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  • Why Google Trader could leave other classified platforms in the dirt

    Google Trader, the internet giant's classifieds and trading service, is making waves, especially in emerging markets. The aim of Trader is to make it easier for businesses to post classified-type ads for their services, products and jobs. Listings are accessible from the web, the mobile web and via SMS. The listings also now include price, locations, and short snippets of content based on what is being advertised. Google expanded its Trader product footprint to Kenya in October and Nigeria in November, following on from successes in Uganda and Ghana. Africa News even went as far as to say that...

  • Company Office

    Banking Africa's Unbanked - Time For A Reality Check

    Plenty of progress has been made on increasing the size of Africa’s banked population. The trouble is, from the amount of noise that is made about the topic, you would be forgiven for thinking we had fixed the problem when we really haven’t. According to the World Bank, today, 62 per cent of the world’s population has a bank account. In 2011 that figure was 51 per cent. In three years, 700 million people became “banked” in some way, and the number of “unbanked” individuals dropped 20 per cent to two billion adults. Much of this progress was attributed to...

  • App development made easy with Tappnology

    App stores are big business and with US$15-billion in revenue expected to pour into their combined coffers by 2012, everyone is looking for a slice of tasty, app pie. Especially the Dube brothers, Fredrick and Michael, creators of startup Tappnology. They promise "to go the extra mile to make sure your application shines". Enthusiasm we like. Tappnology creates mobile applications for smartphones and tablets, with the iPad being the only current device with a workable app. Tappnology currently has one product to show for its hard work, the clumsily named Tweetwallsaver. Did I need “dazzling photo, tweet and video...

  • 12 absolutely incredible lessons for entrepreneurs from Bill Gross [LeWeb]

    It's rare that you see a talk that resonates so deeply and makes complete, fundamental sense. You have the realisation that experience, genius and truth is in the same room as you and you are having those "aha" moments every minute -- and it's exhilarating. Bill Gross is an entrepreneurial genius. He runs a company called Idealab, started in 1996. He founded the company to create and build successful businesses that capitalise on innovations in areas with growth opportunities. Naturally the internet is a key focus for the company. Idealab has been busy: It has started about 100 companies, had more...

  • MIH kills group-buying site Dealify

    Another day, and another Groupon clone bites the dust. After a whirlwind gold-rush to emulate the incredible success of Groupon, there has been nothing but bad news in a recession-hit economy for the hundreds of thousands of group-buying clones out there. (Yes, we know there are exceptions). Emerging markets media and internet giant, Naspers is going to shut down Dealify, its late entry into the group-buying space, after just a few months in existence. "MIH has decided shut down Dealify, that I can confirm," MIH CEO of Platforms Stephen Newton told Memeburn. MIH is the media giant’s investment arm, with...

  • Has the internet made Black Friday an international phenomenon?

    Black Friday is a day that has permeated global media through a number of avenues. While it has very little direct bearing on our own lives it still forms a significant part of our local news content. For the uninitiated, Black Friday occurs the day after Thanksgiving and is supposedly when the Christmas shopping season officially begins. Stores mark this auspicious occasion by offering massive discounts and extended shopping hours. The figures recorded on this day, in both cash registers and foot traffic, are often used by economic analysts and social commentators to predict spending trends and gauge...

  • Five elements needed to attract startup funding

    Raising funding can be potentially expensive, as it requires resources, and time-consuming experience. Done correctly, it can yield valuable results and a substantial financial investment to grow your business. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs that want to go this route should be well prepared and display these five key essentials that funders look for when considering investing. 1. Know your market Clear and thorough market and competitor analysis is the mainstay of any successful business concept -- even more so when seeking funding. Understanding who you’re selling to, what pressing need you’re addressing and what competition you’re facing enables the funder to evaluate the...

  • eBay’s physical stores are giving it the jump on competitors this Christmas

    While most retail businesses this year are pushing to get a bigger slice of the online shopping spend, eBay Inc. has turned the tables on its more-traditional competitors by opening up physical "pop-up" stores in New York, San Francisco and London. Open for only five days (from 1 – 5 December) these stores will allow consumers to touch-and-feel products and purchase the product on the spot by using QR codes and scanning it in with their mobile phones. Traditional shoppers who are not accustomed to buying their Christmas goods online may be tempted to try it out for themselves and experience...

  • Lights out for Powertime in Cape Town

    Powertime, a South African mobile and web-based prepaid electricity vendor, is in trouble. As users in the Western Cape may or may not know, they are no longer able to purchase electricity online. This issue lies not with Powertime, but with the government of the Western Cape, or more specifically, the municipalities. Powertime launched two years ago as a bright-eyed startup project, servicing most municipalities as well as the major electricity providers such as Eskom and City Power. Based in Cape Town, it became the first vendor to introduce a prepaid electricity iPhone, Android and Nokia app. Their products consist...

  • 10 great insights from London’s tech hub

    I was recently in London for the Tech City UK Entrepreneurs Festival, as part of Britain's Global Entrepreneurship Week with over 300 tech entrepreneurs from around the globe. The experience was educational, to say the least, and gave me some insight into what any initiative aimed at developing entrepreneurship in the tech sector should be doing. Throughout the course of the week long conference, it became evident that emerging market initiatives like Silicon Cape in South Africa and the iHub in Kenya are definitely on the right track. There were, however, a number of guidelines I took away...

  • Why your startup’s product offering should look like a McDonald’s menu

    While some might question the logic behind Alan Knott Craig Junior's purchase of MXit, one can only stand up and applaud the astuteness of his first actions as the instant messaging giant's new Owner, CEO and all round Big Cheese! His first steps were simple, focus on what MXit's core product offering is and make sure it is the best at it. I liken this to the experience when you walk into McDonald's where, despite years of success around the globe, Ray Kroc's original idea for the McDonald's product offering that "you'll get the best hamburger you ever...