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  • Hey Africa’s tech scene, I am sick of your whining: an open letter

    Dear Africa's tech scene (ATS), Shut the frack up. I am starting to get bored with your whining. Don't get me wrong, you are doing some pretty great things but enough with the moaning. It's time we had it out. Africa's tech scene is upset when it is criticised, upset when it is praised, and especially upset when Kenya or Nigeria are mentioned more than other countries. In effect, there is just no pleasing you. Perhaps an explanation is needed. Writing about Africa's tech scene can be a lonely job sometimes. Sure there are many people writing about...

  • Company Office

    Why now is the best time to invest in battery technology metals

    For those who use online trading brokers to monitor global markets and make investments, finding the next profitable trade can prove to be challenging given the sheer amount of choice they are presented with. Precious metals like gold and silver are popular ‘safe haven’ assets, but are often less effective for making a decent profit. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in battery technology metals, which could be far more effective for turning a decent profit. Here are some of the reasons now might be a good time to invest in them. Electric cars Most investors should be well aware of...

  • Ninja Invoice aiming for disruption with simplest, cheapest offering

    Cape Town startup, Ninja Invoice, says that quoting and invoicing should not be intimidating and consume a lot of valuable time. Entering a market dominated by heavyweights such as Freshbooks and Xero, Ninja Invoice's founder Gerhard du Toit says his invoicing startup's offering is basic, on purpose. Ninja Invoice has one standard unlimited plan and claims to be the most affordable premium quoting and invoicing system available -- fighting words indeed. Aimed at freelancers and small to medium sized businesses, the invoicing service works under a single unlimited price of US$15 per month for "pro" access which will buy you...

  • Dave McClure says Silicon Valley is ‘functionally illiterate’ at marketing

    We here at Ventureburn think marketing is really important when it comes to thinking about your overall startup strategy. It's better to start thinking about it sooner rather than later. It turns out we are not alone. In a series of tweets that appear to have been sent out of frustration, prominent Silicon Valley VC, Dave McClure let it all rip on what he thinks of marketing in the startup space. Hint: he is not impressed. McClure is the founder of popular seed accelerator 500 Startups, which has invested in more than 300 companies, including Markerly, idreambooks, myGengo, Artsicle,...

  • Exclusive: Uber, the $50m smartphone-based private driver startup rolls into SA

    A job post on LinkedIn suggests that everyone's favourite private driver/car service, Uber, may finally be making its way to South Africa. According to the job post, which has been active for less than a week, Uber is looking for a city manager that will not only run its Johannesburg operation but help Uber launch in the city. Uber is a San Francisco-based company which makes a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of luxury vehicles for hire. Uber at its core is an on-demand private driver. Users of the service can request a ride at any time using...

  • SA startup Weaver taps Facebook to help singles find love on a group date

    Joining an armada of dating startups -- some more legit, than others -- that tap Facebook for eligible singles, South Africa's Weaver is putting forward an interesting spin on matchmaking: group dates. Founded by the same guys that brought us CableKiosk, the ecommerce site that specialises in gadget cables, Andrew Lynch and Kiril Dobrev's Weaver sets up drinks between two groups of friends. There's no need for a public profile. Weaver matches up the two groups -- each consisting of three people -- using information from their Facebook profiles. Matches are made through a mix of number crunching as well as...

  • WooThemes founder cooking up educational resource for startups

    This is interesting. WooThemes founder Adii Pienaar, is quietly preparing to launch a new venture called PublicBeta. The new project looks to be an educational resource for entrepreneurs, with people including the likes of Hiten Shah, Chris Savage, Dharmesh Shah, Garrett Dimon, Spencer Fry, Amy Hoy, Nathan Barry, Sarah Hatter and Pienaar himself sharing their knowledge and experience on the platform. Its elevator pitch, naturally, makes it seem a little more exciting than that: PublicBeta is a learning community for entrepreneurs; and PublicBeta is your more intelligent and more experienced co-founder. Plus you don’t even have to give us equity. From...

  • Nigerian startup Knack launches affordable laptop and tablets

    Knack International Limited launched a trio of smart devices and a laptop over the weekend. The young startup from Nigeria is attempting to provide local tablets, smartphones, laptops as well as support services. The company states that it has a specific target that will focus on personal individuals, students, and businesses as the key market segment. Knack is a young startup company that focuses on providing hardware as well as ICT solutions in an attempt to position itself as a top brand in the African market space. Providing both a product and a service, Knack wants to establish long term relationships...

  • Busted: three myths about being an entrepreneur blown wide open

    There is a guy called Daniel Isenberg -- I don't really know him but he is a big deal and writes and talks a fair bit about entrepreneurship. He's written a book that I feel touches on some interesting points about entrepreneurship. Brad Feld, co-founder of Techstars, likes it so there must be something to it. The book, Worthless, Impossible and Stupid, is broken into four parts and in the next few weeks I will be publishing some insights from each part. The book takes the reader on a fascinating journey around the globe with some of the world's...

  • Jobs portal SEEK pumps $20-million into Private Property’s classifieds empire

    Australian jobs portal SEEK has invested US$25-million (R205.53-million) in One Africa Media (OAM), previously named Private Property Holdings. The deal will help the South African-based classifieds company expand its operations in Africa. A significant portion of the group is owned by Tiger Global Management, the New York-based venture capital fund that already partners with SEEK in other ventures across Asia and Latin America. OAM is best known for its Private Property real estate listings website which it founded in 1998 to promote private sales and letting of residential real estate. The company now operates internet classifieds businesses for cars,...

  • Marc Andreessen: Silicon Valley is too hard to recreate

    Known for co-founding Netscape and the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Marc Andreessen recently made his thoughts clear on what seems to be a harsh skeptical outlook on international startup ecosystems. Reported by TechCrunch, he highlights the notion that acceleration programmes and the like should stick to geographic regions they know best. Beijing's attempts to replicate Silicon Valley, he says, won't work because each region has its own particularities. Pointing at the political environment, he says that although China is heading on par with the US economically, it's still lacking the required transparency and fundamental laws for protecting workers....

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