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  • Exchange startup BitX now lets you purchase airtime with Bitcoin

    Bitcoin is slowly catching up with standard currencies, even with its uphill struggle. Bitcoin startup BitX now allows customers to purchase airtime with the digital currency. It's a small step, but a good one. Using their BitX platform -- which already allows users to transfer Bitcoin to one another -- the company has added an airtime purchasing option. South African customers can choose from local players MTN, Cell C, Vodacom, Virgin Mobile, and Telkom, and send the amount to any cellphone number. According to BitX product advisor Simon Dingle, the decision had to do with user needs: We're proud to provide mobile...

  • Company Office

    An Exclusive Sneak Peak At Compare Guru – Coming Soon!

    Cape Town, South Africa - The time is getting close to the relaunch of Click n Compare as Compare Guru. The rebrand – planned for mid February - comes as a strategic move to join the brand’s counterparts in Nigeria and Kenya, as well as to incorporate an animated character, The Guru, as their mascot. Compare Guru will fall under the umbrella brand Compare Africa (previously known as CNC Group), now also inclusive of PriceCheck. According to recent research, 31% of South Africans use the the internet to compare products / prices / features online, while insurance accounts for 7%...

  • IBM hopes to catalyse South Africa’s growing app economy

    The so-called app economy is expected to create trillions of dollars of opportunities globally over the next few years, including in Africa, where a highly mobile market is poised to leapfrog directly into the era of apps. With organisations already starting on their journey to become fully mobile, digital enterprises, the opportunities for app developers are endless. In South Africa, Cape Town is already making a name for itself as a hotbed of social app development, while Gauteng is evolving into a centre for enterprise app development. IBM is working increasingly closely with incubators and innovation hubs across SA to...

  • ZipZap partners with Microsoft to turn your mobile into a PoS solution

    ZipZap, the mobile PoS solution from Paycorp, has partnered with Microsoft Mobile to offer businesses and retailers the ability to accept payments using Windows Phone devices. According to a recent press release, ZipZap's mobile PoS together with a Lumia smartphone will help merchants accept all card payments, issue e-receipts via SMS or email, and view a detailed transaction history via the app or the online merchant portal. Business-to-Business (B2B) lead at Microsoft Mobile Veran Maharaj says that Microsoft is committed to reinventing productivity and business process: Together with Paycorp, we are able to offer businesses a mobile payment solution that is not...

  • 7 renewable energy startups trying to revolutionise the way Africa keeps its lights on

    Africa has a serious energy problem. This is ironic considering the abundance of natural resources available, from coal in South Africa to oil in Nigeria. It just so happens that both of these powerful economies rely on limited, environmentally-unfriendly resources, struggling to keep up with economic growth. This might start to change. Earlier this year, billionaire futurist Elon Musk geared the world's attention on the real potential of renewable energy with the introduction of the Tesla Powerwall -- the battery set to revolutionise the way people use electricity grids around the globe. Musk believes that the Powerwall could not only become...

  • Bluemix Girls Night supports women’s empowerment

    IBM South Africa recently hosted its Bluemix Girls Night at Workshop 17, a vibey new co-working space at Cape Town’s V & A Waterfront. A global initiative to engage and empower women through technology, the events are themed around entrepreneurship, networking opportunities, connecting women with mentors, driving interest in long-term careers in IT and providing education on the new Bluemix cloud platform. “By targeting a female audience, we hope to create a more comfortable and nurturing environment to reach women interested in technology,” said Michelle Kennedy, Senior Business Development Manager at IBM South Africa. IBM has a long history of...

  • These are the 11 startups from Cape Town to pitch at Seedstars World

    Renowned startup competition Seedstars World kicked off its African chapter in Maputo, Mozambique last month. Cinema booking site Moovi walked away with a ticket to Switzerland where it will stand a chance of winning up to US$1.5-million in investments. This week, it's up to South Africa's Cape Town to show the world what it's startups are made of. The 11 startup teams from Cape Town will pitch 30 June after which five will be invited to Johannesburg to compete against the top companies from Johannesburg at the grand final for South Africa 17 July. Regional manager for Africa Marcello Schermer says...

  • 7 productivity apps South African small business should know about

    The head of products at MWEB, Rihana Hoosain, gives small business owners the low-down on some of the latest and greatest tech solutions to transform their businesses. Embracing great online tools and apps can really transform your small business in many ways -- from getting your staff in sync, increasing productivity, business intelligence and profitability to improving, simplifying and revolutionising the way your customers shop and pay. Here are a couple of interesting tools that could increase your business productivity. 1. Slack Slack is a small business collaboration and real-time messaging tool that has gained enormous popularity around the world over...

  • Kenya starts testing new online IP registration system

    The Kenyan Copyright Board (KECOBO) in development collaboration with Microsoft 4Afrika has created an online intellectual property (IP) registration system. This new prototype system should make things easier for those who wish to register IPs in the East African country. KECOBO hopes to replace the current IP manual registration process, which consists of downloading documents, paying a fee, and then submitting the documents to the KECOBO. The manual process isn't ideal in today's busy and internet-driven lifestyle. Dr. Marisella Ouma, the executive director at KECOBO, explains the benefit of the new system: With the new system, users will no longer have to...

  • Designer marketplace Hello Pretty revamps site for mobile-friendly audience

    South African designer marketplace Hello Pretty has recently relaunched its website geared for the country's mobile-friendly designer folk. Head of strategy and social Lee Geldenhuys explains in a recent media release that the online shop receives over half of its traffic, and that a responsive site simply became a no-brainer. "We look to global ecommerce trends for inspiration, and while over a third of the site visitors are international, we’re most excited to see how South African consumers respond," explains Geldenhuys. Launched in 2012, Hello Pretty has spurred an impressive community of designers, crafters and the like. Today, it boasts over 19...

  • Konga’s bold attempt to revolutionise online payments in Nigeria

    Nigeria boasts over 80 million mobile internet users doing all kinds of stuff online. Yet, as big as the Nigerian tech landscape is, getting customers to pay online is still a major obstacle for ecommerce. Before the country's two largest online shopping companies, Jumia and Konga, launched about three years ago, several entrepreneurs tried and failed to get Nigerians to embrace ecommerce. Today, leading ecommerce stores might have also failed if not introducing its cash on delivery payment option, which is the preferred payment choice for more than 70% of online transactions. During an exclusive interview with Jonathan Doerr, the managing...