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  • Q&A with EasiOnline.com: The latest kid on the online buying block

    A flurry of online buying companies has rushed in on South Africa, some local and some from abroad, and a relatively new kid on the block has launched recently, offering any number of products amidst stiff competition. We spoke to Ardi Coetzee and Kevin Pillay from EasiOnline about their plans and aims in this market. Ventureburn: Perhaps we can start with a little on each of your backgrounds? Kevin Pillay: Prior to Easionline, I've been involved in the financial selling and credit industries, and decided to go into online, and am extremely happy so far with what I or rather we...

  • Company Office

    Geeks Online SA to launch soon

    Brand new education startup Geeks Online SA (GOSA) based in Cape Town, South Africa, looks to bring an innovative solution in the education space. It’s an idea inspired by the self-proclaimed “Geek” himself, one of the co-founders. The company has been founded by two chief enthusiasts, Anele Geqiwe and Busisiwe Ngxande. What they lack in years of experience, the pair has vision and passion for education. The concept driving GOSA is very simple: it requires strong relationship between high school students and tertiary institutions. We aim to introduce and prepare Grade 10-12 students to academic competency standards expected in tertiary level. Of course there are so many solutions...

  • FNB Private Clients and AngelHub partnership heats up SA startup scene

    Readers of Ventureburn are probably well aware of AngelHub, the business angel investment group that pools funding, expertise and networks from a range of early stage investors to foster startup growth. AngelHub has recently extended its network by partnering with FNB Private Clients, First National Bank's specialist banking solution that works with wealthy entrepreneurs, business professionals and others to increase their asset values. So basically, FNB Private Clients help make rich people, richer. The partnership is however, quite significant for two reasons. AngelHub's startup roster, future and present, now has access to this pool of investors who earn an income of...

  • Table Magic: Africa’s bold answer to OpenTable

    With all the affection bestowed upon restaurant services like Zagat and OpenTable, it’s high time that a standout name starts crescendoing in Africa. Cape Town-based Table Magic is stepping forward to lend its voice. Last year, Google paid US$151 million to acquire restaurant ratings service Zagat -- after its US$500 million bid to acquire Yelp fell through -- and restaurant reservations service, OpenTable, is currently valued just over a billion US dollars. Whether one agrees with the jaw dropping price tags or

  • Yup, the Malaysian IPO market is sizzling

    Pop quiz. Who had the second largest IPO this year, after Facebook? If you guessed Felda Global Venture Holdings, the Malaysian government-owned palm-oil-plantation company you are dead on -- I certainly wasn't. Felda, who raised US$3.1-billion last week, is among a series of companies turning up the heat in Malaysia’s IPO market this year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest proposed billion dollar IPO is one by the Malaysian Cable-television operator Astro All Asia Networks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and UBS AG are reportedly among the banks involved in...

  • NYSE-listed company snaps up Cape Town digital agency HelloComputer

    A few weeks ago, speculation hit the media circuit that Draftfcb, a global advertising agency owned by the New York Stock Exchange-listed Interpublic Group (IPG), was in talks to buy a Cape Town-based award-winning digital agency called HelloComputer. It's true: HelloComputer has been bought! In an exclusive interview with the shareholders of HelloComputer, we learned that this acquisition will see Draftfcb’s current digital arm, Mesh Interactive, be absorbed by HelloComputer. At the helm of HelloComputer is co-founder Mark Tomlinson and Managing Director David Moffatt, who have been in the digital space for more than a decade. Moffatt, who also happens...

  • Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’: a fundamental guide to business

    Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is a timeless, Pulitzer Prize winning novel, both rich in symbolism and conspicuously relevant in its contemporary application. As a parable for entrepreneurs, it is practically without parallel. A simple tale that sees a man set out to achieve a goal, and tackle the challenges that befall him and his determination to realise his ambition. The Old Man and the Sea's succinct, powerful grit registers as a fundamental guide to business. It’s a book I have read many times, and with each new reading I feel a stronger kinship with the...

  • Social wine discovery service Real Time Wine uncorks delicious mobile apps

    The world of wine is about to get super social and dramatically less snooty. Real Time Wine, the 140-character wine blog is now available in the form of beautiful apps for iPhone and Android phones. Real Time Wine makes it easy for those who don't consider themselves intrepid wine connoisseurs to venture out and try something new “Most wine buyers are not wine experts,” says founder Andy Hadfield. “The challenge of discovering new wine at the right price is so great that we tend to stick to the old and familiar. Real Time Wine makes the process of choosing, drinking...

  • Lending goes peer-to-peer with RainFin

    Let's be serious for a minute folks. Getting a loan from a bank can be a right royal pain in the arse. Surely you could save a load of admin if you, the willing borrower, could sit down at your computer and find a willing lender? That's exactly the premise behind a RainFin, a social lending company that says it wants to completely change the way people borrow and loan money in South Africa. The company provides a compelling alternative to banks for consumers who wish to invest and borrow money at more competitive interest rates. RainFin’s online platform...

  • CheqOut set to disrupt African mobile payments industry

    CheqOut, launching today, will allow anyone with an iPhone -- and later an Android phone or BlackBerry — to accept credit card payments, by swiping cards through a plug-in card reader. While CheqOut is similar to Square (Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s juggernaut electronic payment service) CheqOut is tailored for the African market. “We've done our research and adapted the Square concept for Africa. Our main focus has been on catering for the rich diversity of mobile handsets. Tablets still represent a tiny amount of usership, hence they are not our key device at this point. Another major concern is...

  • Will the Silicon Valleys of the world please rise [Infographic]

    Where is the next Silicon Valley? It's becoming cheaper and easier to set up a startup, all over the world -- and some of the larger emerging markets are vying for the chance to be the next centre of innovation. Will the next Silicon Valley be in Mexico, Indonesia or Nigeria? Will we see projects like Kenya's Konza Technology City become the place to be for aspiring entrepreneurs? A glance at the global entrepreneurship index shows that while the United States is still one of the easiest places to do business, the rest of the world is catching up. According...