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  • The quest for startup friendly operator APIs in Africa’s emerging markets

    In a new report (PDF) released by the GSMA Association (GSMA), an organisation representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide, it is revealed that relationships between mobile operators and African mobile startups need to exist. Several startup founders, both on and off the record, complain about the reluctance of telecoms companies allowing their services to run in respective markets. Those being allowed to run on operator networks are apparently being over-charged as well. "On every ten naira made using my service, the operator takes seven naira leaving us with just three naira out of which we will still incur other expenses including royalties...

  • Company Office

    SA sees strong growth in digital ad-spend

    While some traditional media struggles, digital ad-spend in South Africa has witnessed powerful growth. The latest full year (2015) digital advertising spend report released by PwC on behalf of the IAB SA illustrates that the local industry has moved beyond the R3.4-billion spend (invoiced) mark in 2015. This translates to 36% overall year-on-year growth. Certain sectors have witnessed exponential development. In terms of the PwC classification, mobile saw the biggest growth at 182%, followed by online at 68% and search at 22% (Search for 2014 was restated by PwC referencing the PwC Entertainment and media outlook: 2015 – 2019). South...

  • To sell or not to sell? Things to consider when someone offers to buy your startup

    Serious entrepreneurs don't build a company with an aim to sell it. They build it to solve a problem. But a startup may struggle or run out of cash. Or maybe the founders will get tired, have a fallout, or get an extremely attractive buyout offer on the table. This exit offer can come from a customer, partner, rival, vendor, or even another big company. In those scenarios, exiting becomes the end goal for several entrepreneurs. But how does one navigate that curvy road? The panel on "Exits and M&As" at the Tech in Asia Bangalore 2016 conference saw Miten Sampat,...

  • Startups: the investment landscape, VCs demystified

    There has been significant growth and development in the South African entrepreneurship and venture capital ecosystem over the past five years as evidenced by numerous new investment funds and government initiatives as well as high-caliber incubators and accelerators emerging on the scene. All are committed to furthering the growth prospects of commercially viable entrepreneurial ventures in South Africa. Notwithstanding the challenges that still exist for entrepreneurs and SMEs, this is an exciting period for the industry and progress is being made to increase funding opportunities. In order for entrepreneurs to be best prepared for the investment journey, it is important...

  • Entrepreneurs, want to know how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs started out? [infographic]

    There's no doubt that Steve Jobs has built one of the most successful tech companies in the world. Even with the success of the iPod and MacBook, Apple wasn't a company without its own problems. In an infographic on Funders and Founders, created by Anna Vital, the story of Steve Jobs is detailed from early life, his meeting with Bill Gates, and starting Pixar. The Funders and Founders page also includes some quotes from Jobs, as well as some of his philosophies. Love or have the entrepreneur, you have to admire the things he's done. For those of you looking for more infographics...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [11/07/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • Looking for startup office space? Coworking SA can help you

    The popularity of coworking spaces in SA has soared in recent years as they offer an alternative to working from home or an office block. For entrepreneurs, these facilities also mean affordable places to run their business from, and access to almost anything they need for operations. As Philip Joubert of OfferZen discovered, many of these places aren't comprehensive enough in their online listings. In December, both Philip and his brother, Malan, were sharing an apartment, which acted as the base of operations for OfferZen. The two were sleeping on the floor and needed to roll up their beds before staff...

  • Shopstar announces new investment partners

    Online shopping platform Shopstar has announced its new investment partners, in the form of Nona Creative and Kamers. Financial details weren't revealed, but Shopstar said the deal would allow them to expand and develop their business. Developed in 2013, Shopstar allows businesses and individuals to quickly create their own online store, accessible via mobile devices or traditional computers. "Kamers have a wealth of experience in retail and in nurturing emerging brands to become successful and develop their potential. Nona Creative is one of the top digital product development studios in the country. By combining forces and signing them on, Shopstar is now able to expand,...

  • 4 things to consider if you’re prepping your startup for acquisition

    If there's one big, open secret in the world of startups -- in India and around the world -- it surely is that not every founder will live to take their company down the IPO route. For every Facebook and Alibaba, there are thousands of others that either get bought out or, if unlucky, have to shut shop. However, as the industry matures, consolidation has become a much sought-after road to exit. But how does one build a company for an acquisition? Industry experts discussed the elusive road to exits today at Tech in Asia Bangalore 2016. Here are four tips...

  • Want to invest in Africa? Look at these two industries

    Falling oil prices have applied strong downward pressure on key African economies, and major regions of the continent are starting to feel the pinch. Nigeria's economy contracted by 0.36% in the first quarter of 2016, stoking fears that an oil-driven slowdown could push Africa's largest economy toward recession — and drag the continent's broader economic health down with it. Among policymakers, dialogue is increasingly shifting toward the need for rapid economic diversification. Their hope is that this shift will act as a means to generate sustainable, resilient growth and reduce the impact of external events. Only time will tell what effect...

  • WDB Investment Holdings, Grovest aquire stakes in Seed Engine

    Seed Engine has announced that WDB Investment Holdings (WDB) and VC firm Grovest have acquired stakes of 30% and 27.5% respectively in the accelerator. Seed Engine includes entrepreneurial programme, Seed Academy. "We needed a strategic partner that would instantly allow us to scale up our efforts around entrepreneurship in SA, especially amongst women," writes CEO of WDB Faith Khanyile in a press release to Ventureburn. "Seed Engine was one of the first ICT accelerators in this country, and this dynamic for-profit social enterprise is now supporting the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem from startup through to supplier," she continues. Speaking on the acquisition, CEO of Seed Engine...