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  • 23 tips to guide you through your next VC deal [Infographic]

    Raising capital is often seen as one of the biggest challenges startups have growing up. And rightfully so, getting your hands on runway capital is tricky business, though it doesn't have to be. Y Combinator founder Paul Graham once jotted down the top characteristics of venture capitalists, coining it the Hackers Guide to Investors. Although Graham's pointers are nearly a decade old, he does make a few good ones you can take learn from. For instance, he explains that while money is important, it's not as important as the expertise that comes with it. "What separates the great investors from the...

  • Company Office

    Beyond Innovation – it’s Innovation velocity that really matters…

    '5 Ways to Drive Innovation'…'The World's Most Innovative Leaders'….'The Latest Innovations in Fintech'…sound familiar? In mainstream media, and in the corporate lexicon, the word innovation has become ubiquitous – particularly when discussing entrepreneurship, technology, leadership, and how all three combine. As a result, it has all but lost its meaning. Among startups, for example, product differentiators are often peddled as 'innovations' – when in fact they are simply, product differentiators. Journalists often trumpet the release of a high profile company's latest 'innovation', when in fact it is simply the release of a new product (and should be reported as such!). Why is...

  • SA Entrepreneurs: you now have your own loyalty rewards programme

    The financial institution aimed exclusively at entrepreneurs Mercantile Bank, on Friday announced that it had entered into an agreement with wiGroup to develop a loyalty and rewards programme for its clients. The app-based reward programme will reportedly enable entrepreneurs to earn and redeem points at till points of most major retailers using QR code technology. "As a bank that works closely with entrepreneurs, we had numerous discussions with our clients to understand what they wanted from a rewards programme," says the bank's head Tom Stilwell. "Two things came out strongly. Rewards must be easy to redeem – many clients complained that...

  • You can now buy stuff on RunwaySale using an RCS card

    This week RunwaySale announced a partnership with RCS, which means that its customers can buy goods from the online store using cards from the consumer finance group. Although RCS cards can be used at some 20 000 retail locations around the country, means that RCS cardholders will be able to buy online for the first time. "A while ago we identified that online retail was a fast growing market segment. We understood that this convenient form of shopping was on a sharp incline and presented a great business opportunity," says Regan Adams, COO of RCS. "So we developed...

  • 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...

  • 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 [Update]

    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,...