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  • African crowdfunding site seeks funding… on crowdfunding site

    There are a number of upcoming crowdfunding platforms in Africa, but this Nigerian-based startup is taking an interesting route -- it's launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds it needs to get its site up and running. Yes, a crowdfunding site is using another crowdfunding site. Meta. Headed by two co-founders and five volunteers based in Abuja, GogoAfrika is currently seeking US$15 000 to cover the building of its website and the initial marketing and awareness costs. It is currently working on a beta version which is set to launch in early August, but if it meets its...

  • Company Office

    B2B ecommerce's untapped potential: How innovative companies can capitalise on the massive gap for growth

    Cape Town, 25th January, 2016: Ecommerce in South Africa – while still just a slice of the overall retail pie - is growing as much as 35% per year*. However, of this, the lion’s share still operate in the B2C space, suggesting that B2B companies – those that use the web to sell goods and services to other businesses - have yet to cotton-on to its very lucrative potential. So says Charlie Stewart, CEO of digital marketing agency Rogerwilco and co-author of Business to Business Marketing. A Step-by-Step Guide (Penguin). “B2B is perceived as the less sexy sister of B2C,...

  • Startup Blitz: Supernice on improving brands’ digital engagement

    "Innovate. Touch. Create." are the words that Supernice stands for. While aiming to create "not just another app," the startup wants to create fun, engaging and rewarding brand experiences. Our new Startup Blitz, puts Supernice founder Daren Fuchs under the spotlight. Simply put, the startup promotes better user engagement for brands to connect the online with the offline world. This is done by designing digital widgets ranging from web, mobile to touch and gesture-based applications focused on improving interactive digital experiences. So far Supernice's portfolio includes applications for Adidas and The Bubbleheads as well as an environmental awareness iPad game called POP...

  • The startup curve South Africa: wiggles of realism

    It is sometimes too easy to dish out titbits of startup advice from a venture capital ivory tower without going through the practical realities of executing a business plan, but pattern recognition could close some expectation gaps. As Paul Graham pointed out in his version of the Startup Curve, while many people think startups are smoothly up and to the right all the time, the path to success is more of a roller coaster ride. Because of a fragile startup ecosystem in South Africa, startups here have additional challenges to overcome. An adaptation of the Startup Curve reflects the typical path of a local startup’s wild ride...

  • SumUp secures funding to take mobile payments to South America

    Mobile point-of-sale company, SumUp, recently raised a rumoured 'double-digit million Euro' round in Series B funding from Groupon and American Express. Today it announced further Series B funding with investment from BBVA Ventures. The investment from BBVA Ventures, which is the corporate venture arm of multinational banking group BBVA, will help SumUp cement its position in Spain and Portugal, as well as expand into South America in the near future, reports The Next Web. The investment amount is undisclosed, but it is known that BBVA Ventures has US$100 million at its disposal to back financial service startups worldwide. SumUp co-founder...

  • Go start something: free Ruby on Rails workshop for women and their friends

    The organisers behind the RailsBridge Workshop, believe that there is a gender imbalance in Cape Town's tech community. The inaugural "one-and-a-bit day" Ruby programming course that runs from 26 July to 27 July, aims to serve as a starting point to women interested in coding. The free workshop which promises to show how programming skills can be useful, empowering, and fun -- particularly in the context of the web -- is bound to pique the interest of female entrepreneurs who have been thinking about starting an online venture. RailsBridge is an opportunity to both learn and network with a...

  • Martin Bjergegaard talks pitching new ventures, multi-million dollar exits

    Martin Bjergegaard was an unknown name to me, till some few weeks ago. His profile, at the time, included him being the co-author of Winning Without Losing and being the co-founder of a startup accelerator called Startup Bootcamp. That alone, aside from the fact that he’ll be in South Africa next week, was enough for me to want to find out more. Bjergegaard built the Startup Bootcamp as well as Rainmaking, which is dubbed a ‘startup factory’, and was part of two multi-million dollar exits at the age of 35. At both Rainmaking and the Startup Bootcamp, Bjergegaard and...

  • The trifecta of pitching (plus two): why good startups don’t get funded

    People ask these questions often, especially in startup obsessed circles. Why don't good startups get funded and why do bad ones? It seems there is finally an answer. I recently came across this piece from iBusiness Angel on Twitter (Hat tip: Brett Commaille). The piece looks at why good startups don't get funded and bad ones do. It's actually quite simply in the end -- leadership. The piece argues that the quality of a pitch is highly dependent of the quality of the leadership team. Defining leadership as "the level of influence that a person or a pitching team has. No...

  • Herd Cows in digital version of local game Morabaraba

    A cow herding board game played in rural South Africa, Morabaraba, is becoming digitized, developed by an ex-Stellenbosch University student and licensed to InnoVartis Technology Systems, whose goal is to develop digitized traditional African games. Morabaraba asks each of its two players to arrange their 12 pieces (or 'cows') on a board to form groups of three, known as 'mills'. Once a player has formed a mill, they are able to take an opponents cows. The digitized version, to be called MRBRB, will be avaiable on iOS, Android and Blackberry 10 platforms, as well as the web. Ex 'Matie' student...

  • Silvertree Capital has ecommerce sweet tooth, sub-Saharan African focus

    Africa's tech investment landscape has gained a new fund which looks set to boost the emerging sector. The recently launched Silvertree Capital is a South African-based business incubator specifically targeting startups that cater to the South African and Sub-Saharan African markets. The fund was founded by ex-Zando boss Manuel Koser whose controversial exit from the ecommerce company made news. Not surprisingly, Silvertree has made a number of investments in the ecommerce space -- a sector that is currently booming in Africa. Other focus industries for the company include "online/mobile, B2C ecommerce and B2B2C sales." The company says that it will offer...

  • goCatch: the taxi app done right

    After four months on my own in Sydney, I was finally joined by my wife and three-year old son on a sunny November morning. That same morning, I picked up the keys to a new, unfurnished apartment in Lavender Bay and we were all incredibly excited to start a new adventure in Australia. However, on that same day I discovered the one thing that I've come to loathe about Sydney: the taxi industry. We took a bus to a Woolworths a few miles from our house to do some shopping for our new apartment. We soon had a trolley load...