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  • 11 massive startup lessons Om Malik learned building an online news empire

    Six years ago, Om Malik decided to leave his position at a magazine to build an online news startup. The startup would become GigaOM, which today is one of the web's most frequented destinations for tech news and in-depth analysis. Before founding GigaOM, which has now grown to a staff of writers in 12 cities in four different countries, Malik faced inner turmoil -- as most entrepreneurs do -- about which direction to pursue in life. At the time, he was writing for Business 2.0, the monthly magazine co-founded by renowned entrepreneur Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired until 2012). By...

  • 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...

  • Confirmed: Blue Label Telecoms inks deal with mobile startup Panacea

    Ventureburn can confirm that prepaid and mobile payment company Blue Label Telecoms quietly acquired a major stake in Bulk SMS startup Panacea Mobile in late 2012. The South African-based Blue Label Telecoms, which also has footprints in emerging market countries like India and Mexico, had apparently been working with Panacea for some time. According to Panacea co-founder and CEO Stefano Sessa, both companies realised that an acquisition would be beneficial after working together for nearly a year and a half. "The business was acquired because of both businesses sharing a similar growth strategy," he told Ventureburn. Sessa also...

  • 7 things startups can learn from the Super Bowl

    If the Super Bowl was a startup, it would be the greatest and most successful startup in the world. The annual event is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional American football in the United States. Really you don't get higher than that. To be one of the final two teams on Super Bowl Sunday takes hard work, dedication and a certain level of skill that not everyone has. Even more to run a successful Super Bowl Sunday takes much more, the football is the easy part. The Super Bowl isn't...

  • 10 business lessons for the young entrepreneur

    Alex Fraser, Silicon Cape chairperson and head of business development at venture capital firm, Invenfin, recently shared her business philosophies with an audience of young South African technology entrepreneurs at the Cape Town Geek Girl Dinner. Fraser is involved in managing and assessing new investment proposals for the venture capital firm, and through her career has identified some philosophies that may benefit young entrepreneurs, these include: 1. Don’t wait for an invitation “No one is going to invite you to be a part of the South African entrepreneurial ecosystem. If you want to be involved, it’s important to be proactive....

  • Mxit woos app developers with Preferred Developer Programme

    So, you want to outsource the development of a Mxit app, but who are the top Mxit API wranglers? With the launch of Mxit's new Preferred Developer Programme (PDP) you should have a pretty good idea. The social network says that the PDP was created with the aim of recognising and rewarding the best developers focused on building apps for third parties. “The programme is designed to connect people who want custom Mxit apps built with the best developers available for hire. It’s also a great opportunity for us to acknowledge some of the best developers on Mxit who continue...

  • Old Mutual buys 22Seven, multiple currencies & overseas expansion soon

    Popular money management tool 22Seven has been acquired by the UK division of Old Mutual for an undisclosed sum of money. While rumours have been flying around that the tech startup with tumultuous beginnings has been courting the financial juggernaut for a while, the two companies have only now confirmed that the deal is going through. The buyout will see 22Seven absorbed into Old Mutual's plans to develop digital support for its customers. According to 22Seven founder and CEO Christo Davel, the startup needed an established, well-respected international brand to help grow the company in the future. "We've always...

  • Mobile health platform FolUp launches in SA

    Mobile health is hot right now. That statement has never been truer. In Africa, healthcare is a major issue and finding easier ways to get medication, medical information and care to people is very important. That's where FolUp comes in, a mobile and web-based health communication platform that connects doctors and patients, allowing collaboration and actively participate in improving patient care and satisfaction. According to the company, the tool provides patients with a secure platform on which they can actively participate in their health management process through tracking their symptoms, how they feel and how they respond to medication. ...

  • Was Foodspotting’s $10 million exit really that attractive?

    It’s all over the news now. San Franscisco-based food photo sharing app Foodspotting has been acquired by OpenTable to the tune of US$10-million. But is a US$10-million exit attractive? Prior to the acquisition, Foodspotting raised a US$750,000 seed round from investors, which include 500Startups, as well as a few other angel investors including Dave Morin and Dan Martell back in August 2010. In January 2011, Foodspotting closed a US$3-million funding round from Blue Run Ventures. Fast forward to January 2013, is the US$10 million an attractive exit? Two years since their series A funding would suggest that the 12 person team is possibly very near the end...

  • Newscoop: the newsroom CMS that’s empowering independent media

    The Content Management System (CMS) market is crowded. It's easier to stand out from the niche of news CMSes, but in the age of guerrilla journalism and WordPress, the market for CMSes tailored for newsrooms is small. Even major news organisations like CNN, The New York Times, Reuters and Forbes deliver news through WordPress. So, how do you make a name for yourself if you're trying to sell a CMS for newsrooms? For a start, you'd better make sure your product is battle tested. To develop a new version of its newspaper and magazine CMS called Newscoop, Czech non-profit organisation,...

  • Sorry to tell you this, but… being unique won’t make your startup money

    It was a day packed with over five consecutive meetings. As I huffed and puffed towards my final destination, meeting up with the private banker of a tech entrepreneur whose achievement badges include his NASDAQ-listed gaming company. It would be a typical investment pitch, like millions of other pitches I had done. The only difference was pitching to a private banker -- a career I was going into until I got mesmerized by the tech world. Let’s call him Paul. Paul was sharp, astute, and surprised me with his knowledge in the startup scene and tech industry. He certainly knew what he...

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