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  • SA radar startup iKubu exits to Garmin technologies

    iKubu, the Stellenbosch, South African-based company popularly responsible for the Bactracker bicycle radar technology, has exited to satellite navigation multinational Garmin. Grindstone fellow, iKubu last year introduced its Backtracker technology to the world as a means to test out the market and make a name for itself internationally. Although the company didn't manage to reach its US$194 000 (over R2.2-million) funding goal, it turns out its plans ended up working out after all. “iKubu has found a way to implement short-range radar into a low-power system that addresses a common concern among cyclists – identifying potential hazards that are approaching them...

  • Redfish wants to become the top space for SA’s manual labour workforce

    Ever find yourself paging through the Yellow Pages (or Google), looking for that one plumber who knows what he's doing but doesn't cost a fortune? Of course you do. If only there was a way you could find skilled tradesmen with backing reviews and a relevant asking price. Well, this is exactly what Redfish has been up to for the last two years. If you haven't heard of it, Redfish essentially acts as a tradesman-meets-customer supply and demand platform with ratings and reviews. It's currently on a mission to become the number one space for tradespeople in South Africa keen...

  • Online auctioning site LiveBids launches, introduces pay-per-bid model

    LiveBids Auctions has recently launched in a bid to take on South African hot shots like BidorBuy and international ones such as Ebay. These are all large tasks for any startup, so we've chatted to the co-founder Rory Vollmer and Paul von Hoesslin about their vision for the company. The team describes LiveBids as online buying and selling reinvented as it's said to be the only social online marketplace to empower both the buyer and the sellers. Though one feature that does sound quite novel is the pay-per-bid model, where would-be buyers purchase credits to bid on items. These credits go...

  • Israeli VCs raised US$914-million in 2014, the most in six years

    Israel is, without doubt, one of the most exciting startup hotspots on the planet. If it's not the admiring government support, it's the succinct financial support being made available as this new findings come to show. A new report by IVC Research Online shows that the Venture Capital (VC) cookie jar got filled to the brim in 2014. Twelve VC firms managed to raise nearly US$1-billion with the average fund size of US$76-million which is an increase of 55%. These numbers, which are the highest the country has seen since 2008, are mostly due to four veteran Israeli VC funds --...

  • How do you infiltrate the startup ecosystem in Africa?

    The question posed by the headline makes Africa's VC (Venture Capitalist) ecosystem seem like the mafia, where your cousin Vinny has to introduce you to the godfather and you have to get through a series of tests to get into the inner circle of this elite group. In some ways, it pretty much is like that, or at least that's what it will have you believe. I have been asked this question many times and it wasn't until I took a small hiatus from the ecosystem that I realised the answer wasn't so easy. When I used to get...

  • Intel, She Leads Africa introduce workshops to empower female entrepreneurs

    In collaboration with the computing giant, Intel, women empowerment initiative She Leads Africa is starting the year off with the introduction of workshops on technology and entrepreneurship in Nairobi, Lagos and Johannesburg. This initiative follows a busy 2014, which saw the organisation take eight women-led startups to pitch at Diaspora Demo Day in the US last year, among other things. Read more: She Leads Africa announces top 10 young women entrepreneurs The first workshop session will be led by Intel, which will focus on building one's minimal viable product. The second session will be led by She Leads Africa and will teach...

  • GoMetro launches low-cost data mobi site in all 11 official SA languages

    Transport data startup GoMetro has just launched a new mobi site designed with the emerging world, specifically South Africa, in mind. GoMetro Mini, as it's called, is designed for older mobile phones and will provide public transport information in each of the country's 11 official languages. Apart from enabling users to choose from Sepedi, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Venda, Tsonga, Ndebele, Swati & Afrikaans to get train and bus times for all major cities in SA, the site is also optimsed to use the minimal amount of data. GoMetro CEO Justin Coetzee, “Over the last 2 years, we have noticed GoMetro...

  • 5 questions you need to ask before introducing your startup to the world

    Introducing your stealth startup to the world is an exciting and monumental time. It’s the first step in determining whether your product is the right solution for the problem you’re trying to alleviate. It’s a way of getting data and a way to identify the market that resonates most with your product. And when the press opportunities start filtering in, you can’t help but feel like you’ve made it. But when entrepreneurs release their product too quickly and botch their first impression, all the blood, sweat, and tears could be rendered useless. Choosing whether to go public or stay in...

  • PayGate partners with ReD to beef up online fraud protection

    Ecommerce payment service provider PayGate recently partnered with global fraud prevention company ReD in an effort to beef up security against fraud for its South African online merchants. Fraud, or the fear thereof, is often seen as one of the main deterrents for people flocking to online shops. Rightly so, reports suggest that losses due to credit card fraud increased by 23% from R366-million in 2013 to R453.9-million in 2014. Even though not all of these cases relate to online shopping, it does follow a similar trend as the online space grows to be more popular. Read more: South Africans beware,...

  • De Beers finally opens entrepreneurial hub in Cape Town

    It's always good to see big business helping out the little guys. Major mining conglomerate and member of Anglo American, De Beers, finally launched the De Beers Marine Zimele Business Hub in Cape Town over the weekend, in a move to support local entrepreneurs with their endeavors. Although De Beers already has similar entrepreneurial support structures across the country where it operates -- providing funding, mentoring and guidance -- this is a first for the Western Cape. De Beers Zimele supported 233 new small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and created 2 335 jobs in 2014. Moreover, over R60-million in loans have been made...