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  • Smokoo founders launch online dating site

    When online auction site Smokoo shut down, we told you that its South African-based founders were working on a new project. Memeburn can now reveal what that new project is: an online dating site. The site, called Adopt Him, claims to offer a slightly different take on the online dating phenomenon, calling itself “South Africa’s first online dating site that lets the ladies call the shots”. Here’s how it works. The site lets women decide who they want to chat to them. It says they can do so by browsing or searching through the database until they find someone...

  • Company Office

    Nomanini scales West African footprint with Transaction Solutions partnership

    South African-based portable Point of Sale (PoS) service provider Nomanini has announced it has signed an exclusive agreement with Transactions Solutions Ghana Limited (GSE: TRANSOL) to substantially scale numbers of its cloud-based PoS terminals in Ghana. The partnership with TranSol signals Nomanini’s first scaled project commitment in West Africa, with the first batch of 100 pilot terminals having been deployed in January 2015, proving an instant hit with vendors. A second, larger shipment is due to arrive next month. Nomanini already has partnerships in Kenya, Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique, with active terminals processing over five million transactions in those regions, including...

  • Zando: The Germans are here

    Zando has hit the African continent. The ecommerce outfit has been building a presence in South Africa for the last three months. The local stores in the country, like the Naspers-owned Kalahari and the newly relaunched Takealot are about to get some serious competition. Zando is an online shoe and fashion retail outlet that apes the model pioneered by US-based company Zappos and it's been making serious waves with a massive advertising campaign in print, online, and radio. The company is owned by Rocket Internet, which lays claim a global ecommerce empire -- GigaOM estimates...

  • What gaps need to be plugged in the African startup ecosystem?

    Africa's startup ecosystem is in a state of flux. These are the formative days, the few million years post big-bang, if you would. So there are many questions and many gaps that need to be filled as we seek to learn from other innovation centers around the world, while at the same time setting the rules that will work best for our context all while actually building this thing. In a sense, it’s like setting about building a structure while figuring out what the actual structure should look like in the end and not just that but also how...

  • Can anonymous lists help Active Gifts win at Social Gifting?

    Some people think that social gifting is the next big thing in tech. Hell some even think it’s the future of ecommerce. One of the latest guests to the part is a site called Active Gifts. According to the Ukranian-based company’s CEO Artem Sukhoroslov, the site’s aim is to make sure that 100% of people receiving gifts are satisfied with them. He claims to have to stats that show 75% of people only pretend to be satisfied with the gifts they receive, leading to a perpetual cycle of re-gifting or store returns. Active Gifts’ solution? Lists. The company claims...

  • Providing a platform for South Korean startups: BeLaunch

    South Korea is a leading player in the global tech industry with Korean brands leaving their mark in various sectors. While we hear a lot about South Korean firms innovating and pushing the envelope, there is hardly any platform to showcase the thriving software and tech startup scene in South Korea. BeLaunch hopes to do just that by giving a platform for Korean startups and at the same time enable people and organizations outside Korea to tap into the exciting world of Korean entrepreneurship. BeLaunch is an initiative of BeSuccess which is one of South Korea’s leading media platforms...

  • Would you run your startup from a boat docked off Silicon Valley?

    This has the potential to be cool. Very cool. It's a boat that will eventually float 12 miles (19.3km) off the coast of California and it's attracting attention from startups around the world. The boat, which bills itself as a floating island, is the brainchild of a company called Blueseed. The fact that it's in international waters means that people can have close access to funding from Silicon Valley VCs without a US work visa. According to a report released by Blueseed, that may not be the biggest draw though. Nearly a quarter of the companies that have signed up to...

  • Eight startup sins and how to avoid committing them [Net Prophet]

    Starting a business baby, starting a business. It can be a wild ride. Sylvia Gruber co-Founder and CEO of Rubybox broke down her experiences with Rubybox into eight, bite-sized tips for burgeoning startups. Gruber is big on keeping things basic and personal, simplicity is key -- often the most difficult and the most important aspect to get right. Rubybox is a monthly beauty box subscription service that provides its subscribers with beauty product samples. The service allows for business-to-business opportunities by being a conduit for beauty product companies, to push out product samples into the market, for research and promotion....

  • 4 reasons big-time VCs are investing in emerging markets

    With technological advancements in developing nations speeding the growth rate of high impact tech start-ups, many American venture capital firms are now looking further afield to expand their investment portfolios. But what is driving this trend? 1. Lack of local funding There’s certainly no shortage of innovative ideas coming out of emerging market countries. Africa, China, Russia and many others are growing steadily, and are producing an ever-increasing number of tech success stories, many with an extensive global reach. However, the potential for innovation in these countries has been historically hampered by a lack of access to funding, based on an entrenched...

  • The Cameroon Startup Challenge: Is the next global company in Cameroon?

    Sanaga Ventures and VC4Africa are turning their sights to Cameroon to uncover the most innovative web, mobile or hardware-based startups. The Cameroon Startup Challenge offers a cash prize of US$5 000 and an opportunity to receive mentorship and incubation at ActivSpaces, Cameroon’s leading technology hub. “Innovation can come from anywhere in the world, and the next global company might very well be from Cameroon. We want to do what we can to make that happen”, says Ben White, founder of VC4Africa, the large online community of venture capitalists, angels and entrepreneurs that concentrate on developing businesses in Africa. Entries...

  • Mobi.lity — A lifeline for railway commuters

    When civil engineer Justin Coetzee took a position as a public transport planner, he decided to leave his car parked at home and started taking the train to work in the morning. His daily route opened his eyes to the inconsistency of railway transport in his hometown of Cape Town, and in South Africa as a whole. The given timetable is unreliable. Commuters do not know when they will get to work or arrive home, nor are they privy to information about maintenance, cancellations and strikes. Instead of organising a riot he spent some time thinking about a solution. Trains break...