Africa, Startup news

Micro lending startup ApexPeak to raise massive $200-million fund

ApexPeak ApexPeak is a micro lender that aims to loan money faster and easier than traditional banks would allow. Small companies in need of a smooth cash flow can borrow money from it to pay their invoices. Last year, the startup received seed investment from the Google-sponsored accelerator 88mph and is now raising a massive US$200-million to meet the growing demand of SMEs. Using the company's Global Receivables Fund, ApexPeak allows SMEs who are cash-strapped to sell their invoices in return for ...

Ecommerce, Startups

Ex-Rocket Internet crew all-in on Nigerian gift card startup Suregifts

suregifts While the idea of a gift card ecommerce startup isn't exactly novel, Suregifts from Lagos, Nigeria, has the type of VC backing and founder credentials that makes a startup stand out. Suregifts founders Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, Adeoye Ojo and Babafemi Lawal are ex-Rocket Internet employees. The German-headquartered company's love affair with Nigeria knows no bounds -- the serial-cloner has been aggressively chasing the country's fast-growing middle class over the last few years. Jumia, essentially an Amazon-clone, is considered Rocket's flagship West African business. ...

Android, Startup news

22seven’s new Android app expresses mobile’s importance in its future

22seven android app alt Money management apps have proven popular since the advent of the app store. Some are simple daily budgeting assistants while others are more comprehensive, linking your existing bank accounts, credit and store cards together, so that you can monitor, and ultimately manage your money better. In the latter camp of more comprehensive apps, something like Mint comes to mind, an American-based app that pulls information from your bank accounts, and now has more than three million users. Mint though, only works ...

Emerging Markets, Startups

Fliplingo is translating the world, one tweet at a time

Fliplingo There are 61 languages being used on Twitter these days. Surprisingly, three out of the top ten countries by tweets are in Asia – Thailand, Japan, and Indonesia. Although English is still the dominant language on Twitter, other tongues like Korean, Malay, and Japanese feature prominently. Aware of how important languages are on Twitter, a Thailand-based startup has launched a service called Fliplingo. Started by Matthieu Aussaguel, a French who now lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Fliplingo is a Twitter translation ...

Emerging Markets, Entrepreneurship

Russia’s entrepreneurial landscape according to Ernst & Young (EY)

russian dolls "Russia's entrepreneurs are positive about the future," says Ernst & Young's (now known as EY) 2013 G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer report. Released in August 2013, the report amalgamates and analyses research from 1500 surveyed entrepreneurs across the world, including the BRICS countries. According to the report Russia falls into the third quartile, the same as Brazil and China, but below South Africa, and has made strong progress in its efforts to foster entrepreneurship. Given that the country only opened up as a market economy ...

Ecommerce, Startup news

Foodpanda chews down $20-million in funding, targets 40 new markets

Foodpanda panda on a bike Foodpanda and its affiliated brand, Hellofood, have received US$20-million in funding from a group of investors including Phenomen Ventures. This comes after it secured more than US$20-million in funding from Phenomen Ventures and Investment AB Kinnevik last year. Since launch in 2012, Foodpanda gives customers the ability to conveniently choose their favourite meal online which it then delivers to their doorsteps. This online marketplace for food in turn helps drive traffic to restaurants. Last year, the Rocket Internet-backed brand expanded to 20 ...

Entrepreneurship, News

The Bandwidth Barn entrepreneurship training targets post matrics

theBarn Unemployment remains a huge problem in South Africa. For the youth of the country -- specifically those leaving school -- entrepreneurship can offer opportunities where there were none before. This is the idea behind the latest programme to come from Cape Town-based tech incubator The Bandwidth Barn. The new three-day programme, called the Post Matric Entrepreneurship Skills Training Programme, is geared towards unemployed "school leavers," and aims to empower them with entrepreneurial skills so that they can forge their own ...


5 important things I learnt working for a startup (and watching Anchorman)

ANCHORMAN Two years ago I joined a startup. I was the first employee, actually. To be honest I had absolutely no clue what to expect and even less of a clue as to what I was doing. The truth is, joining a start-up kind of feels like joining a crazed gang. You aren’t really too sure what’s going to happen next and how you’re going to pull off the job you just pitched but gosh darnit, there is SO MUCH EXCITEMENT. There ...

Africa, Ecommerce, News

Spree shows what women want: SA’s online shopping trends revealed

spree One of the most popular trends in South Africa's online shopping space is fashion retail. Numerous companies have recently emerged trying to satisfy people's growing want to shop for cosmetics, pretty dresses and expensive shoes online. Given South Africa's dynamics, knowing what your customers want isn't always that obvious. Luckily, a recent study by online fashion store Spree gives us a bird's eye view of what South African women really want. Given its target market, 1000 women from Johannesburg and ...


Lagos to host Angel Fair West Africa: gathering for entrepreneurs, investors

angel fair lagos logo One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs in Africa is access to funding. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who have ideas for businesses, or already-running businesses that need help in any number of areas such as scaling or distribution, but can't seem to find the right partner, or investor. For West Africa, things are about to get better, as an event geared around the meeting of entrepreneurs, investors, potential partners, accelerators, incubators, and emerging businesses is having its inaugural gathering. ...