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  • 500 startups now accepting investment online through startup nexus AngelList

    500 Startups, the Silicon Valley accelerator with a penchant for emerging markets, has opened fundraising for its Fund II through AngelList, the social network of sorts for startups. Back in December 2012, AngelList launched a partnership with Secondmarket, the private market place for buying and selling alternative assets, to allow smaller accredited investors to invest in startups. The minimum investment amount was set at US$1 000 and the service reportedly went on to raise US$12 million within 30 days of going live. 500 Startups was the first incubator to use AngelList back in January to accept applications for its Spring 2013...

  • Company Office

    Tremendous innovation in sophisticated fintech payments in South Africa

    In 2016 $5.5-billion of venture capital investment went into payments startups. This represented 22% of global fintech investment activity. In South Africa, payments still dominate the fintech landscape. At AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs, we are seeing a tremendous amount of innovation in payments as SA consumers seek new ways to transact. Due to SA’s sophisticated banking infrastructure, we possess strong skills in this sector and many AlphaCode entrepreneurs are finding better and more efficient ways to transact. Here below are some of the really innovative startups operating in the payments space that fulfil specific customer needs. Including the informal economy Due to...

  • PhotoMania looks to carve niche as a ‘social-photo editor’

    There are two parties going on in the photo-sharing-platform world. The first party is outgoing, social, and the more guests talk and share between themselves (and with their friends outside the party), the better. This type of party often only has one or a few tricks (filters, effects), and prefers to rely on the social nature of their guests to provide entertainment and thrive. These are the photo-social platforms and their king is Instagram. The second type of party is a bit more quiet. Far fewer guests attend even though there is much better entertainment and tricks (filters, effects) for...

  • Zando founder, MD Manuel Koser resigns

    Zando co-founder and managing director Manuel Koser today announced his resignation from the South African online retailer. The entrepreneur will reportedly be leaving Zando to co-found Silvertree Capital, a "company builder and venture investor" in African startups. In a statement, Koser said that he would remain a shareholder in Zando. “I have decided to step down as MD of Zando.co.za to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures, as I am startup enthusiast and miss the excitement and hectic environment of setting up a company from scratch. I will still be a shareholder of Zando and leave the business on a...

  • Why build a tech city when you can build a tech neighbourhood?

    This just caught my attention and I think it is such an innovative idea. Leave it to the Nigerians to change things up. While the rest of the world is putting plans in place to build their various tech cities, Nigeria's tech hub in Lagos, has decided not to. According to the latest project by Lagos' innovation hub ccHub, the city is concerning itself with a tech neighbourhood (hat tip: White African) rather than a whole city. The initiative runs under that of the i-HQ Project, an industry led initiative that aims to accelerate the growth of technology innovation...

  • Packed full of startups, accelerator ship Unreasonable at Sea heads towards SA

    Geeks on a plane? Meet startups on a ship. Yep, startup accelerator Unreasonable Institute has been taking entrepreneurs on a voyage around the world while they work on solving social and environmental problems and bringing their businesses to international markets. Unreasonable at Sea has just passed the halfway mark on its 100-day journey, sailing past Mauritius on its way to its next pit stop in Cape Town, South Africa. The ship, which left San Diego in early January and plans to dock in Barcelona in April, is packed full of startups looking to expand globally and mentors who can help...

  • From deal sites to tablet makers: inside Africa’s startup boom

    Africa has a pretty impressive tech startup scene. Very few people know about it because the companies that are being built aren't exiting for millions of dollars. Well, not all of them. The continent has, in the last decade, seen a mobile explosion that beats the developed world. Yes, connectivity is still an issue that needs resolving but somehow the tech innovators are building products that have seen interest from the likes of financial juggernaut Visa and are winning innovation prizes against more established counterparts in the developed world. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Africa will have...

  • YaSabe secures seed round funding from angel investors

    There are over 52 million Hispanic or Latino Americans living across the United States. In 2011, it was deemed that Latin Americans made up 16.7% of the US population, and in certain cities that percentage increased to over 30%. These staggering numbers show that the US Hispanic community is a well of revenue just waiting to be tapped into - an emerging market within an established market. YaSabe, a 'search destination' catering to Hispanic consumers recognises the buying potential of the community and focuses its products and services accordingly. This concentrated approach has found itself in demand, as YaSabe just closed...

  • Axel Springer Plug and Play: accelerator with Silicon Valley link opens

    While the debate still rages on whether or not Berlin will become Europe's new tech hub, it's not stopping some major players from placing their bets. A new accelerator from Germany will allow startups -- from all around the world -- dreaming of a Silicon valley experience, to get a foot in the door. Axel Springer, the German mega media company behind publications such as Bild.de and Die Welt is teaming up with Plug and Play Tech Center, the Silicon Valley-based to fund and accelerate early stage startups. Plug and Play Tech Center has a network of over 300 tech...

  • Mxit’s CEO quest: our picks for the top job

    It's been about five months since Mxit's board of directors (aka the people with the money) and Alan Knott-Craig Jnr had a showdown that resulted in his stepping down as CEO. Five months on and the company is still under acting CEO Francois Swart. The Vatican found a new leader in less time. So we thought we would help Mxit along with some candidates to consider. There have been some major shake ups since Knott-Craig's departure: retrenchments, products announcements and reshuffles. The way we see it, Mxit needs something new and different, it needs a non-Mxit person who can...

  • 500 Startups takes ‘Geeks on a Plane’ tour to exciting Southeast Asia

    Asia's startup scene is booming. A large contributor to this boom is Southeast Asia's rise as an exciting region for tech startups due to an increase in internet and smartphone access, among other factors, and a budding presence of local accelerators. Noticing this, Western accelerators are keen to get in on the action. Leading the way is none other than 500 Startups, the ever impressive and expanding seed accelerator, who is taking their 'Geeks on a Plane' (or GOAP) tour to the region. GOAP is an invite-only tour designed to connect startups and investors while teaching both parties about the local...