the hefty fees charged by many remittance service providers can end up crippling the most vulnerable people using them. South African mobile social startup Mama Money is hoping to change that in a big...

  • These are Chivas Regal’s top 5 social entrepreneurs of South Africa

    Popular luxury whisky brand Chivas Rigal has just unveiled its five finalists of its Win the Right Way campaign. With a focus on social entrepreneurship, 2015's finalists are Rethaka Trading, Subz Punts and Pads, Inspiracion, Carbon Disclosure South Africa and Lumkani Fire Detection. The competition provides aspiring social entrepreneurs with a share of US$1-million in financial assistance, international exposure for their company or idea, and mentorship from world-renowned business moguls. Mandla Holomisa, Brand Manager, Chivas Regal, says: “The idea of social entrepreneurship is using business as a force for good which is one that appeals to Chivas Regal in...

  • DEMO Africa 2015 to be hosted in Lagos for second year in a row

    For the second year running, Lagos is going to host 2015 edition of DEMO Africa. The event will be co-hosted by The Ministry of Communication Technology-Federal Government of Nigeria, National Information Technology Agency-Nigeria and DEMO Africa in partnership with VC4Africa and Afrilabs. At Demo Africa, more than 40 startups from all over Africa will showcase their innovations to potential investors, consumers, and press. Read more: Say hello to DEMO Africa’s top 40 tech startups of 2014 Dr Omobola Johnson, the Minister of Communication Technology, expressed his excitement about the event being hosted ion Nigeria again: “We are pleased that DEMO Africa will...

  • Affordable fashion marketplace HipCloset wants to help you sell your blue jeans online

    When it comes to ecommerce in South Africa, the fashion industry is certainly growing in popularity. The fact that only airline ticket sales generate more spend shows just how much people love shopping for clothes and apparel online with stores like Spree, Superbalist and Zando being the most popular. What these three stores all have in common is the fact that they sell quality brands to the market's affluent -- those with credit cards and disposable income. Better yet, they sell new products. Affordable fashion startup HipCloset is turning this tale on its head by providing a free and open...

  • Fintech startup Azimo is tapping into West Africa’s remittance market

    As you may know by now, the remittance scene in Africa is quite a big topic with a bunch of startups both locally and abroad keen to disrupt this space. After the UK-based company raised a nice US$10-million last year, online money transfer startup Azimo just announced that customers across Europe can now send money to recipients in eight West African countries. Michael Kent, CEO of Azimo, explains that, given the increasing rates of immigration, the market is huge: Together these eight countries have a combined population of over 100 million people and GDP of US$80-billion. The World Bank estimates that nearly...

  • Rwanda’s Think incubator is calling for its second in-take

    Rwanda's Think incubator is calling for tech startups to join its six-month accelerator programme in Kigali. This comes at the back of thefirst in-take of the Millicom and Tigo Rwanda-backed entrepreneurship programme that seeks to support startups developing digital solutions for Africa. Similar to last year's in-take the pan-African initiative will select five companies that will have access to investment from Millicom, training, professional coaching, resources and so on. After the six month incubation process companies are expected to have what it takes to scale. This ability to scale goes hand-in-hand with Millicom's strategy which seeks to expand across...