Africa, Startups

Mellowcabs: using tech to disrupt first and last mile transport, the African way

mellowcabs_feature South Africa's taxi industry, which carries an estimated 60% of the country's commuters, is a multi billion rand pie. It's no surprise then that both international and local venture-funded startups, like Silicon Valley's Uber and Cape Town's Zapacab, are hungry for a slice. While Zapacab and Uber are essentially using an identical blueprint to pursue the same market segment, Mellowcabs is trying something different. The Franschhoek, Cape Town-based startup is planning to offer free last mile transportation by bringing the web's ...


20 of the world’s hottest startup cities [Infographic]

Africa Map Interested in startups outside the Valley? Intuit just released this interesting infographic that breaks down the world’s top startup cities into eight key areas that distinguish them as major startup hubs: startup output, funding, performance, entrepreneurial mindset, trendsetting, support, talent, and differentiation. Of course, topping the list is Silicon Valley, but just behind is Tel Aviv. But given major acquisitions like billion-dollar Waze, which sold recently to Google, clearly Israel’s second biggest city has got the gumption for startups. In 17th, ...

Blogs, Entrepreneurship

6 entrepreneurs’ blogs worth following for their journey

Blog (2) Whether you're just starting out, founding your first company and looking for tips, or a seasoned veteran in search of some inspiration, there are a handful of entrepreneurs who are actively writing, posting, and sharing their thoughts on the entrepreneurial journey and the various aspects thereof. I'm not just talking about those who tweet an inspirational 140 characters every now and then, I'm talking about entrepreneurs with an active blog or website that they use as a platform to share insights, ...


Why we all need to be entrepreneurs… right now

Entrepreneur idea It says a lot about the enhanced status of the entrepreneur that one of the best-selling books of 2011 was the biography of Steve Jobs. This success was, of course, partly due to the huge popularity of iPods, iPads, iPhones and other products made by Apple, the company Jobs came to embody. But it is also indicative of the increasing fascination with and glorification of “the entrepreneur”. Suddenly, it seems, everybody wants to be one. Moreover, commentators, policymakers and even ...


New online media buying platform sets Africa in its sights

elastic media africa With rising levels of internet penetration on the mobile continent, the number of Africans accessing the web is growing by the millions. The latest tactic to reach that audience seems to involve a focus on highly connected mobile devices along with a strategy that relies on logical math, not intuition. Newly launched Elastic Media Africa, a platform developed by the South African-based Amorphous Group, is placing its bets on an algorithm which it claims is a first in the country. ...


Some sage entrepreneurial advice from ‘Mad Men’

Mad Men logo1 Mad Men. Who doesn't love this show? There are a number of lessons that this show can teach people in the advertising and marketing industry. The show has certainly turned perceptions about the ad industry on its head. In between the cigarettes and alcohol infused conversations of Mad Men however, there are some key lessons for startups. So here are some pearls of wisdom from the crew over at Sterling Cooper & Partners: "If you don't like what's being said, change ...

Startup news, Startups

Nigerian company-builder Spark secures $2m international investment in 9 days

spark logo Lagos-based internet group SPARK, which invests in Nigerian startups, has raised US$2-million in seed-funding from a syndicate of international investors -- based on a US$10-million valuation of the company that is just three months old. Seventeen high net-worth individual investors contributed to the total investment made to the company, founded by Jason Njoku, Bastian Gotter and Mary Remmy-Njoku, all of iROKOtv -- the Nigerian-content streaming service -- fame. SPARK was launched as a US$1-million fund intended to revolutionise Nigeria's angel investment ...

Emerging Markets, News, Startups

Foodpanda drives into Czech Republic, munches further into Brazil

Foodpanda panda on a bike The ever-expanding food delivery service foodpanda has just launched in Czech Republic. At the same time, going under the name hellofood, it acquired its Brazilian competitor MegaMenu in a bid to strengthen its presence in Latin America. Housed under Rocket Internet's umbrella, foodpanda goes by the name hellofood in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. These recent expansions will put foodpanda serves a total market of 3 billion covering 28 countries on five continents. On top of this, the ...

Ecommerce, News

Lazada officially launches online shopping mall in Southeast Asia

Lazado Logo The Rocket Internet-backed ecommerce site Lazada has today officially launched its Marketplace for Southeast Asia. This online platform will allow merchants to sell their products on Lazada's website in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand or the Philippines. Also known as Southeast Asia's online shopping mall, Lazada will add to its role as one of the regions most popular ecommerce sites. The marketplace lets SMEs, big brands, distributors and retailers open up a store on the website where the Philippine-based company becomes ...

Advertising & Marketing, Startups

5 tips for crafting an engaging online brand for startups

Building a brand The advent of the digital age has made it simpler than ever to not only further brand awareness but to also establish your brand in the public eye. But too many businesses proceed from the belief that “if you build it, they will come” – based on the misconception that existing is all that it takes to succeed in Africa’s bourgeoning economic environments. In the past, when innovative startups were few and far between, this may have been the case, ...