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  • Nairobi Garage seeks to become Africa’s largest co-working space

    Co-working space Nairobi Garage is set to expand its offering with a new branch opening early December 2015 in Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya. This expansion seeks to make the well-known co-working space the largest for entrepreneurs in Africa. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the expansion is due to the growing demand for a quality work space in the entrepreneurial community. It is set to bring in international tech companies, as well as a greater variety in stages and sectors. The Westlands branch has a 2 000-plus square meter working area. The space will consist of team rooms, meeting rooms,...

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    CompareGuru set to simplify financial services for SA consumers

    Launches new site with advanced features and real-time services.  For most time-constrained South Africans, choosing between financial products and service providers is a laborious and challenging task. Despite the increasing access to all sorts of information online, it remains a complex and daunting process to sift through various product offerings, pricing structures, terms and conditions, etc. “This complexity is especially problematic when trying to choose between products and providers in the mobile, banking and insurance spheres, where contracts are often filled with jargon and consumers are understandably wary of hidden fees,” explains Ryan Marx, CEO of CompareGuru, a site which draws...

  • Building customer loyalty in online retailing – a primer

    One of the toughest challenges that ecommerce businesses and online retailers face is earning customer loyalty. A face to face interaction at a brick and mortar store has a far higher chance of building a real connection with a customer than a fleeting online interaction does. Smart etailers and entrepreneurs realise that their customers are central to their success, and it is important to build a lifelong relationship with them. They also understand that earning their customers’ loyalty is no cakewalk and comes only with giant doses of ecommerce wizardry (cue Amazon). Developing a user interface that exceeds expectations, offering...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [02/11/2015]

    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...

  • Nigeria online booking space set to heat up with TravelBeta launch

    Ex-Jumia and Konga executive Onyeka Akumah and others have launched TravelBeta ("beta" pronounced as pidgin English for "better"), a platform that seeks to disrupt Nigeria's online booking space. Akumah is joined by Wole Ayorinde, who has worked in Silicon Valley for 13 years and is TravelBeta's Chief Technology Officer. Another member of the team is David Asuku, the company's operations manager who for the past 15 years has worked with TravelBeta's major competitors -- Wakanow and Holloway Travels. The new platform will seek to compete in a space dominated by industry heavyweights including Wakanow, Travelstart, Hotels.ng and Jovago. But the...

  • AlphaCode, Merrill Lynch South Africa award 6 financial innovators R4m

    Six startups were awarded a total of R4-million during a BEE pitching event at the recently launched fintech hub, AlphaCode, in collaboration with Merrill Lynch South Africa. A total of 11 startups pitched at the event, where R1-million was awarded to machine-learning hub iSazi Consulting and distribution innovator Lakheni. A further R500 000 to four others in enterprise development funding. Since its launch in September 2015, AlphaCode has attracted 32 gold members, providing them with access to the AlphaCode workspace in Sandton, mentorship, facilitated networking opportunities and exposure to the RMIH investment team and portfolio companies. Read more: Sw7, AlphaCode debut fintech...

  • Meet Karma, ex-rugby star Clyde Rathbone’s controversial people-rating startup

    Clyde Rathbone made his name in rugby; first as part of Jake White's 2002 Junior World Cup winning team and then, following a highly publicised move to Australia, as a pivotal member of the Brumbies Super Rugby team. Now though, he's looking to make a mark on the online startup space with a new play called Karma. Founded by Rathbone, his brother Dayne, and Monish Parajuli, Karma can be thought of as a kind of Yelp, or TripAdvisor, for humans. On its website, Karma describes itself as "a wiki of open letters and reviews about people" and "a social...

  • WWF calls for entrepreneurs to support renewable energy

    Ahead of the climate talks taking place in Paris in December, the WWF's The Call to Climate Action and COP 21 are calling for entrepreneurs to show their support for the renewable energy industry. Funding remains the largest obstacle for many energy-efficient and renewable energy entrepreneurs, as substantial finance is still being allocated to the development and discovery of fossil fuels. "There are thousands of amazing cleantech entrepreneurs with solutions that need to grow, in order for emissions to shrink rapidly and for more people to get clean energy access," adds Stefan Henningsson, WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative Senior Adviser...

  • Nigeria founded card brand Verve International expands to Kenya

    In pursuit of its goal to become the continent’s leading payment card brand, Verve International, which is extensively regarded as one of the tech success stories from Nigeria, has officially entered the East African market starting with Kenya. The company announced its entrance into the Kenyan market at a launch event in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi where the company also announced a strategic partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). The partnership with KCB will make it possible for Verve to expand its card acceptance and payment services to six key East African markets. Verve calls itself Nigeria’s ‘biggest payment...

  • Can Yoco claim a big stake in SA’s growing mobile PoS space?

    There are plenty of South African startups looking to disrupt how people pay for goods and services in the physical world. Some, like, SnapScan and FlickPay are built with the view that everyone will eventually pay for everything on their mobile phones. Others, in the mould of Jack Dorsey's Square, take the view that people still have bank cards, feel safe using them, and should be able to pay with them anywhere. Yoco, which officially came out of Beta on Thursday, falls firmly into the latter camp. Except that it believes it's built something very different. The startup, which...

  • SAVCA CEO: we need to be ‘realistic’ about SA’s growing VC sector [Q&A]

    Venture capital is on the rise in South Africa. According to a recent survey by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) this year's total assets under management represents nearly R2-billion (R1.87-billion), with the total value of deals struck valued at R865-million. While these figures are likely to put a smile on stakeholders' faces, there's a lot yet to be done to fast-track this sector and ultimately become globally competitive and uplift socio-economic conditions. Some obstacles in the ecosystem continue to persist, including the inability to establish constructive dialogue between entrepreneurs and fund managers, implement forward-thinking government policy...