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  • Crazy ideas, debts and cereal: Airbnb’s co-founder talks growth, good advice

    Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO at Airbnb was onstage last Friday with Sequoia Capital’s Yinglan Tan as moderator at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to talk about his experience building Airbnb. If you don’t know Airbnb, then you probably haven’t travelled much. Airbnb is the largest online marketplace to list and rent holiday homes and rooms around the world. To date, the San Francisco startup has over 500 000 listings, serving over 8.5-million guests across 33 000 cities and is apparently also very active in Asia. Airbnb was founded when Chesky and his co-founder first started leasing out their own...

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    Zapacap Optimizing Taxis Will Help Cape Town Transport

    Cape Town has been named as ‘the third most congested city in the world’ -a pretty incredible statistic for the city often named as easy-going, lazy or just, ‘chilled’. With a statistic like that, we have to ask, “What’s going on with Cape Town’s transport?” Too many cars only transport one passenger We have some great roads in Cape Town and municipalities are always quick to fix any potholes that come about as a result of wear and tear. The real problem though is the bottlenecks that occur each morning as a result of some unfortunate road design as well as...

  • Rocket Internet-backed online vehicle marketplace Carmudi officially launches

    It seems that Rocket Internet is establishing its commercial investments in areas outside of the usual fashion ecommerce startups more and more. The incubator has launched its newest venture Carmundi -- an online marketplace for vehicles in emerging markets. Initially, the service will offer an estimated 700-million users based in Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar the opportunity find, buy and sell cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles online. Before today the service was publicly known as Carmido in Africa, Ubiauto in Latin America and Motors in Asia. A few weeks ago Rocket Internet announced another "mudi" and the collaboration of...

  • Wabona partners with Cinemo to bring video-on-demand to Mxit and Android

    Wabona provides video-on-demand via the web and has recently announced a partnership that would in effect soon allow the Cape Town-based startup to publish content via Mxit and Android. Together with Cinemo, Wabona hopes to further distribute its library of video content as the mobile market increases. The new partner, Cinemo, is a startup initiative part of RLabs and has earlier this year launched the first feature film on the popular chat service, Mxit, a platform which also supports apps for smartphones and feature phones. It currently has around 420 000 users overall and offers films, Public Service Announcements (PSAs),...

  • Worthless, impossible and stupid: the entrepreneur’s way

    "If everyone tells you it is a good idea, run the other way," Jay Rogers, Local Motors. Here in the second part of our epic review of the book by Daniel Isenberg, Worthless, Impossible and Stupid, we take a look at crazy ideas and staying away from crowds. 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 most successful entrepreneurs. Their successes are explained in...

  • Malaysian startup iMoney secures $2-million in Series A funding

    Financial comparison and advisory startup, iMoney Group, announced yesterday that it secured US$2-million in Series A funding. This news comes after the Malaysia-based company managed to raise US$500 000 in June this year. In a nutshell, iMoney aims to help you sort out your financial products such as home loans, personal loans and credit cards, and apply online for those products. The service is described as being both a transparent and convenient way to apply for loans from your computer. Led by Jungle Ventures, investors include ECONA AG, Rebright Partners, IMJ Fenox, Fenox Venture Capital, 500 Startups, Vogel Ventures...

  • On the road: Silulo Ulutho Technologies talks empowering people through tech

    While we're seeing tech companies popping up across Africa, Silulo Ulutho Technologies isn't aiming to become the next must have app -- it's starting from the ground up. Mich Atagana travels to Khayelitsha to chat about the IT training initiative with co-founder Luvuyo Rani. The company provides communities based in townships or rural areas with the opportunity to scratch up on their IT skills to be better prepared for their professional careers. She also speaks to Senior Trainer Luvuyo Soji about the specific types of courses the centres have to offer. Generally though, the initiative focuses on computer education,...

  • 4 ways to build offline connections with your startup’s customers

    Entrepreneurs are bombarded with advice on using digital means to connect with customers. But what about connecting in real life? Although much of the marketing world is focused on what’s happening online, most of our real-life experiences with products and brands still occur offline. We go out to eat, take vacations, hang out with friends, shop, and attend conferences — even though we’re probably tweeting or Instagramming the entire time. It’s hard to beat social media for the sheer number of people it can reach instantly. However, offline marketing stands out because of the quality of connections you...

  • Gust Pay gives us a glimpse of how its app, NFC wristbands fared at Rocking the Daisies

    A few weeks back, we told you about the app Stellenbosch-based startup Gust Pay had built for the Rocking the Daisies music festival, as well how it planned to implement its NFC payment system. Now, we can give you a little bit of information on how they fared. The app was designed to take advantage of advanced navigation smartphone features and sensors to guide festival-goers around the venue, while the NFC payments system allowed them to pre-load money onto wristbands in a bid to avoid the hassle of carrying cash around. According to an official blog post from Gust...

  • Microsoft to announce incubation partnerships at DEMO Africa

    DEMO Africa is one of the continent's biggest startup events, so it tends to attract the odd news announcement from big players and investors. The latest will see Microsoft announcing a series of partnerships with a number of African incubators. According to the tech giant, it has inked strategic cooperation agreements with three incubator organisations across the continent, namely:CcHub in Nigeria, DTBi in Tanzania and AfriLabs -- the pan-African hub network. It adds that these agreements, which have been signed under the 4Afrika Initiative, are designed to further its commitment to accelerating SME growth and local innovation. The...

  • 5 massive PR lessons learned from working with startups in Africa

    I’ve been involved with tech companies and startups in Africa for the past 15 years, and have seen some major success stories that have helped to establish Cape Town as one of the tech startup capitals of the world. But I have also seen an untold number of startups fail, unable to make the transition to a successful, established company, in the process disappearing into obscurity. As a marketing and brand elevation specialist, my interest lies in how companies drive growth and achieve long-term success through establishing strong brands. Over the years, I’ve learned some hard-won lessons of how companies...