• 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!
  • SA bank claims 1-million mobile phone banking users

    Absa, the country's largest retail bank, says it's one of the first banks in the world to notch up a million cellphone banking customers, prompting it to call "2009 the year for Cellphone Banking". It was the first South African bank to introduce Cellphone Banking services in the year 2000. Absa says that over the last few years there has been a surge in uptake, with up to 5000 new clients registering for Cellphone Banking each day. Absa says: “From observing the registration and usage numbers, 2009 will be the year in which Cellphone Banking develops serious traction in the market such...

  • Company Office

    Barclays accelerator announces latest participants in African programme

    Barclays Africa Group and Techstars today released the names of 10 financial-technology (fintech) companies selected to participate in the second Barclays Accelerator programme, powered by Techstars. The successful companies, all focused on providing fintech solutions in Africa, will participate in a 13-week growth acceleration programme at Barclays Africa’s Rise fintech innovation hub in Cape Town from mid-May. The 2017 programme participants are: Flexpay (Kenya), Howler (South Africa), Spatialedge (South Africa), Abe.ai (USA), The Sun Exchange (South Africa), Byte Money (South Africa), Avenews-GT (Israel), FOMO Travel (South Africa), Kapitalwise (USA) and eCOIDA (South Africa). Yasaman Hadjibashi, chief creation officer at Barclays Africa Group, said:...

  • Sequoia Capital on startups and the economic downturn

    This presentation from famous Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm, Sequoia Capital, is a must-see. It explains the effects of the economic downturn on venture capital and internet startups. The news obviously isn't good, as investors will shun typically risky online startups, unless they are entities that can turn faster, if not immediate, profits. There’s quite a bit of information on what went wrong in the economy, why the recovery is going to take some time, and what startups can do to survive. Sequoia reckon that startups without at least a year's worth of cash in the bank are in trouble....

  • Internet Solutions to create new VC fund for web innovation?

    It looks like Internet Solutions (IS) may be creating some kind of incubator or venture capital fund to encourage local web innovation and startups. The details are sketchy at this stage, but it in fact looks like the new initiative will launch as soon as this month, possibly middle of the month, with the launch of their website. I've been promised further clarity on the new venture in the coming weeks. I am guessing there is some Ronnie Apteker influence in this, as Ronnie has been travelling the world lately looking at new online ventures to invest in. Apteker was...

  • Venture Capital: The lies people tell

    Got this from a presentation by David Murray of Cape Venture Partners, a Venture Capital fund which has invested in quite a few successful businesses. Was alerted by a comment about 10 seconds after I posted this (literally) that it was originally adapted from Guy Kawasaki, here and here. So duly credited. Top ten lies entrepreneurs tell 1. “Our market is $X billion” 2. “We won’t need a second round of financing” 3. “A large contract with BigCo is signing next week” 4. “If we sell less than 50% of the company we still have control” 5. “All our estimates are very conservative” 6. “We...

  • SA aggregator cracks CNN mention

    This is killer. CNN.com mentioned Afrigator as a hot web 2.0 startup. Afrigator is the Africa-focused blog aggregator by Justin Hartman and Mike Stopforth. Nice. Very nice guys. Just noticed that my evil twin, who called me about it on the way back from work, also blogged about it here. This is the second time an SA Web 2.0 project has cracked a mention. Neville Newey's muti, a local Digg, was also recognised by CNN some time ago. Nice to see these cool, local projects on the world map.

  • New launch: Easy web publishing via Synthasite

    Well, well, well. The boys and girls from Incubeta -- the PPC marketing company -- have been busy. They've launched Synthasite. I'm a bit late on this, but hey I was down in Cape Town for the World Association of Papyrus and it kept me busy. Synthasite has already got some good reviews from a couple of major sites around the world, including Mashable and Read/Write web. (The Vinny marketing machine has clicked into gear). It's great to see more innovation from this South African web company. They say that "Synthasite is about revolutionising Web Publishing" and that Synthasite is...

  • 15 Startup Commandments

    Found this a good read, especially in the context of creating Amatomu.com. Got it off a Facebook group. The commandments 1. Your idea isn't new. Pick an idea; at least 50 other people have thought of it. Get over your stunning brilliance and realize that execution matters more. 2. Stealth startups suck. You're not working on the Manhattan Project, Einstein. Get something out as quickly as possible and promote the hell out of it. 3. If you don't have scaling problems, you're not growing fast enough. 4. If you're successful, people will try to take advantage of you. Hope that you're in that position,...

  • Scoop: New “Web 2.0” recruitment site launches in South Africa

    Here's a scoop for ya. I've just been alerted to what looks like a new and pretty serious "Web 2.0" entrant in the South African web market. www.employmint.co.za, the site owner claims, is a web 2.0 recruitment site "packed full of all the Web 2.0 goodness you can think of including mashups with Microsoft Virtual Earth, user generated content, AJAX / Atlas interface and more...". The way it works is quite novel. It works via a referral system. All jobs posted offer a cash reward to anyone who refers a friend for a job and is successfully placed....

  • Surviving the great dot.con

    As Google embraces the stock exchange, many dot.com kids are rubbing their hands with glee at what could signal a return of the good times. Matthew Buckland has been through dot.boom and dot.bomb and spent lots on expensive therapy to forget it all, but here he reminisces. (more…)

  • The internet goes from free to fee

    The internet goes from free to fee By Matthew Buckland If only the internet had been invented by a businessman. It’s a common lament of internet publishers who are buckling and wheezing under the financial strain of running unprofitable websites. These are the web publishers who somehow managed to survive the dotcom crash by the silicon of their circuit boards, but have struggled to find solid business models -- this despite bringing in huge audiences that even eclipse many profitable, advertising-rich print publications. But the big question for online publishers is: How to make money out of their huge readerships? (more…)