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  • Do you really want to start a business?

    As work takes up a substantial part of our lives, it's a question that often evokes a see-sawing set of emotions -- and yet, the answer is simple, really. What compels us to leap, despite a menacing set of fears? I think it has to do with desire. Very simply, the chains of apprehension will snap at a disproportionately great desire to explore the uncharted. So the short answer is: you will if you want to. But do you really want to? While we tend to laud the intrepid that excel in business, you and I share the familiar burning curiosity...

  • Company Office

    SUPERBALIST.COM CELEBRATING YOUTH Changing the way the youth shop and applauding creative talent

    Superbalist.com, South Africa’s only high-trend curated online shopping destination, has in excess of 1 million members. With an ever expanding selection of the best international brands at affordable prices; an understanding of what the youth market wants in terms of shopping and content; and campaigns that resonate with their target market, the site is set to change the way the youth shop and consume information. “We understand what it’s like to want coveted international brands, and know that we can actually afford them. It’s been one of our main business objectives since we launched, and we’ve become really good at delivering...

  • Fab receives $150 million in Series D funding, led by China giant Tencent

    Fab, the gay social network turned ecommerce-design service with 14-million registered members, is now worth over US$1-billion after it received US$150 million in Series D funding. One of the investors involved in the round was none other than Tencent, China's largest listed Internet company whose services include social networks, ecommerce and web portals. Fab's impressive valuation has almost doubled since its last round of funding a year ago, but the company remains unprofitable, according to The Wall Street Journal. This indicates that Tencent's interest in the American startup could be just as much about directly selling Fab products through its...

  • WooCommerce democratises ecommerce — a true WordPress child

    The WordPress themes' space has gotten quite crowed in the last few years. From ThemeForest to Elegant Themes, the competitors have boxed it out for dominance, or at least tried to establish their niche within the WordPress ecosystem. All the while one competitor has quietly gone about its business, and reaped the rewards. This is WooThemes. Everybody loves a good origin story A proudly South African company, although many don't know it, WooThemes has quite a Romantic tale behind it. It was founded (and registered) back in 2008 when the space wasn't quite so crowded, by Adriaan Pienaar, Magnus Jepson, and...

  • Rocket Internet boasts crazy growth for Nigerian Amazon clone Jumia

    German serial web company copiers, Rocket Internet, is reporting that its Nigeria-based Amazon wannabe, Jumia, will move to a new 90 000 sqft warehouse in Lagos which will house 500 employees and "create the largest ecommerce campus in West Africa." Jumnia has now served more than 500 000 customers since its launch, one year ago and is reporting approximately 100 000 unique visitors a day -- making it Nigeria's fourth most visited website according to Rocket Internet (and 18th according to Alexa). The ecommerce site, together with partners Kaymu, Vamido and hellofood, has secured U$35-million in funding from Millicom...

  • Startup insights from the Aspen Institute’s state of global business

    Last week, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs released its impact report on the state of global business. According to the organisation, one of the biggest factors hindering growth in emerging markets is access to loans and funds. "We live in a world today in which one of the biggest problems that we face is a lack of jobs. As we think about what’s going in the Middle East and North Africa, and the challenges that we see in Africa, we need to create jobs," said ANDE Executive Director Randall Kempner, quoted in the Wall Street Journal. Kempner argues that...

  • The UCWeb story: the turning points that grew the startup to 400m users

    With more than 400-million users of its UC Browser, China’s UCWeb is probably one of most popular mobile browser makers in the world. UCWeb CEO Yu Yongfu tells us that that the company’s first product started as a BlackBerry Messenger type of service called UCMail. Unfortunately, it didn’t take off. But the team was quick to realize that people weren’t using UCMail. Rather, they wanted an application that could help them browse the web. So in 2004, UCMail rebranded to UCWeb, which stands for “U Can Web”, to being a full-fledged mobile browser. In 2006, with a team of 12, Yongfu...

  • The most comprehensive guide to the SA startup landscape ever [2013]

    Update: For an updated guide to South Africa's startup landscape, click here. You have just arrived on South Africa's startup scene, you're lost and not sure where to start, or what to do next. You have inherited millions and you're looking to invest through an Angel Network and its safety in numbers. Your company is great but your growth strategy is a bit lacking. Don't worry, there are places, people, organisations and events to look to for advice and information. We have scoured South Africa's entrepreneurial landscape and hand-picked some of the top players to get you started. Bookmark this one....

  • Figuring out whether to bootstrap or find a VC overlord? Read this first

    We love the idea of bootstrapping here -- we even have a guide to it. Recently I have been noticing a movement toward bootstrapping. It seems that it's the way to go if you want to avoid being "screwed" by the lovely people known as Venture Capitalists (VCs). But is it really? Many people make the argument for bootstrapping and I am mostly inclined to agree with them, at the very least in the idea stage. The biggest argument for bootstrapping is valuation. At the idea stage, valuing your company is more of an art than concrete science. Approaching an...

  • Startup Blitz: Dream Mobile, low-cost handsets for the African consumer

    The rising African consumer-market is on the verge of blooming, and waiting to be tapped into. At the center of it all is the mobile device: a vessel that empowers the consumer by connecting them to the internet, and gives them access to the world's information and, let's not forget, (paid) content. Recognising this potential is startup Dream Mobile, a manufacturer of low-cost smart handsets for the African market. Its Dream Phones are packed with functionality and power at a really competitive price. For example its Dream A2 phone retails for R1 699 (around US$169) and sports a similar...

  • Adfu partners with social network Yookos to extend reach in Africa

    Adfu, online marketing company situated in Johannesburg, has recently partnered with Yookos which is the popular Africa-born social network site. The partnership aims to both increase market reach into a more defined growing African market and to drive advertising and future revenue. Adfu is part of a network of sites owned by Kagiso Media. Kagiso Digital has launched the AdFu network in 2012 to offer a range of opportunities within vertical markets to advertisers and niche publishers. The company has since included a host of online publishers such as Nation Media, Sky News, Sky Sports, and the Teamtalk...

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