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  • Startup marketing: a story of growth hacking and strategic partnerships

    In the post-daily deals era, everyone’s more conscientious about customer acquisition costs. And to entrepreneurs’ credit, most startups have gotten pretty good in finding and attracting customers with the highest lifetime value for the lowest possible cost. Remembering the lessons of Boo and Pets.com, VCs have also gotten savvier in assessing startups with an economically viable customer funnel. And with a lot of great content available online for free, founders have no excuse in not getting up to speed on cost-effective online marketing. While most of the content out there emphasize the analytical side of customer acquisition (most founders are...

  • Company Office

    Tshwane free Wi-Fi TV – TV by the people, for the people, on the people's network

    The City of Tshwane has added another trailblazing project to its name with the launch of the WiFi TV, a Video-On-Demand service made available over the Tshwane Free WiFi network. The WiFi TV is another pioneering project geared towards positioning Tshwane as a Smart City by using technology to bridge the digital divide, engage communities on government affairs and bring about social cohesion.  Local crews have been recruited and trained to create videos covering local topics including music, current affairs, entrepreneurship, religion, jobs and sport in the townships of Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and the Tshwane CBD. These videos are then uploaded...

  • Singaporean e-grocer RedMart raises $4.6-million in series A funding

    The Singapore-based online grocery store RedMart has closed its Series A round of funding. Yesterday, the company announced that the funding will bring its total sum of investments up to US$4.6-million. RedMart received more than US$3-million from not a venture capitalist, but a tech company. Garena, a local startup that focuses on connecting gamers though a website as well as providing a chat messaging service. RedMart, on the other hand, is a e-grocer that delivers for free if a customer's order is above US$60. Founded in 2011, the young company had US$5-million in annual sales with 11 000 registered users....

  • Looking at Africa’s mobile revolution from a human perspective

    We hear about Africa's mobile revolution almost daily, use the stats to support arguments and better understand potential markets. Potential investors and marketeers can thrive on this, though, we often overlook the change happening on the ground. iHub and Research Solutions Africa recently released a report based on six months of research attempting to demonstrate the positive impact of mobile phones in Kenya's rural communities. Although it was completed by the end of 2012, the infoDev commissioned research has been brought back, showing the stories behind the statistics. Together with the report, the research brought about these four inspiring follow-up...

  • 88mph partners with Samsung, extends reach of African startups

    Startup accelerator 88mph and Samsung Electronics Africa have entered into a partnership to provide three lucky startups, who enter the 88mph programme before 1 August, the chance for placement on the Built for Africa App store, potentially giving a presence on millions of smart devices across Africa, as well as marketing help from Samsung to boot. “88mph is extremely excited about partnering with a company like Samsung, and being a filter for sourcing great products to their platform,” says Kresten Buch, Founder & MD of 88mph. “As an early-stage investor, it's important to create an infrastructure around the startups that...

  • FlipOver.org wants to ‘flip social challenges’ through crowdsourcing

    Today Flipover.org has announced its partnership with Indonesia's largest non-profit youth organization Karang Taruna. The aim in this partnership is to connect Indonesia's local neighborhood entrepreneurs to the global crowdsourcing community. FipOver.org is an Indonesian-based that creates awareness and uses crowdsourcing as a platform to "flip social challenges to individuals to empower change." This is mainly done on a global scale-- connecting social entrepreneurs that use crowdsourcing to co-design solutions. The organization plans to expand to the rest of South East Asia and other emerging markets. Karang Taruna has 10-million active members and although spanning across 500 cities, is mainly...

  • Startup Blitz: pay-per-meet with group dating site Weaver

    The group dating, not-so-dating startup Weaver takes to the stage this week on Startup Blitz. Currently based in Cape Town, founders Kiril Dobrev and Andrew Lynch share their startup pitch and insights. Using the familiarity of friends and some dutch courage, the dating experience hopes to create a platform where people can meet new friends and simply have a good time. Weaver aims to distinguish itself from the run-of-the-mill "creepy dating sites." This is done by focusing on group dating which includes the familiarity and loyal backup of trusted friends. Also, rather than purely focusing on once-off customers aiming to...

  • Laudable: social shopping platform for South African fashionistas launches

    It's probably easiest to describe Laudable, a South African e-store aggregator as a type of Fancy.com with a fashion bias. Its users discover fashion items -- which ship locally -- from their favourite brands through following people and stores that match their personal taste in style. Laudable doesn't have partnerships with South African ecommerce stores. Instead, it relies on its users to curate its catalogue. How? Laudable members are encouraged to install a web browser bookmarklet. When they find a fashion item that meets their taste, and its available in South Africa, they can bookmark the item. It then...

  • Founder Institute confirms Microsoft partnership for African chapter launch

    If you've been reading Ventureburn, you knew it was coming. Founder Institute, the mega incubator from Silicon Valley with a presence in over 50 countries, is now ready to launch in Johannesburg. Microsoft BizSpark has stepped up to provide Founder Institute participants fully subsidised course fees to the entrepreneur training programme. Through the partnership, promising South African entrepreneurs can take part in the programme at no cost -- the course is usually priced at US$950. Microsoft BizSpark further boosts the programme by bringing additional technology, support, visibility, and community to the table. BizSpark, which supports over 45 000 startups from...

  • Hey startups, good luck with Paul Graham’s ‘do things that don’t scale’ tip

    Y Combinator founder Paul Graham is a deity in Silicon Valley's startup communities and whenever and whatever he writes on his blog is closely scrutinized. His latest post: Do Things that Don't Scale. The word "scale" is code for software automation. His post is about startups that believe that all they need to do is launch their web service with sufficient attention and users will sign up and the business will grow (like a hockey stick). He points out that successful startups, such as Stripe did not sit back but went out "manually" to "recruit users." "Sell" is a four-letter word in...

  • Rocket Internet raises $500-million, has big plans for emerging markets

    Rocket Internet is one of the key startup backers in the world. With currently over 75 ventures across the globe, it is also popular for its interests in backing startups in developing markets. Today Rocket Internet announced that it has managed to secure over US$500-million from the Stockholm-based Investment AB Kinnevik and US-based Access Industries since May 2012. This massive total sum of investments means that Rocket Internet is now a US$1-billion organisation. The organisation tends to develop and support ecommerce companies in the fashion, general merchandise and furniture sectors. “This is a highly significant investment from our partners Kinnevik and...