Africa, Startup news

MoboFree hits 3.3 million African users, credits success to ‘social first’ approach

mobofreelogo1_withslogan_nobg MoboFree, a mobile social marketplace that allows African customers to buy, sell, rent and swap stuff with trusted parties has officially reached 3.3 million registered users after just two years since launch. The bulk of its users are based in Nigeria, followed by Ghana and Zimbabwe. "From the get-go we are a person oriented marketplace. Instead of adding in a social element to our service as an afterthought, we have focused on the social aspect of selling and purchasing from the very ...


A handshake isn’t enough: what happens when investors back out

Walk Away Recently I had the opportunity to raise a small round of seed funding for my subscription sock company, The figure was about US$25 000 and I was raising it from an angel investor. We had an aligned vision, we spent months discussing where the business was going, how we were going to move the company towards our next goal and what we would use the funds for. Everything was on track. We had a handshake agreement that I thought was ...

Innovation, News

Intel rolls out innovation programme at SA universities

galileohires Tech company Intel South Africa is spurring innovation via its Galileo Board global outreach programme, which wants to offer students from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and University of Cape Town (UCT) a simple and cost-effective development environment. The Galileo Development Board is a microcontroller board based on the Intel Quark SoC X1000 application processor, a 32-bit Intel Pentium brand system on a chip (SoC). If you didn't catch that, it's a simple, cheap piece of hardware that can be used ...


Amadeus announces partnership with SAP to improve customer experience

Flight Global travel distribution system, Amadeus, announced a strategic technological agreement with SAP, which seeks to deliver a cloud-based corporate travel solution, including online booking, expense and mobile capabilities. The new technology partnership will see the integration of SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense solution with Amadeus e-Travel Management. This allows SAP to create a unified user interface with a single end-to-end offering for corporate direct clients and resellers. "We are delighted to be partnering with Amadeus for our first Original ...

Competition, Emerging Markets

Enabling Writers comp seeks innovative reading software for young kids

all children reading Investing in the youth of a country is investing in that country's future. Educating and developing young minds can help nurture potential leaders and, perhaps more importantly in developing economies, potential job creators. Literacy is one such challenge for the developing world, and in this light The All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) has launched a US$100 000 prize competition called Enabling Writers, which seeks to find technological solutions to improve the reading skills for children in ...

Advertising & Marketing

Gloo CEO quashes Ogilvy acquisition rumours

Pete Case Ogilvy South Africa and Gloo, a leading digital design agency, are in talks. According to a number of reliable sources, who spoke to Ventureburn on condition of anonymity, the talks are around acquisition but CEO and founder Pete Case has rubbished such claims. Since being founded in 2005, Gloo has made a serious name for itself, winning multiple awards and drawing in big name clients including FNB, Microsoft, the Discovery Channel and British Airways. While the company is part-owned ...


Save, scale, secure: why small businesses should take to the cloud

hand-cloud The internet has changed all aspects of our lives. From how we bank, get around, or communicate with friends, or even -- as I hear -- date. From a business perspective, however, it has radically altered the ways in which businesses communicate with consumers. But did you know it has also changed the very ways in which business owners run businesses? There’re a slew of applications -- both mobile and on desktops -- which can be used to simplify task, ...

Innovation, News

The Innovation Hub launches initiatives to ‘take innovation to the people’

TIH-black2 Recent claims about South Africa's poor global maths and science ranking have been been causing a stir. However you may cut it, the fact of the matter is that there is a massive shortage of resources in these two critical areas. In light of this, The Innovation Hub, which is a tech park in Gauteng, South Africa, has partnered with the City of Tshwane to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics closer to the youth, especially those from previously disadvantaged ...

Cloud, Startups

Consider this before taking your business onto mobile

Mobile Phones Taking your startup's website mobile is an expensive endeavor, especially if you want to go native and/or responsive. But Africa and South Africa's mobile usage is so prevalent now that your business will be left in the dust if its presence on mobile is not well thought out. I'd like to look at some considerations of how a corporate or startup website reflects on mobile, and why it is necessary to avoid casual methodology in mobile app development as well as ...

Africa, News

Neotel, Western Cape Government plan mass broadband rollout

table-mountain In efforts to lessen South Africa's digital divide, public institutions, businesses and communities in the Western Cape could see the rollout of new broadband services, including free Wi-Fi services for local communities, in the next few years. The Western Cape Government has recently finalised a deal with local telcom Neotel that seeks to provide broadband services to over 2 000 government locations across the province. Together with SITA, the public-private partnership plans to roll-out initial connection speeds of 10Mbps in the ...