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  • Naspers snaps up online photography retailer SAcamera

    Emerging markets internet and media giant Naspers has snapped up SAcamera, an independent online retailer that sells cameras and photographic equipment. According to Bandwidth Blog, the outfit will be absorbed into Kalahari -- one of South Africa's largest online stores. SAcamera will however reportedly retain its own identity within Kalahari. “The appetite for online retailing in South Africa, and for quality products backed up by efficient service at the right price, has grown, and continues to grow significantly,” said Jesse Hemson-Struthers, who started SAcamera back in 2004. He also reportedly said that the deal would enable the business to...

  • Company Office

    Goodbye online crooks: SA startup keeps money safe till buyers, sellers both agree

    As online fraud in South Africa escalates, buying and selling goods using online platforms places both buyers and sellers at risk. After Jethro O’Brien, CEO and co-founder of TradeSafe.co.za, was duped while trying to buy car parts that had been advertised online, his idea for TradeSafe was born. TradeSafe is a licensed, independent fintech company that safeguards a buyer's funds in trust (escrow) until the seller delivers what was promised. Only once the buyer is happy with the goods or services received, does TradeSafe release the funds. Explains O’Brien, “We act as a buffer between a buyer and a seller. The...

  • Meet the startups set to battle it out at IBM’s inaugural SmartCamp SA

    Tech startups from across the country are about to throw down for top honours at the first IBM SmartCamp to be held on South African soil. The team that emerges victorious, will compete in the Global SmartCamp Finals for the chance to be crowned IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year. In September this year, we reported on South Africa's induction into the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program. IBM SmartCamps are an aspect of the Global Entrepreneur initiative designed to foster startups involved in building new technologies that tackle some of the world's most pressing issues. SmartCamp winners receive mentoring, access to...

  • appening: The SA-born app that lets you know what’s happening

    Geo-location is a becoming a hotly contested space right now. The latest entrant in the space is South Africa's appening, a mobile event app that allows users to keep up to date with local events. The apps targets events to users in their specific areas pushing the information to their mobile phone or tablets. The creator of the app, Dale Amler, reckons "appening answers a question that we have all asked, what is there to do." Amler says the app can be used to find a wide variety of events: appening enables users to find a wide range of events,...

  • Internet startups in South Africa: some home truths

    Founders of South African startups are overwhelmingly white and male. And, for all the rumpus around the lack of access to VC in the country, the majority of new ventures do not seem to be actively pursuing funding. Furthermore, turnovers seem to be R1-million or less and emerge mainly from founders with tertiary educations and stable incomes -- either while being an employee at a company, or as an existing business owner. If startups are to be the solution to South Africa's economic woes, the importance of education is clear or at the very least, there has to be an...

  • 3 tips for entering the US market: From Russia, with love of startups

    Culturally, socially and historically, Silicon Valley and Moscow are worlds (or at least 5800 miles) apart. But in a small pocket of Moscow, a growing number of entrepreneurs – supported by a growing number of enthusiastic local venture capitalists – are beginning to make the Russian capital a key pushpin on the tech startup map. The international success of these startups will ultimately dictate how the Russian high-tech community is viewed, but there is a raw (and at times admittedly naïve) passion for creating high tech that has begun to get Russia international attention. Being part of this tightly knit...

  • 5 pieces of startup wisdom from Svbtle founder Dustin Curtis’ Twitter account

    Among the pantheon of Silicon Valley types on Twitter, Dustin Curtis is one of the more worthwhile ones for anyone involved in the startup scene to follow. The founder of long-form content venture Svbtle, Curtis describes himself as a "rogue industrialist" and "villain". That kind of attitude runs through his Twitter feed. The widely read designer mixes humour with sage advice and his own experiences. Here are five of the best pieces of wisdom he's tweeted out recently: 1. On people and time You can't buy someone's obsession, you can only buy their time. This is why most startup acquisitions...

  • With CellSchool Mxit flexes its muscles as an online teaching platform

    Despite the recent turmoil at Mxit, it's good to see the instant messaging service continuing to attract interest from companies involved in South Africa's education sector. A free revision series designed to help this year’s Matrics ace their exams, has been developed on the Mxit platform. ‘CellSchool’, created by the EISH-Team in partnership with the Digital Media and Marketing Agency (DMMA), consists of short video lessons for six key subjects that guide Grade 12s through what they need to study to succeed in their final exams. With forty 10- to 15-minute lessons for Maths, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and English FAL,...

  • Pizza, beer and elevator pitches. Google/88mph partnership launches

    Ventureburn was invited to the Google for Entrepreneurs offices in Woodstock, Cape Town for the launch of the search giant's partnership with Kenyan-born startup accelerator 88mph. The the 88mph programme will be merging with Google's previous incubation programme, Umbono, and startups will be supported by both 88mph and Google for Entrepreneurs going forward. 88mph will take the lead with its structured accelerator programme and Google will provide mentorship and program support to startups in the 88mph program. Program Manager Johanna Kollar opened the event and spoke about the demand for incubation programmes in the country. Kollar, who works on startup...

  • Howzit MSN partners with Ad Dynamo to help brands advertise in Nigeria

    Howzit MSN is partnering with advertising network Ad Dynamo to monetise its growing traffic in Nigeria. The partnership allows brands to reach Nigerian consumers that frequent Howzit MSN properties. Ad Dynamo now serves more than a billion contextual ads per month across over 28 000 websites. The South African ad-serving company has an extensive footprint in Africa, which made it an attractive partner for Howzit MSN. Howzit MSN, owned by Kagiso New Media, is one of South Africa's largest Web portals and the official South African partner for Microsoft's MSN. Microsoft redirects African traffic from its global MSN property...

  • China’s second largest ecommerce site goes global

    China’s second-largest e-commerce site, 360Buy, has opened up an English-language site that will ship items to 35 countries worldwide. The site has just gone live minutes ago at en.360buy.com. The site’s help center points out that it’s only accepting PayPal as a payment method for now, and all goods will be shipped out of China, causing lengthy delays. As I first suspected when I heard this news, 360Buy is not truly launching in lots of markets, with warehouses and stock in numerous countries -- as Amazon has done. Rather this sees 360Buy using its existing resources in China to reach...

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