• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • Corporates embracing social media for information workers

    When musician Dave Carroll flew on United Airlines, his guitar was broken by careless baggage handlers. Employees and customer care were indifferent and the airline offered no compensation. So Dave responded by creating a music video called “United breaks guitars” and United felt the wrath of citizen journalism, the social web, and millions of airline travellers. In just 10 days the video received nearly four million views and over fifteen thousand comments on YouTube, and to date the video has been watched over nine million times. It’s an example of how well technology works for the consumers dealing with...

  • Company Office

    Superbalist hits 1 million members

    Cape Town, 25 September 2014: Superbalist.com, South Africa’s only high-trend curated online shopping destination, has come of age reaching 1 million members. To mark this occasion, members will receive free delivery on all orders, indefinitely. Recently acquired by Takealot.com, this online shopping destination offers curated high-trend items across various departments at affordable prices, through styled and edited features with a vast selection of local and international brands. Claude Hanan, co-founder of Superbalist.com, says South Africans are seeking global but staying local. “Our membership base has grown dramatically as we offer customers access to brands that are household names internationally, through a...

  • eCommerce startup SnapBill launches to a global audience

    SnapBill, a South African startup specialising in online invoicing and billing systems, launched out of beta on Tuesday to a global audience. The company facilitates online billing systems for businesses requiring automated recurring or subscription billing and payment collection. Its international competitors include the well-known Freshbooks, Invoicera, BlinkSale, BallPark, Invoice Machine -- and to some extent services like Chargify, Recurly, Spreedly and CheddarGetter. The self-funded venture, developed by entrepreneurs Josh Yudaken and Jaco van Wyk using the profits from their web hosting company Lusion Technologies, claims to have acquired "over 1 000 active South African SME and enterprise users, some...

  • How to lose a VC funder in one sentence

    Raising funding for a new venture is always difficult. Entrepreneurs going down this road will have to shrug off many pessimists and naysayers along the way.... but sometimes they are their own worst enemies. As a venture capitalist you need to have a great sense of humour as you wade through your dealflow. We receive written requests for backing all the time, and we've kept some of the gems and put together a list of actual funding requests received by PoweredbyVC, a leading South African Venture Capital company, between July and December 2010. Because of confidentiality, some info is...

  • Collective buying: Great for consumers, but what about providers?

    Social media is slowly being adopted amongst the hospitality industry, and the phenomenon of collective buying as developed by Groupon is serving to reinforce the fact that the times they are a-changing. But how much value will this new business model add to an industry already battling to remain profitable? Social media, at this time in it's evolution, is beginning to leverage the awesome potential it has for crowdsourcing and collective action. It's a critical juncture, particularly for the hospitality industry, as these two worlds converge and begin to find some common ground. But first, a little insight into the...

  • Ad network startup secures R15m VC funding for int’l expansion

    Cape Town-based online and mobile advertising network Ad Dynamo has announced a second round of funding via venture capital firm Invenfin, the Remgro Group's investment arm. Its CEO, Sean Riley, says the capital will be used to fund Ad Dynamo’s "international expansion programme into key foreign territories". Riley refused to discuss the funding amount but an insider close to the deal told Memeburn that the investment is in "the R15-million region". The source claimed the new VC tranche would value the company at between US$8-10-million. Riley famously took Google South Africa to the Competition Commission in 2008 in a...

  • Why startups move to Silicon Valley

    I'm constantly meeting companies that have moved part of their operations to San Francisco/Silicon Valley. Usually it is the CEO and/or the marketing and sales group that moves. Loic Le Meur, a serial entrepreneur, founder of Seesmic, did the same several years ago, moving to San Francisco from Paris. In a guest column in the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper, Le Meur explains why he moved: "In the Valley, the best companies, entrepreneurs and investors are all in one place. It feels like a campus. Everything you do, from the morning run to the coffee run, is a networking opportunity." Compare this to...

  • New online classifieds site targets South African market

    MIH Naspers, South Africa's internet powerhouse, launches a brand new online classifieds venture on Monday in a bid to become market-leader in a field that is currently dominated by eBay's Gumtree. Kalahariads.net is offering "a user-friendly, feature-rich portal that provides customers with access to the widest classified network in South Africa". Naspers has accumulated extensive experience in the field with international properties such as OLX, Brazil's BuscaPe and Allegro, and plans to take all that it has learned and apply it to the new South African classifieds portal. Leveraging the well-respected Kalahari brand name, and a firm foothold in print...

  • WeLove: ‘Because sometimes a Like just isn’t enough’

    We have become a society that likes to "Like" and share our preferences with everyone we know. Millions of people join all sorts of Facebook groups to show their support for causes or their own interests. But the sheer size of Facebook and the number of groups available can often result in information overload that we just end up ignoring. We need quicker, simpler, more instantaneous ways of sharing our “likes” and maybe our “dislikes”. "Sometimes a Like isn't enough” according to WeLove.net, a new niche location-based social media site, which also includes a set of mobile applications. WeLove.net is...

  • The startling rise of Groupon, and predictions of the fall [Infographic]

    Groupon and the collective-buying model that it spawned is the darling of social web. The company began in the United States in 2008 and has grown rapidly to include 38 different territories, all offering the basic deal-of-the-day model to more than 35-million registered users. It gained instant fame when it declined a purchase offer of US$6-billion from Google. In case you still don't know, Groupon's business model works like this: You reserve your deal by clicking the “Buy Now” button and entering your credit card details. Once the required number of people have signed up to the daily offer, the deal...

  • Prominent SA startup FireID hits the skids

    FireID, a Stellenbosch-based startup specialising in mobile authentication, will probably be forced to close its doors or dramatically downscale after news that its main investor has pulled its funding. The main source of funding was via the Luxembourg-based Reinet Fund S.C.A., run by billionaire Johann Rupert, who invested in the company through Cape Town VC 4DiCapital. The company employs just under 40 people. Justin Stanford, who runs 4DiCapital, told Memeburn on Wednesday night that Reinet's refusal to renew the funding "came as a surprise". "It's been an emotional day... We were confident of a renewal due to FireID's revenue," he said. Stanford...