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  • Mocality aims to be ‘largest’ mobile business directory in Africa

    If you’re in downtown Nairobi before the 4th of August, be sure to pop in to the Barber Q Hair Studio and get yourself a free head massage. The studio is on the 2nd Floor of El-Roi Plaza, close to the Odeon Cinema. This is just one example of the thousands of snippets of information that are at the heart of Mocality, a free-to-list, hyper-local mobile business directory in Nairobi, Kenya. Mocality offers a free business suite of tools to all listed businesses, such as the ability to upload customer mobile numbers into the Mocality platform, a free mobile website...

  • Company Office

    SA sees strong growth in digital ad-spend

    While some traditional media struggles, digital ad-spend in South Africa has witnessed powerful growth. The latest full year (2015) digital advertising spend report released by PwC on behalf of the IAB SA illustrates that the local industry has moved beyond the R3.4-billion spend (invoiced) mark in 2015. This translates to 36% overall year-on-year growth. Certain sectors have witnessed exponential development. In terms of the PwC classification, mobile saw the biggest growth at 182%, followed by online at 68% and search at 22% (Search for 2014 was restated by PwC referencing the PwC Entertainment and media outlook: 2015 – 2019). South...

  • The lack of tech IPOs is holding back job expansion in US, says leading VC

    Robert Ackerman, a leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist and founder of Allegis Capital, says that tech IPOs will remain scarce and that this will curtail job creation in the US. A continued scarcity of tech IPOs means that the Obama Administration won't be able to count on Silicon Valley startups to help spark a job boom and help alleviate tough economic conditions for millions of unemployed. Mr. Ackerman says, "These days, tech startups have to rely on being acquired by a larger company once they reach a certain size because there isn't an IPO market to help them recapitalise and grow...

  • AMMO: A fresh approach to mobile banking

    As I write this story, I’m tucking into my free lunch. Yep, that’s right, I said free lunch. Remember when you were told that “there’s no such thing as...”? Well, that’s because I’m eating it. Vida e caffè just gave me a croissant and a cappucino without a penny leaving my pocket and all because I signed up to AMMO Mobile, a trendy new mobile banking application developed locally that has come swaggering onto the mobile banking playing field with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. AMMO Mobile’s funny, hip and user-friendly website keeps you entertained while you register to...

  • Transforming data into information: 4 important steps

    Data is meaningless. Bunches of numbers and ratios mean nothing without a context. Data on its own can’t help us do anything better. Information however, is beautiful. Information can make us laugh or cry. Information is data set on fire, data with a purpose. Take Depressed Data, follow these four easy steps and voila: Inspirational Information! 1. Know your business goals An often neglected first step you have got to be very aware of, and intimate with. If your website makes a large proportion of its revenue from Pay Per Impression ads, then  the number of visitors and page views will be important...

  • 5 popular open source eCommerce platforms

    There are so many off-the-shelf web solutions out there, many website owners are asking: Why should I bother building it myself? When thinking about their eCommerce platform, a site owner faces three key choices: the Software as a Service hosted solution, download and install an open source or purchased solution, or just build it yourself. There are also many hosted eCommerce solutions available such as Shopify, BigCartel or Vendr which may offer a quicker and easier setup, but perhaps don't offer the same ownership of content as downloadable, open-source software. The software reviewed below is by no means a complete list...

  • Saul Klein: Price of SA broadband an ‘absolute disgrace’

    One of South Africa’s most successful exports, web entrepreneur and venture capitalist Saul Klein, has labelled the cost of broadband in his home country “an absolute disgrace” and urged the members of The Silicon Cape to function as a pressure group in lobbying for cheaper broadband. Klein, who was born in Johannesburg and is married to a South African, currently manages a $2.5-billion venture capital fund, and is a “massive believer” in early stage venture capital. His CV reads like a greatest hits of the Internet over the last 10 years, from early work at Blogger, last.fm and Betfair then...

  • Waytag: A startup changing the way we use location services

    A new South African start-up, Waytag, is setting out with the ambitious goal of revolutionising the way we think about and use addresses. Location-based services are clearly a strong feature in most fast-growing web services and applications, such as FourSquare, GoWalla and Twitter. It can however sometimes seem like these types of applications exist in a world of their own, catering to just a small niche of web-savvy people. Waytag may just change all this by improving the usability of physical location addresses from the bottom up. The concept is simple, as most clever concepts are. Take the domain name...

  • FNB announce host of PayPal features, plan to implement Rand

    South African bank First National Bank (FNB) rolled into a crisp and windy Cape Town last night with a challenge to entrepreneurs to embrace the opportunities presented by its new partnership with international e-commerce giant, PayPal. It was The Silicon Cape's, a local body formed to support and promote the web community, third networking event was hosted by FNB and included an introduction by the bank’s CEO Michael Jordaan, who painted a picture of entrepreneurs as people who are “intellectually curious and unhappy with the way things are”. Paypal was invented by South African Elon Musk so it's...

  • Six ways “Young World” entrepreneurs are changing the business landscape

    A lot has been written about the “digital generation” – the cohort that grew up marinated in high tech, and whose worldview reflects their constant exposure to information, communication and collaboration, media and multitasking.  But the greatest impact this generation is having on the world is when they have a blank canvas to start their own businesses – and nowhere is this felt more profoundly than in those parts of the world where young people are most numerous: emerging economies. Over the past two years, I’ve been studying the most innovative young entrepreneurs on five continents and observing how the values of...

  • Are classified sites in Africa profitable?

    You’ve probably heard of these very popular online classified sites, Craigslist and Gumtree. Both sites offer buyers and sellers an opportunity to engage in a free and open market. With the success of these sites in their respective countries and beyond, African entrepreneurs are keying into the online classifieds market. Today, there are probably more than 20 classified sites in Nigeria alone that offer the same service, but with different business models and technical functionality. Some of the popular niche classifieds sites include Nairalist.com, Txtoweb.com, Chukslist.com, Gbogbo.com, Bunchbay.com, Kerawa.com Nigeria, and WhoGoBuy.com. In addition, other Nigerian websites also offer online classified...