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  • Herd Cows in digital version of local game Morabaraba

    A cow herding board game played in rural South Africa, Morabaraba, is becoming digitized, developed by an ex-Stellenbosch University student and licensed to InnoVartis Technology Systems, whose goal is to develop digitized traditional African games. Morabaraba asks each of its two players to arrange their 12 pieces (or 'cows') on a board to form groups of three, known as 'mills'. Once a player has formed a mill, they are able to take an opponents cows. The digitized version, to be called MRBRB, will be avaiable on iOS, Android and Blackberry 10 platforms, as well as the web. Ex 'Matie' student...

  • Company Office

    Zapacab Releases the Simplest App to Order a Taxi

    Cape Town mobile taxi ordering startup Zapacab has released native apps for Android and iOS devices. This is in response to passengers demand for “clever, easy to use apps”. Zapacab initially launched their product on mobile browsers to allow all passengers the easiest access to ordering a cab. With the majority of users being Android and iPhone users, the requests for a slicker app-based experience have been numerous. Chief executive officer (CEO) Rupert Sully says they will continue to offer the web based service for Blackberry users, but felt it was strategic to launch the native apps. "It is the sort...

  • Silvertree Capital has ecommerce sweet tooth, sub-Saharan African focus

    Africa's tech investment landscape has gained a new fund which looks set to boost the emerging sector. The recently launched Silvertree Capital is a South African-based business incubator specifically targeting startups that cater to the South African and Sub-Saharan African markets. The fund was founded by ex-Zando boss Manuel Koser whose controversial exit from the ecommerce company made news. Not surprisingly, Silvertree has made a number of investments in the ecommerce space -- a sector that is currently booming in Africa. Other focus industries for the company include "online/mobile, B2C ecommerce and B2B2C sales." The company says that it will offer...

  • goCatch: the taxi app done right

    After four months on my own in Sydney, I was finally joined by my wife and three-year old son on a sunny November morning. That same morning, I picked up the keys to a new, unfurnished apartment in Lavender Bay and we were all incredibly excited to start a new adventure in Australia. However, on that same day I discovered the one thing that I've come to loathe about Sydney: the taxi industry. We took a bus to a Woolworths a few miles from our house to do some shopping for our new apartment. We soon had a trolley load...

  • Peter Thiel backed goal-setting app Everest now live in SA

    Anyone who's ever had a new years' resolution knows that setting goals is a lot easier than achieving them. If only there was an app that could help you stay on track. Enter Everest. The app, which launched on iOS in the US in late 2012, before expanding to the UK and Ireland earlier this year, is now live in the South African app store. Backed by the likes of PayPal co-founder and legendary venture capitalist Peter Thiel Joe Gebbia (Airbnb) and Peter Diamandis (X Prize), the app allows people to set a goal as well as a potentially infinite number...

  • Gust Pay finally out of beta, ready to rock the mobile payment game

    Saying mobile payments are blowing up in Africa is starting to get tired, but they really are. Stellenbosch-based startup Gust Pay just announced that it is now out of beta and ready to shake up South Africa's mobile payment game. The company, which just recently won best South African startup at Seedstars World, launched a new version of its mobile payment app for smartphones last week. The latest version of Gust Pay is available for free on both iOS and Android devices. The new release includes a big set of changes: cleaner and simpler user interface, improved registration process, a...

  • MEDO offers ‘trip-of-a-life-time’ to ICT entrepreneurs

    Between MEDO(Micro Enterprise Development Organisation) and BT (British Telecom) Global Services, 11 entrepreneurial businesses have the opportunity to get training as well as exposure to business and investment partners at the International Trade Programme this November. Entrepreneurs, who have small businesses operating within the Information, Communication and Technology sectors, are invited to apply for the next International Trade Programme. All entries will be evaluated and the selected entrepreneurs will be placed on the programme. Those who triumph during ‘bootcamp’ will go on the next trade visit to the UK in November 2013. Apart from exposure and the "trip-of-a-life-time," chosen applicants...

  • Rocket Internet’s Glossybox hits 4m beauty boxes sold

    Beauty subscription service Glossybox today announced that it had sold its four-millionth beauty box, meaning that it's sold a box every 20 seconds since its founding in 2011. The company, which is a part of German clone incubator Rocket Internet's massive global stable, operates in 15 countries on three continents and has backing from the likes of Holtzbrinck Ventures and Investment AB Kinnevik. According to Glossybox founder Charles von Abercron: “When we started our company in 2011, we only had one goal: To provide a broad range of tailored beauty products to different peer groups with a...

  • 7 South Africans behind some of the biggest startup successes in the US

    Nope, we're not talking about PayPal-Tesla-SpaceX founder Elon Musk, or Thawte and Ubuntu main man, Mark Shuttleworth. The people showcased here are behind some of biggest and most admired startups in the world, and yet they remain relatively unknown beyond the confines of Silicon Valley. Earlier this year we took a look at some notable US-based startups founded by immigrants. Now, we're putting the spotlight squarely on founders from South Africa. An article like this serves as a motivator for aspiring entrepreneurs, but it also brings to mind inevitable questions about South Africa's leaking talent pool. According to South Africa's ambassador...

  • It’s all very private: FNB private clients get exclusive digital lifestyle magazine

    First National Bank (FNB) is fast becoming more than just a bank. We recently heard that it might be entering the mobile network arena, never mind its retail-esque dotFNB stores. Now, the ever tech-savvy bank is partnering with Realmdigital to enter digital publishing, with a new lifestyle magazine offering directed at its private clients called FNB Private Life. According to Eric Enslin, Head of Private Banking at FNB Private Clients: Innovation improves efficiency, we constantly look for innovative ways to enhance our clients’ lifestyles. The Private Life magazine is just one of the ways we are making a concerted effort to...

  • Startup Blitz: OrderIn, online food ordering made simple [Video]

    It's 9pm. You're in a lazy mood, but you're hungry. You don't know what to get. You could get the tried and tested pizza from down the road that you love so much, or the budget gatsby from around the corner. But you're not feeling either, you're stumped. In a haze of confusion you revert to habit and start dialing the pizza-place, but then you remember about that online food ordering service you saw on Ventureburn - OrderIn - and everything changes. You go to the website and type in your address. You see that the gatsby shop is...

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