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  • 2go finally launches mobile app on Google Play

    Social networking company, 2go has just launched an app for Android. 2go is currently the largest social network in Nigeria and is making its way steadily into other emerging markets. As Android becomes the proffered smartphone OS, this move sees 2go getting a head start of its potential upcoming market. 2go was founded in 2007 by Alan Wolff and Ashley Peter in South Africa. The company managed to get over 10-million active users with only four developers. Since then, its popularity has grown immensely. The service's user base is mostly African and it has over 30-million registered users with more...

  • Company Office

    Banking Africa's Unbanked - Time For A Reality Check

    Plenty of progress has been made on increasing the size of Africa’s banked population. The trouble is, from the amount of noise that is made about the topic, you would be forgiven for thinking we had fixed the problem when we really haven’t. According to the World Bank, today, 62 per cent of the world’s population has a bank account. In 2011 that figure was 51 per cent. In three years, 700 million people became “banked” in some way, and the number of “unbanked” individuals dropped 20 per cent to two billion adults. Much of this progress was attributed to...

  • Bloomberg launches $75 million venture capital fund Bloomberg Beta

    International news agency Bloomberg is taking a shot at the venture capital game with its new fund, Bloomberg Beta, which was launched yesterday and is designed to invest in early-stage startups. Headed up by Roy Bahat, the former head of IGN Entertainment and current chairman of Ouya - the open source, Kickstarter-funded video game hardware startup -- the US$75 million fund has already invested in nine companies such as ProsperWorks, Codecademy and Newsle. Bloomberg Beta is an independent entity to Bloomberg (although the latter remains its sole limited partnership), but the fund could well leverage Bloomberg's areas of expertise...

  • 7 SA startups that’ll help get your party started

    Ever had that moment when you look at your calendar, thinking there's something familiar about the date, only to realise that it's your birthday? It's understandable, you're too busy trying conquer the world to think about anything as trivial as the anniversary of your birth. But your family and friends still expect you to have a party so you set about getting yourself organised. Of course, that's not easy when you've got deadlines breathing down your neck. Fortunately there are a number of startups that, with just a few clicks, can help make sure yours will be the party...

  • My hands and heart hopes to create opportunities for SA’s youth

    The youth is quite a big issue in most countries, with massive questions about how to give them skills training and utilise their skill sets. My hands and heart is a new initiative in South Africa which is hoping to solve some of those problems. The project wants to develop young people by connecting them to opportunities. My hands and heart is a volunteer management platform, "with the key objective of creating opportunities for youth to gain exposure, experience and grow from volunteer 'opportunities' provided by corporates, NGO's and other organizations". Pioneered by the National Youth Development Agency, World Economic...

  • Malaysian startup iMoney seeks to expand after securing US$500 000

    Malaysian startup iMoney has received US$500 000 in funding from Asia Venture Group (AVG). iMoney is a financial advisory and banking service comparison app and seeks "to change the financial landscape in South East Asia." iMoney is a financial package comparison site. It allows you to compare banking services and products available on the market. These services include comparisons and application of financial products like mortgages, personal loans and credit cards. The point of this initiative is for users to make "quick, well-informed decisions" when it comes to all options available. iMoney's services are currently provided for free. On top...

  • Innovative entrepreneur from Gauteng or KZN? This bootcamp could be for you

    The Silicon Cape tends to hog the limelight when it comes to South African startups, so it's always a pleasant change to see people doing work in other regions of the country. When we got a release from the Business Lab -- a Business and Entrepreneur Accelerator aimed at entrepreneurs, medium and growing business enterprises -- saying that it would be hosting a couple of bootcamps, we were therefore especially pleased to see that the camps would taking place in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Each province will host two camps focusing on business models and business planning. The first will take place...

  • 8 reasons why bloggers are attractive investment bets

    Michelle Phan, YouTube beauty and fashion vlogger A recent article published by Ad Age, revealed that bloggers are increasingly succeeding in attracting funding for new ventures. Why is that? Geri Hirsch went from authoring her fashion-lifestyle blog, Because I'm Addicted, to co-founding Leaf, a series of how-to concept videos covering things like living, eating and fashion. Following a very successful commissioned video, StyleHaul, the largest fashion and beauty community on YouTube, became Leaf's primary backer. Hirsch and Leaf co-founder Erin Falconer went on to produce video content for Gap and Ann Taylor, as well as editorial content for Redbook and Foam...

  • SA government-backed incubators emerge from private sector partnership

    What a positive way to start the week. South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has awarded the first two incubators in its incubation support programme to The Micro Enterprise Development Organisation (MEDO). MEDO supports entrepreneurial activity by boosting trade between large organisations and SMEs or startups, and through its UK Trade & Investment programme. The first two incubators will focus on the ICT and the Mining and Heavy Industries sectors, providing training and support to businesses that can service and supply these industries. South Africa's mining industry is under increasing pressure, and the focus on mining innovation is...

  • Stop complaining, startups: copying is awesome and innovation is overrated

    Frankly, when I hear that one startup has copied another startup, I really don’t care (give me the numbers, show me the traction). People complain about copying way too much. In my article on comedy website HaiVL one reader said that it’s a “9gag clone like a few others in the market”. While for CocCoc’s recent Coromrowser, some said that “CocCoc stole Chrome source code then renamed it”. And complaints like this don’t just happen online, they happen in conversations at startup events and throughout discussions in meeting rooms. I hear too often comments like “They’re successful but they...

  • Samsung Africa reaffirms commitment to education at eLearning Africa 2013

    Samsung Africa reiterated its commitment to battling the education challenges the continent faces by showcasing several solutions at the eLearning Africa 2013 conference. The tech giant also pressed organisations across Africa to reassess the ways in which they can contribute to providing education and skills development to the youth of the continent. “Every company can help in some way to solve the education problems that we are faced with in Africa, which affects all of us and ultimately impacts our future success and sustainability on the continent”, says Ntutule Tshenye, Business-to-Government and Corporate Citizenship Lead at Samsung Africa. “For example, at...

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