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  • Facebook commerce is dying? Not so fast cowboy

    If the headlines from a couple of months ago were anything to go by, Facebook commerce was as good as dead. Major US players were shuttering their storefronts and in the words of one commentator, "the entire ecosystem was painted a very ugly colour". Thing is, we probably shouldn't be so quick to hammer the last nail into Fcommerce's coffin. A number of the stores that failed said their people simply preferred shopping on their websites to their Facebook storefronts. According to the co-founder of customer experience specialist Consology, Kevin Meltzer that might be because some product offerings are...

  • Company Office

    Here are some simple ways to manage your finances within your startup

    The rate of small business failure remains alarmingly high, even in a digital age that supposedly empowers aspiring entrepreneurs. So despite the fact that it has never been easier to launch a startup venture in 2018, just 40% are still trading after five years of operations. Interestingly, the rate of small business survival after the first year is relatively high at 91%, but this begins to decline considerably as ventures progress and continue to age. Much of this to do with financial mismanagement, particularly in instances where firms try to expand quickly at a disproportionate rate to revenue. In this article, we'll...

  • Microsoft to give startups a free flight to the cloud

    Microsoft is set to give a select group of early stage startups free access to its cloud offering. Under the initiative, which is part of its global BizSpark Plus accelerator programme, the software giant says it will be giving away US$60 000 of free software to South African startups over 10 years. According to Clifford de Wit, developer and platform lead at Microsoft SA, the initiative is aimed at building a vibrant local software development community in South Africa: “We really want to give small software developers the incentive they need to not only develop local software, but also...

  • Primer: Programming languages & databases. Which is best for startups?

    According to the TIOBE index you’re more likely to overhear a Java, PHP, Python, Perl or Ruby developer riffing on an idea for a new web startup, than, let’s say, a PL/SQL developer. Programming languages are developer community argots. To me, the lesser-known lexicon of Oracle’s PL/SQL has been a subject of study for quite some time. I love it. Far beyond its corporate pedigree, I've seen it being used to build an online music store, course search database and microblog. Perhaps I’m partisan, then again, perhaps so are you. But, despite being part of disparate developer communities, we are...

  • New daily deals site promises ‘clever twist’, less emails

    Yawn. Another daily deals site. That's so 2011. Promisingly however, the latest entrant into the market SaveMeDeals.com claims that it won't clog up your inbox. The site, which will be operated in South Africa by the MIH-owned online price comparison service PriceCheck, is a deal portal aggregator. This means that instead of offering its own deals, the site displays all the advertised deals from group buying sites in one place. Its entry into the South African market is part of an attempt to globalise the platform, which was previously only present in Latin America. PriceCheck CEO Andre De Wet...

  • Crowdfunding: It’s more than just having an idea and collecting the money

    Thousands of great ideas flounder at the point where they need to become reality; when great thinkers and idea generators turn to the age-old problem of raising funds to kickstart their new ventures….too often they fail and give up. Getting investment is a whole different ball game to developing products and services. So when the idea of crowdfunding first emerged, (crowdsourced fund-raising) it was embraced by entrepreneurs like sweet words of love from Juliet to her Romeo. Surely this was it, the easy answer to getting enough capital to fund your idea from like-minded individuals, without having to do...

  • Major African VC network launches private investing tools

    Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa), an online community of venture capitalists, angels and entrepreneurs, today announced the launch of new tools aimed at helping people raise funds for their startups. The network, which is dedicated to building business on the African continent, claims that the new tools make private investment easy, secure and social. It also says that they allow entrepreneurs to register their funding needs. These are then shared for investors, registered as part of the VC4Africa investor network, to review. Any investor interested in the venture can reportedly engage the entrepreneur for more details. and if...

  • How does shopper psychology apply to social commerce? [Infographic]

    No purchase decision happens by chance. Every thought leading up to why you need the product -- from the rational versus emotional arguments about what the product will offer to the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits -- are all weighed up and part of a very complicated decision-making process. It's all about questions Things like: "Do I need it? Why do I need it? Can I afford it? Can I get it cheaper? What will my friends think? What will my mom think? What will the bank think? How do I use it? When will I use it? Will I use...

  • Rocket Internet wants 5rooms to own SA furniture market

    We've mentioned online furniture sales outfit 5rooms previously. It's part of German startup incubator Rocket Internet's stable of South African ecommerce sites, but it hasn't had the same kind of exposure as the likes of shoe and fashion outlet Zando. That all looks set to change. Memeburn got its hands on site's pitch book, which claims that the company was "established to become the market leader among South African furniture retailers". It claims that its position within the Rocket Internet network, which comprises over 38 companies operating in 58 countries, will help it achieve this goal. Having several hundred million Euros...

  • Run a startup, travel the world, defy convention: Q&A with Chris Guillebeau

    Building a startup on-the-go while you travel the world may seem unlikely. The status quo would have us believe it borders on the impossible. Thing is, Chris Guillebeau has done just that. Oh and he also writes books and evangelically spreads his unconventional ideas on entrepreneurship and startup communities. The word "unconventional" is actually a pretty accurate description of Guillebeau. The American entrepreneur reckons you can build a startup for less than US$100 and even wrote a book explaining how. His popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, focuses on travel and personal development topics and meshes with his personal mission...

  • Sweden claims victory over SA in startup pitch battle

    A group of Swedish startups won the first ever international 'city versus city' pitch battle on web TV series This Week in Startups, beating out a group of South African startups in doing so. The show, which is hosted by US angel investor Jason Calacanis and Skweal (a real-time customer review service) CEO Tyler Crowley lays claim to 100 000 viewers every episode. The show saw three top Swedish startups competing against three Cape Town-based South African startups. The three Cape Town-based startups were chosen from a group of 10 or so who pitched to a small local audience...

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