Emerging Markets, Startups

Hong Kong and Singapore: meet the ‘evil twin’ startup ecosystems of Southeast Asia

VBSingaporeLandscare Singapore and Hong Kong are Southeast Asia's famous city-states. Both are offshore financial centres for the rest of Asia (and beyond), with a strong Chinese culture, and rightly proud of their success in spite of a lack of resources and space. Today, both places claim the coveted title of startup capital of the region, even though their tech ecosystems are quite different. Here's an overview of each of them: To be perfectly transparent, my first intention was to go to Shenzhen ...

Emerging Markets, News

App that lets strangers wake each other up gets $1-million investment

Wakie-logo The weird and wonderful Russian community wake-up app that wants to change the way we start our days has just received another cash injection to expand its market to the rest of the world. Wakie has secured US$1-million in funding from Russian-based Venture Capital firms, LETA Capital and Titanium Venture Capital. With the idea of letting strangers from around the world help each other wake up, instead of an annoying alarm clock, LETA Capital's investment now amounts to US$3-million. Wakie is the international ...

Advertising & Marketing, News

Publicis’ DigitasLBi guzzles up Liquorice

Liquorice French advertising giant Publicis Groupe has acquired South Africa digital agency Liquorice through its digital-centric subsidiary Digitas LBi . According to Marklives, Liquorice will form part of Digitas LBi’s Middle East & Africa region but will retain its identity. Formed in 2013 out of a merger between Degitas and the Amsterdam-based LBi, DigitasLBi has 40 offices in 25 countries around the world. Liquorice meanwhile has been around since 2005 and now employs 115 people in its Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban ...

Africa, Startups

Are African remittance startups missing the bigger picture?

Puzzle piece Ventureburn recently posted an article about startups trying to pop Africa’s remittance bubble. I applaud the efforts of these startups in trying to address the issue of the above average cost of sending money to Africa which is a real hindrance to Africa’s development as a key player in the global trade arena. However a quick analysis of the list shows that most of the start-ups are focused on bitcoin as a more affordable currency alternative, peer to peer ...

Africa, News

PayPal announces over 1 million accounts in South Africa

paypal_logo Global payments company PayPal announced today that it has passed the milestone of more than 1 million accounts in South Africa. This comes exactly four years after the company partnered with popular local bank FNB, which allowed the service to be more easily implemented. PayPal boasts over 152 million active accounts in 203 markets around the world. The service aims to be more secure and simpler by allowing people to make payments on the web without having to enter their banking ...

Africa, Startup news

Easy Taxi to help drive Ebola Awareness Campaign with Dettol partnership

EasyTaxi The Ebola virus has been responsible for over a thousand deaths since it started spreading across West Africa early this year. Some of the countries afflicted include Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. With this in mind, Nigerian based Easy Taxi has partnered with British health and hygiene company Dettol to provide training sessions for taxi drivers during monthly meetings to inform them on the symptoms and preventive measures of the deadly Ebola virus. This is part of the greater Ebola ...

Africa, News

Startup Weekend EDU comes to Cape Town, aims to encourage edtech innovation

Startup-weekend A first in Africa, Startup Weekend Education (EDU) will be taking place from 5 - 7 September in Cape Town, South Africa to help encourage innovation in the education industry. With the zest of the Lean Startup Machine and Startup Weekend tradition, the three days will consist of thinkers and tinkerers challenge ideas and skills to help build education products. Apart from networking and pitching, prominent industry leaders will attend the weekend including Doug Hoernle, Director of Rethink Education, Steve ...


Want to sell stuff online? Here are 7 SA services that can help

Cash-register The South African ecommerce landscape is at an exciting stage where both big players like Takealot and niche ones like League of Beers are gearing up for what is hoped to be a mass adoption by the South African consumer market. Each online shop is trying to get a piece of the pie while the space is relatively fresh. Not to sound too much like Uncle Sam, but you can get in on the action and help the industry grow ...

Startup news

Online booking startup ClickBus gets $10-million in funding

clcickbus Online booking startup ClickBus has announced that it's just received US$10-million from Latin America Internet Group, Tengelmann Ventures, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Rocket Internet. The company will now use the funds to further strengthen its existing markets. Fernando Prado, Global co-CEO and co-founder of ClickBus shares his vision of revolutionising the bus industries in emerging markets: “The company’s objective is to empower the bus travelling industry across the globe by migrating to the online world an industry used to offline sales. By ...

Africa, News

Tech4Africa speaker Andy Hadfield: ‘Like it or not, failure is a part of startup culture’

Tech4Africa Tech4Africa is coming to Cape Town, South Africa for the first time since it started as an annual fixture four years ago. The event will consist of workshops, networking and keynote speakers which aims to impart knowledge, perspective, African context and inspiration. Two exciting speakers set to take the stage are entrepreneurs Andy Hadfield and Gareth Knight, both on the topic of startup failure in South Africa. Hadfield says they're on a mission to change the stigma the South ...