Emerging Markets, News, Startups

Meet the 20 startups competing in Seedstar World finals

Seedstars World2 Seedstars World is an international startup competition focused on giving small businesses from fast-growing markets the opportunity to present and ultimately compete in Geneva, Switzerland 7 February. An equity investment of up to US$500,000 and the title of "Best Startup In The World" are up for grabs. From Moscow to Dubai and Seoul to Rio de Janeiro, nearly a thousand startups applied from 20 different markets last year of which five came out of Africa. Regional events were organised by ...

Mobile apps, Startup news

Atmospheir app: an all-in-one social contact manager

atmospheir logo Since the advent of social media, managing your contacts and address book has become a whole lot tougher. Adding multiple accounts, numbers and services for every person's entry can be a headache, and organising the fragmented information can sometimes feel like the stuff of folly. A new app called Atmospheir wants to change all of that by re-imagining the mobile address book. Available for iPhone and iPad, the Atmospheir app aims to solve ever-changing contact info by giving each user a ...


Uganda’s clean energy company UpEnergy talks about its investment deal

Upenergy UpEnergy, the Ugandan clean energy company and Unreasonable Institute alumni, has closed an equity investment deal, and is now raising US$1-million more in debt. We had a chance to catch up with UpEnergy co-founder Erik Wurster to chat about the funding round and future plans. Venture Capital 4 Africa: Congratulations on the investment you secured. What have you secured and what are you still looking for? Erik Wurster: One of our investors prefers that we not reveal the investment amount so ...

Entrepreneurship, Startups

Entrepreneurship actually: the unhinged romance of starting a business

3D printed heart There is a sense of romance in starting a business. There is novelty and a childlike naivety but, most importantly, there is romance. You have to love an idea and be so much in love with it that you forgo all rational thought and plunge into a world of the unknown. What could be more irrational than to take on the responsibility of building a successful business and ownership of the livelihoods of employees? Why would you choose to leave a ...

Africa, Mobile

‘Linda Jamii’ hits Kenya, affordable health insurance paid via M-Pesa

linda jamii logo Access to healthcare remains a huge problem in most parts of Africa. In Kenya, the number could be as high as 38.8-million people -- 97% of the 43.18-million population -- that don't have access to health insurance. Conversely, 23-million people in Kenya, 74% of the population, use mobile money. Now Kenya's largest mobile operator, Safaricom, has recognised this correlation and announced the launch of a 'micro-insurance' healthcare product for users of M-Pesa -- the wildly popular mobile money solution. The service ...

Emerging Markets

Hello there, Asia: Naspers’ Property24 heads for the Philippines

Property24 Last month, the Philippines’ top classifieds site Sulit merged with OLX. And this month, Sulit has brought the South Africa-based real estate classifieds site Property24 into the country. Property24 follows a business-to-consumer (B2C) platform that lets real estate agents and brokers attract potential buyers by listing properties on the site. Originally operating in four locations in Africa, Property24’s entry into the Philippines through its partnership with Sulit is its first expansion to Asia. Since both Sulit and Property24 are backed by emerging ...

Africa, Startups

Pet Heaven hopes to become SA’s top dog in online shopping for pets

cute kitten Got a hungry pooch or a meowing kitten? Pet Heaven is a South African startup that wants to simplify your shopping habits by delivering must-have products to your doorstep. Instead of having to carry a 15kg bag of food home every month, why not get it delivered on a regular basis? As founder of Pet Heaven, Courtenay Farquharson, puts it, "Why break your neck to get to the vet before 5pm? Why pay etolls and petrol?" For those living under a ...

Africa, News

Zando celebrates 2nd birthday, records over 1.5-million site visits monthly

Zando bday One of South Africa's leading ecommerce stores and arguably the country's most popular online fashion shop, Zando, is today celebrating its birthday and showing off two years of impressive growth. Since launching in 2011, the Africa Internet Holding affiliate is ranked number five in the Google Zeitgeist ranking of SA brands in 2013 together with other popular local ecommerce brands such as OLX and competitor Spree. Today, Zando offers over 20 000 products online with more than 1.5-million site visits ...

Emerging Markets, Entrepreneurship, India

India’s entrepreneurial landscape according to Ernst & Young

india_chennai Entrepreneurs in India don't have it easy. Research by Ernst & Young underlines the country's challenging entrepreneurial environment, and yet, of the 20 countries surveyed, India looks poised to become one of the fastest rising stars among the world's emerging economies. Thanks largely to coordinated support championed by India's government, groundwork to address hefty challenges surrounding education and red tape for new ventures have been laid, leading to a burgeoning entrepreneurial culture -- especially in among technology startups. What is the government ...


‘We simply failed’: 4chan founder on killing his seemingly successful startup

DrawQuest Last night Chris Poole, famed for starting 4chan, wrote a post titled: Today my startup failed. "No soft landing, no happy ending -- we simply failed," so began the honest account of how a product that seemed quite successful could fail. Poole's post is about his other venture, DrawQuest, a platform that allowed users to draw and be creative through daily drawing challenges -- this week it called it quits. DrawQuest is in essence what came after Canvas and by ...