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  • Lazada officially launches online shopping mall in Southeast Asia

    The Rocket Internet-backed ecommerce site Lazada has today officially launched its Marketplace for Southeast Asia. This online platform will allow merchants to sell their products on Lazada's website in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand or the Philippines. Also known as Southeast Asia's online shopping mall, Lazada will add to its role as one of the regions most popular ecommerce sites. The marketplace lets SMEs, big brands, distributors and retailers open up a store on the website where the Philippine-based company becomes the channel to customers via the site. The site provides customized logistical arrangements, state-of-the-art online marketing initiatives and exposes...

  • Company Office

    New integrated payment, POS solution allows retailers to transact in 2 seconds

    The South African financial technology company that brought card-payment systems to smaller businesses as far back as 2008 has just announced a new integrated payment solution that will benefit franchise store owners, larger independent retailers and franchise owners. Sureswipe is SA’s first independent payment service provider to offer a fully integrated payment solution with acquiring services. Paul Kent, managing director of Sureswipe, says: “Our new Integrated Payments product has been developed for higher volume businesses that use a Point-of-Sale system. It reduces manual hours spent on reconciliations, makes customer payments quicker and safer, and cuts both costs and complexity. We have brought functionality...

  • 5 tips for crafting an engaging online brand for startups

    The advent of the digital age has made it simpler than ever to not only further brand awareness but to also establish your brand in the public eye. But too many businesses proceed from the belief that “if you build it, they will come” – based on the misconception that existing is all that it takes to succeed in Africa’s bourgeoning economic environments. In the past, when innovative startups were few and far between, this may have been the case, but in today’s accelerated African growth environment, being is not enough. While your best bet for crafting a strong online...

  • India’s Global Superangels Forum combines a 10km run with a startup conference

    Rajesh Sawhney heads the multi-city startup accelerator Global Superangels Forum (GSF) India which will kick-off its two-day annual startups and investors’ conference #WhereDoWeGoNow on August 21 in Bangalore city. It’ll incorporate a unique 10km run on the meet’s second day. For most of us, it’s a bit hard to understand what’s the link between a 10km run and a startup investors’ conference. So here’s what the man behind this unique idea has to say: Building a startup is a stressful job. Most founders work long hours and ignore their health. We want to build fitness as an essential ingredient of startup...

  • Can these 12 Indian tech startups expand to international markets?

    There's been an exciting startup ecosystem brewing in India over the past few years. A few well-known success stories such as InMobi and Flipkart's have created a decent follow-up culture for those seeking to make it big both locally but also, very noticeably, internationally. That's one of the interesting trends that strikes me the most -- the fact that so many Indian startups seem to have an international agenda. Other outstanding success stories include that of RedBus. As mentioned by CNNMoney, the bus booking startup was acquired by a joint Chinese-South African venture for around US$125-million which made it the...

  • Seed Engine accelerator to launch new programme to boost SA startups

    South Africa's Seed Engine Business Accelerator is looking for prospective tech businesses for its next programme. Seed Engine will be accelerating six new startups starting 1 September that will get the chance of receiving R100 000 startup capital plus over R300 000 in services. These selected ventures are also given relevant mentorship, coaching and workspace. CEO of Seed Engine Marc Elias says that he's looking for early stage tech entrepreneurs who have extraordinary ideas with international appeal and who are ready for a life-changing journey. Elias notes that certain pillars need to stand out when applying to the Seed Engine...

  • The art of convergence: Urban Restro splices disparate hospitality segments

    Urban Restro is a multi-headed, ecommerce hydra that is simultaneously attacking India's restaurant reservation, banquet booking, event management and deals markets. It's a bold play by the Mumbai-based startup. The segments seem somewhat disparate at first, but Urban Restro's parent company, Urban Online Services has weaved an intriguing mesh which looks set to fill gaps in India's hospitality industry. Market research by Urban Restro's founder and MD, Shriti Chhajed shows that there are over 200 up-scale restaurants in the city with an average occupancy rate of around 40% ranging from 10% to 20% during off-peak hours to 80% to 90% during...

  • Online banking security company Entersekt, wins Frost & Sullivan Award

    Online banking security company Entersekt, has today been awarded the 2013 South African Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership for its innovations in providing easy-to-use and secure mobile banking solutions. Transakt, as its app is called, offers an alternative method to online banking that claims to eliminate fraud and enhance transaction convenience of both the bank and customer. Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lehlohonolo Mokenela notes that Entersekt has received accreditation from the world's largest payments networks American Express, MasterCard, and Visa and is the first and only company in Africa to earn all three of these certifications....

  • Watch Nigerian tv shows online with streaming service NextSpeel

    For the longest time, we've been waiting to see who will rise up as the Netflix of Africa. As bandwidth and mobile data gets cheaper, and more Africans get connected, it's only a matter of time before streaming movies, music, and television shows becomes commonplace on the continent. There are a few players emerging already in the streaming space, such as iROKO (iROKOtv and iROKING), Wabona, and Buni TV. What separates them, besides billing models, is a focus on certain geographies. For example iRoko services mostly West African content whilst Wabona has a strong sub-Saharan focus. What we haven't...

  • VC4Africa offers African entrepreneurs coaching, investor introductions

    Getting access to Africa's investor network has potentially gotten a whole easier with Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa) and its initiative called Cohorts. The month long (or longer) accelerator programme gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to receive coaching, as well as access and personal introductions to the VC4Africa investor network - potentially Africa's largest network of SME investors - to aid the raising of funds. In what VC4Africa calls a "new opportunity for Africa's most promising entrepreneurs to raise capital" the Cohorts are divided by month. There was the June Cohort (which will still give coaching up to September), but...

  • Startup Blitz: Zomato is a complete restaurant discovery service

    On this week's Startup Blitz we get a peek into Zomato, a restaurant discovery service that recently launched its Cape Town offering. Zomato offers comprehensive information on restaurants listed on its platform including menus, pictures, map co-ordinates, contact details, specials et al -- anything you would need to know before dining at a restaurant. Furthermore there are filters available to users so they can streamline searches down to say restaurants with a bar, or delivery services. You can even filter by cost, location, Wi-Fi and more. Zomato is the most complete online restaurant guide around. Zomato is currently active in eight...