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  • Zando: online fashion clone claims big successes

    When online shoe and fashion outlet Zando hit the South African market six months ago, it was clear that the local stores in the country, like the Naspers-owned Kalahari and the newly relaunched Takealot were about to get some serious competition. The company, which apes the model pioneered by US-based company Zappos, is owned by Rocket Internet, which lays claim a global ecommerce empire -- GigaOM estimates that it owns some 38 companies across 58 countries. A number of these properties follow the same model as Zando, including Zalando in Germany and the UK, Locondo in Japan, The...

  • Company Office

    HealthQ

    HealthQ has been  tasked to assist with the testing and industrialization of a technology called LifeQ. The LifeQ product, worn by the user, will be able to determine the amount of calories and type of food that is being metabolized in real-time. Through constant electronic monitoring, both the energy uptake from food consumption and the energy expenditure of the user from vital functions and exercise will be accurately tracked, without the need for manual data logging and intervention, or the use of inaccurate proxies such as accelerometers or GPS. Being essentially a dashboard with the ability to track processes inside...

  • RunwaySale: selling high-end fashion in a flash

    Recently launched RunwaySale is a new and exciting flash-sale website that brings high-end designer labels to the consumer at hugely discounted prices -- all at the click of a button. Although this concept is already entrenched in the minds of European, American and Australian fashionistas, the idea is relatively new to the South African market and RunwaySale has hit the ground running, taking the South African public by well-dressed storm. We spoke to founders Elmien Smit and Karl Hammerschmidt about some of the challenges they're facing in the South African market: Ventureburn: Hey guys, how does this work? RunwaySale: Once signed up,...

  • Intel makes second Africa investment with Ghana’s Rancard

    Africa's tech hubs are coming into their own and now more than ever, the continent is ripe for the taking. It seems Intel is in agreement. The chip maker has announced that it will invest in a cloud company based in Ghana, reports The Next Web. The company in question, Rancard Solutions Limited ("Rancard"), claims to be "a leading provider of cloud based software for mobile content discovery and delivery, focused on Africa". Kofi Dadzie, CEO of Rancard, believes the investment "will play a vital role in enabling us to expand our footprint across Africa" which will aid the...

  • Lights, camera, valuation: Silicon Valley reality show on track for later this year

    A new reality show announced earlier this year, tentatively titled "Silicon Valley" is shaping up to be a riot, by the looks of things. The New York Times published an update on the show's progress and provides some insight into what viewers can expect. The show is set to air in the latter part of the year and being a Bravo TV production, the show is sure to ruffle a few tech industry feathers as it explores the "raucous reality of the tech industry in 2012." As reported earlier, Mark Zuckerberg's older sister, Randi is an an executive producer of the...

  • 6 finger lickin’ good tips for success from Colonel Sanders

    A uncovered autobiography and cookbook written by Kentucky Friend Chicken founder Colonel Harland Sanders was made available for download via KFC's Facebook page last month, which documents Sanders's life up to 1966 -- annoyingly you have to "like" and add an app to your account, so we pulled out some lessons based on anecdotes for you. In 1971, Sanders sold KFC to a liquor and food conglomerate called Heublein, which later lead to the Colonel becoming bitter as the quality of his beloved KFC declined and his relationship with Heublein deteriorated. Writes the Smithosian, "He stayed on as a goodwill...

  • Q&A with EasiOnline.com: The latest kid on the online buying block

    A flurry of online buying companies has rushed in on South Africa, some local and some from abroad, and a relatively new kid on the block has launched recently, offering any number of products amidst stiff competition. We spoke to Ardi Coetzee and Kevin Pillay from EasiOnline about their plans and aims in this market. Ventureburn: Perhaps we can start with a little on each of your backgrounds? Kevin Pillay: Prior to Easionline, I've been involved in the financial selling and credit industries, and decided to go into online, and am extremely happy so far with what I or rather we...

  • FNB Private Clients and AngelHub partnership heats up SA startup scene

    Readers of Ventureburn are probably well aware of AngelHub, the business angel investment group that pools funding, expertise and networks from a range of early stage investors to foster startup growth. AngelHub has recently extended its network by partnering with FNB Private Clients, First National Bank's specialist banking solution that works with wealthy entrepreneurs, business professionals and others to increase their asset values. So basically, FNB Private Clients help make rich people, richer. The partnership is however, quite significant for two reasons. AngelHub's startup roster, future and present, now has access to this pool of investors who earn an income of...

  • Table Magic: Africa’s bold answer to OpenTable

    With all the affection bestowed upon restaurant services like Zagat and OpenTable, it’s high time that a standout name starts crescendoing in Africa. Cape Town-based Table Magic is stepping forward to lend its voice. Last year, Google paid US$151 million to acquire restaurant ratings service Zagat -- after its US$500 million bid to acquire Yelp fell through -- and restaurant reservations service, OpenTable, is currently valued just over a billion US dollars. Whether one agrees with the jaw dropping price tags or

  • Yup, the Malaysian IPO market is sizzling

    Pop quiz. Who had the second largest IPO this year, after Facebook? If you guessed Felda Global Venture Holdings, the Malaysian government-owned palm-oil-plantation company you are dead on -- I certainly wasn't. Felda, who raised US$3.1-billion last week, is among a series of companies turning up the heat in Malaysia’s IPO market this year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest proposed billion dollar IPO is one by the Malaysian Cable-television operator Astro All Asia Networks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and UBS AG are reportedly among the banks involved in...

  • NYSE-listed company snaps up Cape Town digital agency HelloComputer

    A few weeks ago, speculation hit the media circuit that Draftfcb, a global advertising agency owned by the New York Stock Exchange-listed Interpublic Group (IPG), was in talks to buy a Cape Town-based award-winning digital agency called HelloComputer. It's true: HelloComputer has been bought! In an exclusive interview with the shareholders of HelloComputer, we learned that this acquisition will see Draftfcb’s current digital arm, Mesh Interactive, be absorbed by HelloComputer. At the helm of HelloComputer is co-founder Mark Tomlinson and Managing Director David Moffatt, who have been in the digital space for more than a decade. Moffatt, who also happens...