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  • Mobile health platform FolUp launches in SA

    Mobile health is hot right now. That statement has never been truer. In Africa, healthcare is a major issue and finding easier ways to get medication, medical information and care to people is very important. That's where FolUp comes in, a mobile and web-based health communication platform that connects doctors and patients, allowing collaboration and actively participate in improving patient care and satisfaction. According to the company, the tool provides patients with a secure platform on which they can actively participate in their health management process through tracking their symptoms, how they feel and how they respond to medication. ...

  • Company Office

    Goodbye online crooks: SA startup keeps money safe till buyers, sellers both agree

    As online fraud in South Africa escalates, buying and selling goods using online platforms places both buyers and sellers at risk. After Jethro O’Brien, CEO and co-founder of TradeSafe.co.za, was duped while trying to buy car parts that had been advertised online, his idea for TradeSafe was born. TradeSafe is a licensed, independent fintech company that safeguards a buyer's funds in trust (escrow) until the seller delivers what was promised. Only once the buyer is happy with the goods or services received, does TradeSafe release the funds. Explains O’Brien, “We act as a buffer between a buyer and a seller. The...

  • Was Foodspotting’s $10 million exit really that attractive?

    It’s all over the news now. San Franscisco-based food photo sharing app Foodspotting has been acquired by OpenTable to the tune of US$10-million. But is a US$10-million exit attractive? Prior to the acquisition, Foodspotting raised a US$750,000 seed round from investors, which include 500Startups, as well as a few other angel investors including Dave Morin and Dan Martell back in August 2010. In January 2011, Foodspotting closed a US$3-million funding round from Blue Run Ventures. Fast forward to January 2013, is the US$10 million an attractive exit? Two years since their series A funding would suggest that the 12 person team is possibly very near the end...

  • Newscoop: the newsroom CMS that’s empowering independent media

    The Content Management System (CMS) market is crowded. It's easier to stand out from the niche of news CMSes, but in the age of guerrilla journalism and WordPress, the market for CMSes tailored for newsrooms is small. Even major news organisations like CNN, The New York Times, Reuters and Forbes deliver news through WordPress. So, how do you make a name for yourself if you're trying to sell a CMS for newsrooms? For a start, you'd better make sure your product is battle tested. To develop a new version of its newspaper and magazine CMS called Newscoop, Czech non-profit organisation,...

  • Sorry to tell you this, but… being unique won’t make your startup money

    It was a day packed with over five consecutive meetings. As I huffed and puffed towards my final destination, meeting up with the private banker of a tech entrepreneur whose achievement badges include his NASDAQ-listed gaming company. It would be a typical investment pitch, like millions of other pitches I had done. The only difference was pitching to a private banker -- a career I was going into until I got mesmerized by the tech world. Let’s call him Paul. Paul was sharp, astute, and surprised me with his knowledge in the startup scene and tech industry. He certainly knew what he...

  • Nigerian video streaming service iROKOtv signs deal with Nokia

    Nigerian video streaming service iROKOtv has signed a deal with Nokia to launch a free mobile app for the Lumia range of Windows 8 Phones. The deal allows Nollywood fans to access the service's full catlogue of Nigerian films on the go. According to iROKO Partners, the company behind the service, the app is built with the same functionality as www.irokotv.com, giving users total control over their viewing experience and the ability to search the catalogue of thousands of movies by genre and actor, as well as select movies to "watch later". "The iROKOtv app is a fantastic addition to...

  • Watch: 5 videos of killer emerging market health and wellness startups

    UNESCO partner, Netexplo, is a future-facing initiative that helps businesses from France figure out how to cash in on tech innovation around the world. Through a network of about 200 journalists, scientists and academics, the initiative acknowledges brilliant ideas. The top 100 form the Netexplo 100 which aims to provide an overview of digital innovation happing in the world. At the Netexplo Forum, the top 100 are further whittled down and acknowledged by a jury of independent personalities from the academic world, research and international organisations. We dug through the Netexplo 100 for 2013 and found five intriguing ideas from emerging...

  • Pimp my startup: why I want my VC to focus on marketing, not just money

    What should startups want in an investor? Money, smarts, rolodex – sure. But that’s not enough any more. I want my VC to do marketing for me too. Ron Conway is certainly no lesser investor than Dave McClure. But there are 100x more startup people and early adopters in Asia who know 500 Startups from his many tours of duty (that is certainly true in Croatia too). More importantly, amongst those are hackers and hustlers I want to hire – people who may never have heard of Ron or SVAngels. VCs like First Round Capital routinely pimp their startups out, such...

  • Series A crunch blah blah… Get over it. Learn from Africa’s example

    If you are a startup junkie (yes there is such a thing), chances are you have been hearing about the ominous Series A crunch. It's all anyone seems to be talking about these days -- the doomed startups that must find new ways to fund their businesses, the possible ways to do this and the investors giving advice on how to survive the dreaded crunch. The issue is so important that Forbes has posted two articles arguing opposite points. The general consensus on the crunch debate is that where the ratio between seed funding and Series A used to be...

  • Is digital mood boarding startup SampleBoard a threat to Photoshop?

    Outside the world of design, the concept of "mood boarding" isn't well known, and yet, it's easy to acknowledge as something of value. Last year, a Google startup incubator awarded SampleBoard US$50 000 in seed funding and the tool is already a favourite among designers. So, what is a mood board? Before beginning work on a design, a designer uses different mediums -- text, pictures, and other objects -- to create a physical or digital collage that represents the direction of style being pursued for a commissioned product. This type of collage is called a mood board, and SampleBoard, allows...

  • Google’s Eric Schmidt: Nairobi could become the African tech leader

    Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has presented a summary of his Africa trip in which he said Kenya’s capital Nairobi was “a serious tech hub and may become the African leader”. Of his analysis on some of the Sub-Saharan cities he visited in a week of business meetings, Schmidt stated in a Google+ post that Nairobi’s incubators are hosting potential solutions to many problems, including connecting M-Pesa with payment systems for local stores. “Nairobi has emerged as a serious tech hub and may become the African leader. A combination of relatively stable politics, the British legal system, and a benign...

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