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  • Beauty subscription startup rubybox receives funding from HPV Africa

    Rubybox, the innovative, try-before-you-buy beauty subscription startup, announced that it has received funding from venture capitalist Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the investment, rubybox is acquiring GlamBox SA, its major current competitor in the local beauty box market, making rubybox the dominant player in South Africa. “We are thrilled about the investment as we’re certain it, together with our 360 degree approach that pairs trial and education which leads to re-purchase, will help us grow rubybox to be the leading content-driven eCommerce beauty site in South Africa,” says Sylvia Gruber, rubybox co-founder and CEO. Ventureburn...

  • Company Office

    First Two Apple Watches Sold on bidorbuy

    (4 May 2015) The Apple magic is as strong as ever. The proof is in the sale of two Apple Watches on bidorbuy at prices that can only be described as premium. Tech7, one of thousands of sellers who sell regularly on South Africa’s online marketplace, posted his wares on 28 April: two beautiful Apple Watches, one made of aluminium alloy, and the other of stainless steel. On 3 May, one buyer snatched both, presumably happy to pay the premium price for the bragging rights of being one of the first in South Africa to wear Apple’s newest wonder. The aluminium...

  • A closer look at GE Software: a rising startup in Silicon Valley

    One of the largest startups in and around Silicon Valley is GE Global Software in San Ramon, California, a brand new division of giant General Electric, built from scratch into an organization of 400 engineers, growing to as many as 800 software engineers and researchers by year end. Betting big on software is a key business strategy for GE. The business group's annual revenues were more than $142 billion in 2012. In 2008 they were nearly $180 billion. Software businesses have high profit margins especially if they can be applied across a large user base. Software is a far more...

  • Attention tech gurus: change a budding entrepreneur’s life with Business Bridge

    There are fervent entrepreneurs out there, hungry for your entrepreneurial knowledge. Business Bridge, a not-for-profit organisation, is attempting to start a movement which enables experienced business people, entrepreneurs and business school alumni, the opportunity to share their knowledge on aspects related to starting and running a business, with entrepreneurs in historically disadvantaged communities. Founded by Professor Michael Hay at London Business School, Business Bridge developed a scalable model for delivering high quality, low cost business education to thousands of people for whom access is otherwise denied due to cost or lack of local provision. The initiative aims to help bridge...

  • Why SA companies should be focusing on mCommerce

    Technology has transformed consumers’ lives, with shopping centres and the opportunities to spend now being brought to your PC, tablet and even your phone. With eCommerce on the increase in South Africa, such as with the latest online retail offerings by the popular fashion house, Mr Price, as well as Zando -- the online-only shopping site with international roots -- companies’ chances to leverage these opportunities online are growing. Not surprisingly however, according the Boston Consulting Group, a report published earlier this year, shows that SA’s eCommerce offering was growing at a surprisingly slower rate (12.6%) than the...

  • 1 million African entrepreneurs by 2020 says African Entrepreneur Academy

    When we took a look at entrepreneurial hub No Picket Fence, we discovered a group of individuals fervently engaged in sharing their entrepreneurial experiences. Google Hangouts have been a staple for the No Picket Fence community to learn from, and engage with, successful South African entrepreneurs. Today, No Picket Fence is putting these recorded Hangouts front and center as part of its newly launched African Entrepreneur Academy initiative. Michael Cowen, co-founder of No Picket Fence is bullish on the initiative. “Our objective is to give African entrepreneurs all the skills they need to create their own successful business,...

  • [Update] Meet the South African finalists for TNW’s Startup World

    Congratulations to Pashash for winning the South African leg of the competition in Cape Town last night. Good luck in San Francisco! Here we go Africa. The African leg of the The Next Web's Startup World competition kicks off in Cape Town today. The startup scene has been abuzz with the announcement that four African cities have been included in Startup World's inaugural tour. The competition will be held in 36 countries across the globe with the specific aim of shining "a light on entrepreneurs in emerging markets." The winners in each of the countries will fly to Silicon...

  • Health and welfare mobile service Impilo is powerful, free

    Impilo is a new mobile service that helps people easily locate health and wellbeing service providers in South Africa. It can also be used to give confidential feedback on the services received at public health and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) service points. The service is free -- no airtime is required -- and as it is USSD based, it will work on any mobile phone. To use it, simply dial *130*448# and follow the menu prompts. Impilo is the only service of its kinds that has been zero-rated by almost all of the major mobile phone networks in...

  • Virtual Firehouse wins Startup Weekend Cape Town 2012

    Virtual Firehouse walked away with the honours from this year’s Startup Weekend Cape Town following a frenetic 54 hours in which entrepreneurs and innovators gathered to pitch and develop their business ideas in the hope of creating the next big thing. Startup Weekend is a global initiative which started in 2007 in Colorado, USA and over 500 events have been held in 90 countries to date. It was hosted in Cape Town for the second year running. Winners in the competition are provided with support from mentors, funders and industry giants such as Microsoft and Google. This year’s event took place...

  • How to rock your elevator pitch and get funding for your startup [Infographic]

    Quick. What is one sentence you'd use to describe your startup? Well, spit it out. Still trying to condense it? Yes, it's probably awesome. Maybe it'll even change life as we know it. But if you need funding, you need to be able to sell your idea so well that someone else will believe in it as much as you do. Time is up. What did you come up with? Lets say you're pitching to a super angel investor like Fabrice Grinda. He has said that getting a cheque from him is easy -- if the startup meets his four...

  • Virtual tax assistant TaxTim now speaks Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu

    Ventureburn recently wrote about TaxTim, the approachable, virtual tax assistant who helps South Africans complete their tax returns by asking simple questions, in plain English. Starting today, TaxTim will be able to converse in Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu as well. "Despite only 8.2% of South Africans speaking English, SARS continues to provide help in this language only, ignoring the other 10 official languages. We are delighted to announce that TaxTim has now made it easier for the majority of South Africans to get and stay confidently tax compliant. For the first time, 63% of South Africans will have access to...