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  • Uconomy: The business of customer loyalty

    Customer loyalty is a problem for new businesses and one startup believes it may have found the solution through a mobile application service. Uconomy, a Cape Town-based company, claims it offers an integrated m-marketing and mobile loyalty option to the SMME and consumer market. Considering the importance of loyalty amongst the world’s large companies, the claim is worth considering. Henry Land and Florian Lucke, the founders of Uconomy, are targeting companies ranging from township entrepreneurs right through to established medium-sized businesses in the formal sector with their service. It’s part of the company’s effort to capitalise on the success of traditional...

  • Company Office

    Peach Payments and Callpay announce EFT system partnership

    Peach Payments, a leading and one of Africa's fastest growing payment service providers and Callpay, an innovative provider of secure payment solutions announce collaboration to provide automated Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) as well as secure telephonic payment acceptance solutions. The innovative products will enable millions of South Africans to make instant and secure payments when shopping online or during payment processes over the phone and via call centres. Through this exciting collaboration announced at the 3rd eCommerce Africa Conference, customers will now be able to pay online using their cheque, savings or credit card accounts. Merchants that sign up through...

  • 3 key strategies for starting your own online business

    Ever wanted to start a business, but are simply not sure where to start to minimise risk or expand your network? If a lack of access to capital was the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs until now, history is being kind. With the lowest barriers to entry in the global online market, the time to launch an idea for profit on the net is ripe. Here are three considerations for launching an online business. Each is with a view to minimise risk, maximise your network and begin asking the right questions to determine your strategy. Invest minimally if...

  • GetGlue brings social check-ins to media and entertainment

    People like to be rewarded for things they would probably do anyway. Hence it stands to reason that sooner or later someone would capitalise on this. And that is what entertainment check-in network GetGlue did -- by offering real and virtual incentives for consuming media online. GetGlue, founded in 2009 by New York City entrepreneur Alex Iskold, has pioneered the media check-in space, piggybacking on the Foursquare phenomenon with more than one million users earning stickers and discounts as they watch, read and listen. Sites like Foursquare and Gowalla have come a long way offering virtual “badges” to complement the...

  • WebGrowth — Boosting your business’ Google ranking

    Many companies want to rank better in search. Many SEO tricks have seen companies try to fight their way to number one. Google's Panda has made things a little difficult for a few companies. Many SEO consultants claim to be able to help companies caught in the "Panda's" grip. Help companies work well with the "Panda". One such company is WebGrowth, a South African-based startup has a project management tool for SEO research using Google analytics, Google webmaster tools and Majestic SEO designed to meet the need - pulling data from the net to focus on boosting the profile of...

  • 12 emerging market startups to watch

    Emerging market startups are coming into their own and increasingly appearing on the radar of mainstream venture capitalists in established markets. Skype recently announced its interest in investing in Chinese startups. The VoIP service is not the only player seeking a slice of the emerging markets pie - the list of startups grows everyday. Here are 12 of the many companies staking their claim in up and coming emerging markets: DianDian, China DianDian which means "bit by bit" was founded by Chinese business man Jack Xu. Prior to starting this venture, he was managing RenRen and Kaixin, two Chinese Facebook clones,...

  • How to do market and competitor research that wins investment

    Regardless of whether it’s an angel investor or venture capitalist you are approaching, every funder will narrow things down to one major question: “Who is your target market and who are you competing against?” This is the warning of Alex Fraser, who drives home the fact that preparing a market and competitor analysis is a vital part of any business plan or pitch deck. Fraser is based at at InvenFin, an early stage capital company. She says she often receives business plans with no competitor analysis, leading her to request one from entrepreneurs with the need for more information. It’s...

  • InMobi launches global mobile payment solution, ad network combo

    InMobi, a large, global independent mobile ad network, has announced the launch of a performance-based global mobile payments solution it is calling SmartPay. The company says this offering is "a first" because it combines InMobi’s large global ad network of nearly 32-billion ads monthly in 200 countries with a mobile payments solution. The company says that tracking from ad to conversion is a "major leap forward" for developers and digital goods providers globally. The payment solution will enable app developers, game companies, and content providers in the $200bn mobile content and virtual goods space to expand their business and monetise...

  • An international perspective on SA startups [NetProphet]

    Angel investing came accidentally to UK-based Permjot Valia. As the sales and marketing director of Ernst & Young, he became involved in their entrepreneur programme, which in turn led to his new career of investing in startups. By his own admission, Valia’s success rate is a statistical anomaly: while an average of only 3% of investors successfully exit a startup via an IPO, the first company he invested in went public within just seven months. Visiting Cape Town this week to work with local entrepreneurs, Valia shared his experiences, garnered over the course of his 25 or so investments,...

  • 38 emerging South African tech entrepreneurs to watch [Part I]

    The technology space is particularly notable for the amount of entrepreneurial activity it attracts. The word "startup" has become almost synonymous with the tech and online space and there are thousands of entrepreneurs that run small and large companies that are carving out niches for themselves. The high amount of entrepreneurial activity in the tech sector may be explained by the fact that the costs of starting an online business are low. You don't need a factory or heavy-lifting equipment to start an online business, and the people found in the sector are highly skilled. Also, we all know about the...

  • The African ecommerce opportunity [NetProphet]

    Ecommerce is on the rise around the globe at a rapid pace, driven by the huge successes of online retailers in the US and Europe, such as Amazon.com which has scaled up exponentially in recent years. It may come as a surprise, but the most successful ecommerce market place is actually in the Far East, South Korea to be precise, where the government and private sector are pushing for affordable broadband access, stimulating trust, upscaling, and using cutting edge technology. But where does Africa fit in? Africa’s consumer market is riddled with challenges unique to the continent. Not only is...