• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Bozza boss reveals major Omidyar Network investment

    Bozza boss Emma Kaye has revealed to Ventureburn that Africa-friendly Omidyar Network made a sizable investment in the company. Bozza, which is currently based in South Africa, adds Omidyar as a second Venture Capital funder after securing investment from Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa in 2011. The startup is a video-based mobile social networking service aimed at township users. Its primary focus is to give a voice to the Pan-African market. Bozza provides a platform for youth to create their own content about their lives and environment. In its own words, the service focuses on "contextually relevant made-for-mobile content". The Omidyar Network,...

  • Company Office

    Newbies at Creative Spark

    Our company is expanding fast and with growth comes fresh, new faces (as well as a new Jo'burg office). Over the last couple of months, we've had the pleasure of appointing a group of highly skilled individuals, who we want to introduce you to. A warm welcome to all the new Sparks and Burns, may our journey together be prosperous and filled with excitement. Asanda Ketelo - Front Office Siyabonga Shongwe - Developer Amanda Jafta - Finance Assistant Lethabo Mokgatie - Intern (Memeburn) Christopher Wilton - Junior Editor (Memeburn) Amanda Chetty - Bought Media Manager Graham van der Made - Writer (Memeburn) Sandile Shezi - Developer Jennifer Williamson -...

  • Africa’s crowdfunding context: starting up startups the African way

    "Crowdfunding is the democratization of for startups," says founder of Thundafund Patrick Schofield. People get the opportunity to directly vote with their wallets for the services or products they want. Though massively popular and hyped-up by the media in the US and Western Europe, where does it leave Africa? How has the continent adopted its philosophy to its own advantage, and is it successful? Starting up startups the African way Out of all the sites we could find, there are as many as three in South Africa namely StartMe, FundFind and the most recent ThundaFund to provide micro financing...

  • Duties, supply and cost: the problem with making hardware in Africa

    Recently I wrote about the making of our mobile internet router, the BRCK, here in Nairobi, and I alluded to some of the issues around doing hardware in Africa: Making things is hard. It’s harder in Africa. I can’t overnight an order of processors, boards or 3D printing filament here. There isn't an over abundance of local fabrication facilities or tools, and the milling machine you find might be in disrepair and take you two days to calibrate. We’ve got our work cut out to create the right spaces for prototyping and small-scale fabrication on the continent. I just had another...

  • Don’t go unappreciated or waste money on gift cards anymore, be Kiind

    A gift-card given, is a gift-card thrown away, as a wise man once said. A verbose and fake idiom, but in reality about 8%-19% of gift cards are never used. For Kiind, a Canadian-based startup, this means waste: financial waste, environmental waste, delivery and time waste... it's just so wasteful, and Kiind aims to fix that with its new gift-card platform which only charges a giver, "when the receiver chooses to use the gift." Actually, if you were to take Kiind's press release at face value, we've got a gift-card crisis on our hands. "If you bought a gift card for...

  • African crowdfunding site seeks funding… on crowdfunding site

    There are a number of upcoming crowdfunding platforms in Africa, but this Nigerian-based startup is taking an interesting route -- it's launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds it needs to get its site up and running. Yes, a crowdfunding site is using another crowdfunding site. Meta. Headed by two co-founders and five volunteers based in Abuja, GogoAfrika is currently seeking US$15 000 to cover the building of its website and the initial marketing and awareness costs. It is currently working on a beta version which is set to launch in early August, but if it meets its...

  • Startup Blitz: Supernice on improving brands’ digital engagement

    "Innovate. Touch. Create." are the words that Supernice stands for. While aiming to create "not just another app," the startup wants to create fun, engaging and rewarding brand experiences. Our new Startup Blitz, puts Supernice founder Daren Fuchs under the spotlight. Simply put, the startup promotes better user engagement for brands to connect the online with the offline world. This is done by designing digital widgets ranging from web, mobile to touch and gesture-based applications focused on improving interactive digital experiences. So far Supernice's portfolio includes applications for Adidas and The Bubbleheads as well as an environmental awareness iPad game called POP...

  • The startup curve South Africa: wiggles of realism

    It is sometimes too easy to dish out titbits of startup advice from a venture capital ivory tower without going through the practical realities of executing a business plan, but pattern recognition could close some expectation gaps. As Paul Graham pointed out in his version of the Startup Curve, while many people think startups are smoothly up and to the right all the time, the path to success is more of a roller coaster ride. Because of a fragile startup ecosystem in South Africa, startups here have additional challenges to overcome. An adaptation of the Startup Curve reflects the typical path of a local startup’s wild ride...

  • SumUp secures funding to take mobile payments to South America

    Mobile point-of-sale company, SumUp, recently raised a rumoured 'double-digit million Euro' round in Series B funding from Groupon and American Express. Today it announced further Series B funding with investment from BBVA Ventures. The investment from BBVA Ventures, which is the corporate venture arm of multinational banking group BBVA, will help SumUp cement its position in Spain and Portugal, as well as expand into South America in the near future, reports The Next Web. The investment amount is undisclosed, but it is known that BBVA Ventures has US$100 million at its disposal to back financial service startups worldwide. SumUp co-founder...

  • Go start something: free Ruby on Rails workshop for women and their friends

    The organisers behind the RailsBridge Workshop, believe that there is a gender imbalance in Cape Town's tech community. The inaugural "one-and-a-bit day" Ruby programming course that runs from 26 July to 27 July, aims to serve as a starting point to women interested in coding. The free workshop which promises to show how programming skills can be useful, empowering, and fun -- particularly in the context of the web -- is bound to pique the interest of female entrepreneurs who have been thinking about starting an online venture. RailsBridge is an opportunity to both learn and network with a...

  • Martin Bjergegaard talks pitching new ventures, multi-million dollar exits

    Martin Bjergegaard was an unknown name to me, till some few weeks ago. His profile, at the time, included him being the co-author of Winning Without Losing and being the co-founder of a startup accelerator called Startup Bootcamp. That alone, aside from the fact that he’ll be in South Africa next week, was enough for me to want to find out more. Bjergegaard built the Startup Bootcamp as well as Rainmaking, which is dubbed a ‘startup factory’, and was part of two multi-million dollar exits at the age of 35. At both Rainmaking and the Startup Bootcamp, Bjergegaard and...

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