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  • GetGlue brings social check-ins to media and entertainment

    People like to be rewarded for things they would probably do anyway. Hence it stands to reason that sooner or later someone would capitalise on this. And that is what entertainment check-in network GetGlue did -- by offering real and virtual incentives for consuming media online. GetGlue, founded in 2009 by New York City entrepreneur Alex Iskold, has pioneered the media check-in space, piggybacking on the Foursquare phenomenon with more than one million users earning stickers and discounts as they watch, read and listen. Sites like Foursquare and Gowalla have come a long way offering virtual “badges” to complement the...

  • Company Office

    EFTsecure allows merchants to accept more payments, faster than ever

    Callpay’s new EFTsecure allows merchants to accept a wider range of consumer payments leveraging the power of online banking. With only around six million credit card users in South-Africa in a population of 52-million people, EFTsecure provides merchants the opportunity to accept payments from any banking account type (not just credit card) resulting in an overall wider audience on checkout or account payments. "The exciting part about EFTsecure is that merchants instantly open their market to more than 20m online banking users in South-Africa by supporting all four major banks, including Capitec and Investec – providing more options for the...

  • WebGrowth — Boosting your business’ Google ranking

    Many companies want to rank better in search. Many SEO tricks have seen companies try to fight their way to number one. Google's Panda has made things a little difficult for a few companies. Many SEO consultants claim to be able to help companies caught in the "Panda's" grip. Help companies work well with the "Panda". One such company is WebGrowth, a South African-based startup has a project management tool for SEO research using Google analytics, Google webmaster tools and Majestic SEO designed to meet the need - pulling data from the net to focus on boosting the profile of...

  • 12 emerging market startups to watch

    Emerging market startups are coming into their own and increasingly appearing on the radar of mainstream venture capitalists in established markets. Skype recently announced its interest in investing in Chinese startups. The VoIP service is not the only player seeking a slice of the emerging markets pie - the list of startups grows everyday. Here are 12 of the many companies staking their claim in up and coming emerging markets: DianDian, China DianDian which means "bit by bit" was founded by Chinese business man Jack Xu. Prior to starting this venture, he was managing RenRen and Kaixin, two Chinese Facebook clones,...

  • How to do market and competitor research that wins investment

    Regardless of whether it’s an angel investor or venture capitalist you are approaching, every funder will narrow things down to one major question: “Who is your target market and who are you competing against?” This is the warning of Alex Fraser, who drives home the fact that preparing a market and competitor analysis is a vital part of any business plan or pitch deck. Fraser is based at at InvenFin, an early stage capital company. She says she often receives business plans with no competitor analysis, leading her to request one from entrepreneurs with the need for more information. It’s...

  • InMobi launches global mobile payment solution, ad network combo

    InMobi, a large, global independent mobile ad network, has announced the launch of a performance-based global mobile payments solution it is calling SmartPay. The company says this offering is "a first" because it combines InMobi’s large global ad network of nearly 32-billion ads monthly in 200 countries with a mobile payments solution. The company says that tracking from ad to conversion is a "major leap forward" for developers and digital goods providers globally. The payment solution will enable app developers, game companies, and content providers in the $200bn mobile content and virtual goods space to expand their business and monetise...

  • An international perspective on SA startups [NetProphet]

    Angel investing came accidentally to UK-based Permjot Valia. As the sales and marketing director of Ernst & Young, he became involved in their entrepreneur programme, which in turn led to his new career of investing in startups. By his own admission, Valia’s success rate is a statistical anomaly: while an average of only 3% of investors successfully exit a startup via an IPO, the first company he invested in went public within just seven months. Visiting Cape Town this week to work with local entrepreneurs, Valia shared his experiences, garnered over the course of his 25 or so investments,...

  • 38 emerging South African tech entrepreneurs to watch [Part I]

    The technology space is particularly notable for the amount of entrepreneurial activity it attracts. The word "startup" has become almost synonymous with the tech and online space and there are thousands of entrepreneurs that run small and large companies that are carving out niches for themselves. The high amount of entrepreneurial activity in the tech sector may be explained by the fact that the costs of starting an online business are low. You don't need a factory or heavy-lifting equipment to start an online business, and the people found in the sector are highly skilled. Also, we all know about the...

  • The African ecommerce opportunity [NetProphet]

    Ecommerce is on the rise around the globe at a rapid pace, driven by the huge successes of online retailers in the US and Europe, such as Amazon.com which has scaled up exponentially in recent years. It may come as a surprise, but the most successful ecommerce market place is actually in the Far East, South Korea to be precise, where the government and private sector are pushing for affordable broadband access, stimulating trust, upscaling, and using cutting edge technology. But where does Africa fit in? Africa’s consumer market is riddled with challenges unique to the continent. Not only is...

  • Mobiflock — Helping parents keep an eye on kids’ mobile habits

    We live in a mobile centric society. To deny that would be foolish. Everyone has a mobile phone -- adults, teens and children. The consequences of children using mobile phones have been constantly featured in the news. Parents fear the dangers that await their children on many mobile platforms. A new startup has entered the mobile stage to help parents keep track of their children's mobile usage. Mobilflock, a Cape Town-based startup, that says it makes "cell phones safe for kids by giving parents visibility over how they use their phones, and tools to protect their children from harm". The...

  • Coming soon: A homegrown tech entrepreneurship guide

    All rising economies need a helping hand to achieve greatness. Economies that wish to thrive in today's fast-paced world of changing commerce and enterprising initiative need enterprising people. Entrepreneurship is a crucial part of any society on the rise, especially where technological infrastructure is lacking. The Entrepreneurship Guide website will go live on 12 May, in conjunction with the project launch at the Net Prophet conference in Cape Town. The South African entrepreneurial landscape is fast becoming a busy one. A sizeable number of South African entrepreneurs have graced the international stage with their ideas and flourishing success stories, though many...