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  • Is the Kalahari, Takealot merger really in everyone’s best interests?

    Early on Tuesday news emerged that two of South Africa’s ecommerce giants, Takealot and Kalahari, would be joining forces. But just how good is the deal for ecommerce in South Africa. Until now, the Tiger Global-backed Takealot and Naspers-owned Kalahari have probably been the fiercest rivals in the South African retail ecommerce space. Speak to people who buy online regularly and they’ll give you myriad reasons for choosing one over the other, ranging from delivery times to customer service and even the respective corniness of their advertising. That competition has helped drive innovation in the space, to the point where...

  • Mapped in Cape Town gives us insightful snapshot of city’s startup scene

    This week Mapped in Cape Town- an initiative aimed at mapping the startup ecosystem in Cape Town -- went live. The map is not a work of a cartographer but that of Cape Town-based tech entrepreneur Rowan Polovin. As you can imagine, the website is a map, falling within the traditional descriptions of what a map ought to be but instead of hospitals, schools, roads, it shows the position of startups, investors, co-working and Wi-Fi hotspots within the city. It also contains a brief description about the startups listed. Listings are free of charge. Explaining the concept, Polovin tells Ventureburn that inspiration...

  • Naspers invests $50-million in Nigerian ecommerce site Konga, says report

    Key players seem to be raising the stakes in Africa's ecommerce space. Earlier this week, two of South Africa's biggest online shops -- the Naspers-owned Kalahari and the Tiger Global-backed Takealot -- announced that they'll be merging, prompting discussion about its aftereffect on the industry as a whole. More recently, the South African media giant, Naspers, is reported to have lead a US$50-million investment in one of Nigeria's biggest ecommerce shops, Konga. As reported by TechMoran, the exact number is not known but sits somewhere between US$40 and US$50-million. The round was lead by Naspers which already owns a 50%...

  • Dragons’ Den episode 3: aviation, investments and weaves

    By now, keenly eyed viewers will have sussed out that the Dragons' Den South Africa doesn't air exactly as it was filmed. Were that the case, the dragons would either have to have the knack of wearing exactly the same clothes week in and week out, or their wardrobes would have to be incredibly boring. Creative Counsel co-founder Gil Oved confirmed this to Ventureburn in a recent interview (look out for it on the site soon), saying that "we see them for the first time when they air." Judging by the way things have going, Oved's guess...

  • Property management startup PropCare secures R300k on Dragons’ Den

    After pitching to a panel of renowned judges, South African property management startup PropCare has secured a R300 000 funding round from the investors on entrepreneurial reality show Dragons' Den. PropCare is an app that provides a platform for property owners to find reliable, user-rated, locally-based property service providers. From garden maintenance to handymen, plumbers and electricians, people can easily find quotations and confirm bookings. “I’ve been a real estate agent for over 10 years and I started PropCare because I saw that my customers struggled to find reliable service providers in their areas. They used to call me...

  • South Africa’s two most favourite etailers Kalahari and Takealot merge

    Two of South Africa's most successful ecommerce stores, Takealot and Naspers-owned Kalahari, have just announced its merger of operations. This move is said to bring customers the benefit of a wider selection of products and categories, as well as broader delivery services. According to the media release, the merger was driven by the fact that, without scale, local ecommerce stores simply can’t compete successfully against the local brick and mortar retailers, as well as foreign companies such as Amazon and Alibaba. Online retail only is said to account for approximately 1.3% of the total market for consumer goods in South Africa. The...

  • 3 top tips for inculcating a connected tech startup culture

    Mind-set, connectedness and government support are everything when it comes to building and sustaining a far reaching tech culture set to breed innovations across the globe. If it is a key imperative for tech businesses to replicate their business models and product innovations on an international scale, some key insights and lessons can be learnt from Israel, dubbed ‘the start-up nation’ who has successfully built an intimate tech culture and community with a far reaching global impact. 1. Connectedness Everyone in the tech world in Israel is connected. They talk, they engage and they discuss – it is essentially one big community...

  • SA’s edtech startup Brighter Futures offers online math tuition for R50

    South Africa's elearning startup space is growing bigger (and brighter) by the day. Recently launched online tutoring service Brighter Futures joins the race to quell the country's ever pressing education issues. In 2013, the Department of Basic Education reported that only 26.1% of candidates who sat for the mathematics matric result achieved a pass mark of 50% and above. This fueled a chant that all South Africans have come to know too well. The education system is in crisis, it goes, and then further, we demand government to do something about it. And that is the end of it. Very...

  • SweepSouth is the lean cleaning company your home has been looking for

    The next wave of ecommerce is very definitely service oriented. Apart from the group of taxi and online entertainment focused services, just a few weeks ago we wrote about Cape Town's WumDrop, which is looking to disrupt the local courier industry. We've also written about Washrr -- a platform that collects your dirty clothes and brings you clean ones. Needless to say, there is a definite trend here. People want what they want, now. SweepSouth, a new tech startup looking to sort out everything from the grime under your fridge to the dusty furnishings in your lounge, is very much...

  • A day at the iHub and a look at Kenya’s startups [Video]

    Kenya's tech space is without a doubt one of the most exciting ecosystems to witness in today's day and age. That's why Ventureburn recently took a trip up to Nairobi, Kenya to get a closer look at what's new and happening. At the center of this tech ecosystem sits iHub -- the meetup place for all technologists, investors and hackers in the area. Among other enthusiasts, Ventureburn Managing Editor Michelle Atagana had a chat with iHub Director of Operations Nekesa Were about what makes Kenya's entrepreneurial spirit so unique. Take a look at this edition of Venture Talk: Haven't...