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  • FunDza: an experiment in mobile books

    No one will argue that the basic literacy situation in South Africa is dire. With access to books being so low (only seven percent of South Africa’s schools have a functioning library), several people have proposed utilising the mobile phone -- one device that is certainly not rare in South Africa -- as a platform for accessing books. This is an idea that’s been thrown around in South Africa since around 2007, and multiple projects have been started in the past few years experimenting in getting people, particularly kids, to read books on basic mobile phones. We caught up...

  • Company Office

    Click n Compare, Transforming the Online Comparison Space in 2016

    Click n Compare – soon to be CompareGuru – an online financial services comparison platform is geared up to take on 2016 with full force. The company, which originated in November 2013, is funded by Silvertree Capital and gaining momentum with every month that passes by. Based on the Money Supermarket model in the UK, the brand aims to become a one-stop financial hub for South Africans from all walks of life. With the many highlights of 2015 behind Click n Compare, the company is excited to experience even more in the coming year. As already mentioned, the brand is...

  • Law firm offers 6 tips for courting investors

    Law firm Dommisse Attorneys is a small team of attorneys with a big interest in startups. Speaking to BizCommunity, the firm's founder and senior partner Adrian Dommisse asserts the firm's interest in guiding startups through the legal aspects of securing funding -- both local and international -- as well as lending a hand in acquisitions. Dommisse says that whether you’re seeking venture capital from an international fund or courting potential shareholders, your startup will benefit from laying a basic legal groundwork early on. Complication and clutter can alarm investors, keep things simple. The less complex your capital structure and...

  • Microsoft launches angel fund and incubator: Bing Fund

    Could the next Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest emerge from the Bing Fund? Microsoft hopes so. Officially announced late last week, Microsoft's new "angel fund with an incubator program" is "founded by entrepreneurs, sponsored by Bing, and backed by the experience, expertise, and resources of Microsoft." US-based early-stage companies will get an opportunity to work with Microsoft for about four months, and will receive funding through a convertible note (a loan that converts into equity), special access to Microsoft technology, support from Microsoft engineers and marketers, and introductions to investors. Microsoft has official presences in emerging market countries around the world and...

  • TaxTim will dramatically change your opinion on filing tax returns

    Death and taxes. Both certain and both capable of evoking equal measures of despair. When tax season lumbers around, it’s hard enough to recount the cost of living lawfully, without the filing process being tedious and daunting. Take heart though, a South African startup called TaxTim is about to throw all your preconceptions about filing taxes out the window. Launched in November of last year, TaxTim is an approachable, virtual tax assistant who helps you complete your tax return by asking you simple questions, in plain English. By answering Tim’s questions, you help him collect the information needed to fill...

  • International innovation, design outfit wants a startup-in-residence

    This is cool. International design and innovation consultancy IDEO is giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to be a startup in residence at its Chicago offices. The consultancy claims that the programme, which lasts from 1 September to 1 December 2012, will see it "invest by committing to you, inviting you into our community, connecting you with our network of clients and thought leaders, and collaborating side by side with you to build a transformational organization and launch a new concept into the world". Oh and in return, you have to give it a small, we're not exactly sure how small,...

  • Ice cream on demand: All scream for Uber ice cream!

    Starting today, a new ice cream cone icon will appear in the Uber app, which lets users summon an ice cream truck to their location. Uber, the startup behind the app that lets users hire cars from their phone, is putting ice cream trucks on the road as part of National Ice Cream Month in America. It costs US$12 for a bundle of five ice creams -- types are location specific -- and the app will give you an estimation of how long the ice cream truck will take to arrive. When the truck pulls up, Uber users can also...

  • Zando: online fashion clone claims big successes

    When online shoe and fashion outlet Zando hit the South African market six months ago, it was clear that the local stores in the country, like the Naspers-owned Kalahari and the newly relaunched Takealot were about to get some serious competition. The company, which apes the model pioneered by US-based company Zappos, is owned by Rocket Internet, which lays claim a global ecommerce empire -- GigaOM estimates that it owns some 38 companies across 58 countries. A number of these properties follow the same model as Zando, including Zalando in Germany and the UK, Locondo in Japan, The...

  • RunwaySale: selling high-end fashion in a flash

    Recently launched RunwaySale is a new and exciting flash-sale website that brings high-end designer labels to the consumer at hugely discounted prices -- all at the click of a button. Although this concept is already entrenched in the minds of European, American and Australian fashionistas, the idea is relatively new to the South African market and RunwaySale has hit the ground running, taking the South African public by well-dressed storm. We spoke to founders Elmien Smit and Karl Hammerschmidt about some of the challenges they're facing in the South African market: Ventureburn: Hey guys, how does this work? RunwaySale: Once signed up,...

  • Intel makes second Africa investment with Ghana’s Rancard

    Africa's tech hubs are coming into their own and now more than ever, the continent is ripe for the taking. It seems Intel is in agreement. The chip maker has announced that it will invest in a cloud company based in Ghana, reports The Next Web. The company in question, Rancard Solutions Limited ("Rancard"), claims to be "a leading provider of cloud based software for mobile content discovery and delivery, focused on Africa". Kofi Dadzie, CEO of Rancard, believes the investment "will play a vital role in enabling us to expand our footprint across Africa" which will aid the...

  • Lights, camera, valuation: Silicon Valley reality show on track for later this year

    A new reality show announced earlier this year, tentatively titled "Silicon Valley" is shaping up to be a riot, by the looks of things. The New York Times published an update on the show's progress and provides some insight into what viewers can expect. The show is set to air in the latter part of the year and being a Bravo TV production, the show is sure to ruffle a few tech industry feathers as it explores the "raucous reality of the tech industry in 2012." As reported earlier, Mark Zuckerberg's older sister, Randi is an an executive producer of the...