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  • Mobicanvas hitting the bottom line with free mobile sites

    Creating mobile websites which can be viewed on any feature phone or smartphone has gained traction globally. One South African startup is capitalising by offering the service at no cost, while laying claim to a simple drag and drop interface. Mobicanvas is a web tool that helps any business or individual to easily and cheaply build, promote and monetise its own mobile websites, claims Stephen Ballot, one of the company's co-founders. The company promotes an easy-to-use drag and drop interface amongst its key features. "Building a mobile site, or any site for that matter, has never been easier",...

  • Company Office

    App Measurement Now Available to IAB Members

    Johannesburg, South Africa: Effective Measure and IAB South Africa are pleased to announce a new application measurement service that will enable IAB members to track the traffic to, and usage of their apps. This development reflects the industry body’s commitment to digital innovation. Effective Measure provides web and mobile traffic data and audience profiles for all IAB Publisher member sites as part of a long-standing partnership with IAB SA.  Adding app measurement to the dashboard is the next step in a process that aims to achieve a single point of measurement for IAB members that incorporates rich data about how...

  • 3 reasons NOT to start a group buying site

    The group buying industry sprang to life with very little warning. Groupon began a trend and soon everyone wanted a piece of the action. This phenomenon has been popular in emerging market countries such as South Africa where it began with Wicount in 2010. By January 2011, big names like Groupon and Bidorbuy had bought out smaller South African sites like UbuntuDeal and with a very low barrier to entry, the market exploded. It would seem that it is an industry to have a look at, especially for an entrepreneur; perhaps you can start your own group buying site?...

  • Startup Weekends hit South Africa

    In what could be a potential boon for tech entrepreneurs in the region, Startup Weekends have arrived in South Africa. Startup Weekends are established in Silicon Valley, but until recently, South Africa had missed out on the benefits of this exciting 54-hour weekend phenomenon. The initiative involves teams gathering from Friday evening to Sunday night to set up a business, ultimately vying for the top position as judges assess the best business ideas at the end of the weekend. The first weekend took place in Cape Town, with Johannesburg having its own Startup Weekend soon after. ...

  • MTN Mobile Money launches debit card-based online shopping solution

    eCommerce service provider, MTN Mobile Money, has launched a mobile payment mechanism, which will enable users to purchase products online using a debit card. MTN Mobile Money says the mechanism, called payD, will enable millions of South Africans to make secure, online payments using only their pin-based debit cards. It is hoped that payD will provide a boost to South Africa's lagging ecommerce market. World Wide Worx's Online Retail in SA 2011 report shows that retail ecommerce hit R2 billion last year. "This sounds big", says Dave Parratt, head of new business development at MTN Mobile Money, "but it’s...

  • Blink Tower: Making money by explaining ideas

    If a picture says a thousand words then, some may argue, a video packs in a million. In the internet age, concentration spans are increasingly shrinking. An effective message makes a point and keeps attention. The fact that there are arguments that social media may be causing attention deficit disorder is perhaps enough to underlie the issue. Enter Blink Tower, which believes it has a solution. Its founders, including Skyrove's Henk Kleynhans say they turn ideas into simple videos which "even your grandmother can understand". The company simply titles its videos "explainers", a term which came up frequently during an...

  • 5 chess principles for internet business practitioners

    Gamification and how we can apply mechanics and principles from the world of games to our products is an idea on the rise, but it does have its limits. Have you considered gamifying yourself as a business practitioner? Chess is a good place to start. Serious chess nerds have linked improvement in their game to enhanced business acumen. This is not completely unrealistic, given the well-documented positive influence of chess on child development in areas like self-esteem, organisational skills, better thinking and problem-solving abilities. Chess-playing managers recognise many parallels between chess and business. In both cases you are required...

  • 5 steps to show you’re a safe investment, even in an ‘unsafe’ market

    The US Chamber of Commerce have lamented the fact that American investors were losing out opportunities in emerging markets during a time when the recession was killing profits seemingly everywhere. Part of the fear is a lack of stability and concern over just how safe it is to put money in areas where returns have been massive. If your country’s investment profile doesn’t seem that great, it may not be so much your business, but the perception of your nation’s institutions that create uncertainty. The Index of Economic Freedom shows that an open market, fair rules and a...

  • Forget the bubble, the rise in VC investment is unsustainable

    The latest MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the US-based National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters: Q2 2011 VC investments jump 19% to $7.5 billion in 966 deals. Year ago: $6.3 billion in 814 deals Latest quarter is highest total since Q2 2008. These high levels are not sustainable says Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA: "For the past three years, the venture capital industry has been investing significantly more dollars into companies than it has been raising from institutional investors. This level of investment cannot continue if we do not start to see...

  • Hummba: Virtual guides anywhere, anytime

    An online audio and text guide shop may not be the most innovative idea, but having content easily available on mobile application anywhere in the world may just beat having a tour guide. If anything, according to its founder, it eliminates the need for one. This seems to be the thinking behind Hummba.com, a company planning to afford the resources of a personal tour guide to any user anywhere in the world. Founder Mark Allewel says the company's flagship product, Tourism Radio, is a GPS driven information station for tourists. “We tell you all about the area you are...

  • Twitter now looking to monetise from ecommerce

    Twittter chief executive Dick Costolo has announced that in addition to its current money-maker, advertising, Twitter -- in keeping with its monetisation drive -- could potentially generate revenue from commerce. Speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference Costolo also dismissed reports of management turmoil at the San Francisco-based company and said it is still seeing explosive growth. "Along any axis you measure us we're growing faster than we've ever grown before", Costolo said. Twitter users are sending one billion tweets every five days and the service now has more than 200 million registered users, he said. Costolo declined to reveal whether Twitter is...