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  • The future of shopping is mobile

    People are swapping shopping malls for online and virtual stores at a faster rate than ever before. Combine this shift with our increasingly compulsive and indecisive nature, and you can see why online retailers are frantically coming up with new ways to entice people, so they can linger on their sites longer. One way they are doing so this is by focusing on our closest companions: our mobile phones. This echoes one of my favourite lines from Irish comedian Dylan Moran: "I don’t know what I want, but I know that I want it now." Mobile apps: having a shop...

  • Company Office

    IAB SA Bookmark Awards 2017 celebrates Emerging Technology

    The IAB SA Bookmark Awards recognise best-in-class digital work in South Africa. As the definition of digital rapidly expands within today’s marketing climate, the Bookmarks seek to promote and award the country’s digital pioneers in the Emerging Technology category. John Dixon, Jury Chair for the 2017 IAB SA Bookmark Awards says, “The Bookmark Awards have always tried to evolve the categories of entry to reflect the emergence of new technologies into the mainstream digital conversation. We’re excited this year to confirm new categories such as Programmatic Media, Virtual Reality and Internet of Things.” The Programmatic Media category recognises new ways of...

  • mmMule: Deliver things and have an adventure, do some good

    "For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven't tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay your welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience." That quote from the cult movie, The Beach embodies the whimsical spirit of mmMule, a startup that rewards you for delivering things to people on your travels. mmMule is essentially a crowdsourced courier service. As it depends on a healthy helping of chance and serendipity, it’s not a real replacement for postal and courier services,...

  • The dramatic fall of BitCoin: No end in sight

    We've discussed BitCoin at some length on Memeburn, including how it works, its potential downfalls, and its genuine merits. BitCoin has experienced its ups and downs in the few years that it has emerged as an online currency. Last year, a major 'pick-pocketing' scandal when an anonymous BitCoin user claimed that thieves had managed to steal nearly US$ 500 000 worth of BitCoin. Although the case was unverified, a series of similar incidents caused the BitCoin exchange rate to crash at the time. This year, a number of new attacks on BitCoin have raised further concerns for the online...

  • Smokoo founders launch online dating site

    When online auction site Smokoo shut down, we told you that its South African-based founders were working on a new project. Memeburn can now reveal what that new project is: an online dating site. The site, called Adopt Him, claims to offer a slightly different take on the online dating phenomenon, calling itself “South Africa’s first online dating site that lets the ladies call the shots”. Here’s how it works. The site lets women decide who they want to chat to them. It says they can do so by browsing or searching through the database until they find someone...

  • Zando: The Germans are here

    Zando has hit the African continent. The ecommerce outfit has been building a presence in South Africa for the last three months. The local stores in the country, like the Naspers-owned Kalahari and the newly relaunched Takealot are about to get some serious competition. Zando is an online shoe and fashion retail outlet that apes the model pioneered by US-based company Zappos and it's been making serious waves with a massive advertising campaign in print, online, and radio. The company is owned by Rocket Internet, which lays claim a global ecommerce empire -- GigaOM estimates...

  • What gaps need to be plugged in the African startup ecosystem?

    Africa's startup ecosystem is in a state of flux. These are the formative days, the few million years post big-bang, if you would. So there are many questions and many gaps that need to be filled as we seek to learn from other innovation centers around the world, while at the same time setting the rules that will work best for our context all while actually building this thing. In a sense, it’s like setting about building a structure while figuring out what the actual structure should look like in the end and not just that but also how...

  • Can anonymous lists help Active Gifts win at Social Gifting?

    Some people think that social gifting is the next big thing in tech. Hell some even think it’s the future of ecommerce. One of the latest guests to the part is a site called Active Gifts. According to the Ukranian-based company’s CEO Artem Sukhoroslov, the site’s aim is to make sure that 100% of people receiving gifts are satisfied with them. He claims to have to stats that show 75% of people only pretend to be satisfied with the gifts they receive, leading to a perpetual cycle of re-gifting or store returns. Active Gifts’ solution? Lists. The company claims...

  • Providing a platform for South Korean startups: BeLaunch

    South Korea is a leading player in the global tech industry with Korean brands leaving their mark in various sectors. While we hear a lot about South Korean firms innovating and pushing the envelope, there is hardly any platform to showcase the thriving software and tech startup scene in South Korea. BeLaunch hopes to do just that by giving a platform for Korean startups and at the same time enable people and organizations outside Korea to tap into the exciting world of Korean entrepreneurship. BeLaunch is an initiative of BeSuccess which is one of South Korea’s leading media platforms...

  • Would you run your startup from a boat docked off Silicon Valley?

    This has the potential to be cool. Very cool. It's a boat that will eventually float 12 miles (19.3km) off the coast of California and it's attracting attention from startups around the world. The boat, which bills itself as a floating island, is the brainchild of a company called Blueseed. The fact that it's in international waters means that people can have close access to funding from Silicon Valley VCs without a US work visa. According to a report released by Blueseed, that may not be the biggest draw though. Nearly a quarter of the companies that have signed up to...

  • Eight startup sins and how to avoid committing them [Net Prophet]

    Starting a business baby, starting a business. It can be a wild ride. Sylvia Gruber co-Founder and CEO of Rubybox broke down her experiences with Rubybox into eight, bite-sized tips for burgeoning startups. Gruber is big on keeping things basic and personal, simplicity is key -- often the most difficult and the most important aspect to get right. Rubybox is a monthly beauty box subscription service that provides its subscribers with beauty product samples. The service allows for business-to-business opportunities by being a conduit for beauty product companies, to push out product samples into the market, for research and promotion....