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  • Rocket Internet backed Namshi receives $13M in funding

    Things are looking good for Rocket Internet companies. Namshi, a Middle East-based online fashion store from the German Incubator, has secured funding to the tune of US$13-million from growth equity firm Summit Partners. The online store, which launched in 2012, follows the same template as most of the company's fashion outlets, including South Africa's Zando and Zalando in Germany. The Middle East iteration is touted as the "fastest-growing" online store for fashion and lifestyle and serves customers in six countries: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. According to Namshi it offers more than 550 footwear and...

  • Company Office

    Zapacab shifts it up a gear with new look and features

    We recently released a new version of our Zapacab mobile site with new features requested by users. The two most worthy of being noted are that of the abilty to view and edit your detected location to make sure the driver knows exactly where you are, and the ability to easily call the driver once he has accepted your trip. Both these features allow for far greater transparency when using cabs. Check out our blog for a bit more information. Our driver numbers are increasing every day with more and more calling in to get involved. They undergo a process of...

  • Africa 2.0: a startup event hoping to take Africa to the next level

    It's obvious that Africa really is pushing an entrepreneurial agenda at the moment. Africa 2.0 is an entrepreneurship competition aimed at bringing together startups in a workshop format following the Startup Weekend model. Africa 2.0 is a Pan-African organisation made up of more than 300 people from Africa and the Diaspora. According to the collective, it shares a vision for Africa and "a commitment to finding and implementing sustainable solutions capable of leapfrogging the development of the continent". Startups pitch before a room of mentors, judges and other startups and 10 startups get selected to go through to the...

  • Rockefeller Foundation pumping $100 million into Africa’s digital scene

    Africa is where it is at and its digital/tech scene is all the rage. Bigwigs are noticing the continent. The latest group to take interest in Africa is the Rockefeller Foundation, which announced a new initiative that will focus on Africa's youth and employment, Digital Jobs Africa. The foundation has pledged nearly US$100-million to Africa's digital sector in the hopes of impacting "one million lives in six countries through leverage and private sector partnership". According to the foundation the investment will impact people who would not otherwise have an opportunity for sustainable employment through jobs and skills for youth in...

  • Prodigy Finance helps MBA students from emerging markets get ahead

    Prodigy Finance is a fascinating company. It takes elements of micro-lending, as well as some proprietary risk-assessment practices, and applies them to MBA students seeking out funding. The result is effectively a loan network comprising of top MBA students, and alumni (the investors) from around the world -- including high net-worth individuals from emerging markets -- who can invest in their region's future business leaders. Founded by South Africans Cameron Stevens (CEO), and Ryan Steele (COO), the company is a registered LTD in London. This marriage of emerging and developed markets permeates through Prodigy's student portfolio and business ethos, and...

  • Want to #PitchGhana? Join Silicon Cape’s next trade mission

    Looking to expand your startup and network into Ghana? Silicon Cape could help you out. The entrepreneurial catalyst is opening up applications for all startups interested in being part of its latest trade mission, which is scheduled to hit the country in August this year. Following its successful Pitch London trip, the South African entrepreneurs who join this Silicon Cape mission will have the opportunity to meet Ghanaian startups, pitch to investors as well as gain insight into the West African country's emerging tech scene. Although it's just a proposed visit at this stage, the group says it will...

  • Net Prophet wants to help take startups from mind to market

    Net Prophet is an annual gathering of 2 000+ geeks, and one of the bigger tech conferences on the South African calendar. For a couple of years now, it's hosted a startup workshop as an offshoot of the conference and it's looking for entrepreneurs keen to take part in this year's edition. The workshop, which is limited to participants from 10 startups, will see the startups cover a number of topics which, the organisers claim, will provide them with practical skills "for improved business decision-making". Topics include: Is the market ready? Getting money into your business Sales Managing high growth Planning...

  • Microsoft’s East-African footprint expands with iHub and m:lab co-op

    Microsoft wants to play a big role in driving innovation in Africa. After recently introducing the 4Afrika Initiative -- geared at improving the continent's economic development and global competitiveness -- the software giant has announced a strategic cooperation with business incubator iHub and the m:lab East Africa consortium. The goal is to support startup, innovator and developer communities in East Africa to grow their skills and ultimately build businesses using Microsoft technologies by providing software training and access to capital investment. iHub is an innovation hub in the tech space, and is made up of technologists, investors and tech...

  • Entrepreneur in the making? Don’t let these mistakes ruin your chances

    With the recent hype around entrepreneurship in emerging markets, for the first time many people are actually thinking of taking the leap and founding their own business. But what are some of the problems they will run into on the way? Here are a few pointers gained from my own experience and from the entrepreneurs that I have had the privilege of interacting with. You want me to discuss my business idea? Ok. First sign this NDA. No successful entrepreneur ever said this to anyone ever. This is probably the stupidest idea the entrepreneurs-to-be have, and one which I have seen way...

  • Problemio is an affordable coach and planner for your business

    Putting a potential business idea into action from scratch is difficult. As it stands, there are applications for everything these days. Many apps try to help you overcome your business issues but are pricey or cater for specific market groups. Problemio is an app that wants to change this. Problemio is an app course created by Alex Genadinik to help potential SMMEs with coaching, planning and collaborating their business ideas. Drawing from the experience of more than 10 000 businesses, this application series is an affordable means of helping you along your way in the bumpy road of starting and...

  • US company Symbion Power targets energy sector in Africa

    Coinciding with African Utility Week taking place in Cape Town later this month, US energy company Symbion Power has taken strides to invest in the power sectors in South Africa and Nigeria which builds on its presence in Tanzania, and cements its interest in the continent as an investment destination. Symbion's expansion in Africa appears to take advantage of a growing demand for power on the continent, as well as the privatisation of power generation and power distribution, affording huge market opportunities. The company's interest in Africa is best explained by CEO Paul Hinks: “These firms are ethical,” Paul adds, “they have...