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  • Naspers pumps $25m into Israeli analytics startup SimilarWeb

    Naspers is having a busy year. Besides all its ecommerce plays that stretch from Lagos to Cape Town and Bangalore, the JSE-listed company started backing bitcoin company BitX as well as Brazilian app developer Movile. More recently however, Naspers has made a fresh US$25-million investment into an Israeli-founded web analytics company, SimilarWeb. Launched in 2007, SimilarWeb provides analytics for three million mobile apps and 80 000 websites. It currently has over 200 employees with offices in four continents, competing with the likes of popular website ranking sites like Alexa. SimliarWeb's total investment's raised is now valued at US$65-million, with its previous two...

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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...

  • Where does small business fit into SA’s budget policy?

    Is South Africa's National Treasury trying to bury a pledge that President Jacob Zuma made in February that 30% of state procurement would be set aside for small businesses? The Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu said in her budget vote speech in May that she expected the National Treasury to release a practice note on the set-aside by September this year. But the practice note, which would detail to supply chain officials in the public sector how the set-aside would function, has not been released yet. No mention in speech And yesterday during his medium-term budget policy statement in...

  • 5 things startups can learn from rugby

    It’s estimated the average rugby player runs about seven or eight kilometres during an 80 minute match. No matter how quickly your team dips or how well they throw, if they’re unfit, it’s worth nothing. It’s the same in business. Prepare for your day, prepare for meetings, and plan how you’ll split the day to get everything done. Think ahead People underestimate the importance of mental preparation too. Identify objectives for every task, then analyse whether you’ve completed them or not. Be conscious of what’s ahead. There’s no padding in life The bigger you are, the harder the knocks. Rugby,...

  • Crowdfunding platform EduFund seeks to save SA students from tuition debt

    In light of mass student uprisings in South Africa, voicing discontent over the educational system's high barriers to entry, a crowdfunding platform has emerged to help students faced with tuition debt. EduFund is a non-profit online platform created by Gauteng-based startup Cybatar, which is also behind the recently launched FillApp -- an Uber for petrol. Founder of the one-year old startup Phiwa Nkambule says that while the #FeesMustFall protests have succeeded in freezing fee increments for 2016, the South African student financing is broken and many students struggle with systemic challenges. He explains that the tertiary education system is dominated by loans,...

  • Seedstars World names Angolan job, education portal best regional startup

    The venture capital competition for startups from emerging markets, Seedstars World, has revealed the winning startup from the Angolan leg of the competition, held in the capital Luanda. Jobartis, which is an online job and education portal, stood out among 10 other tech startups from around the Southern African country. The Angolan startup has been invited to pitch alongside other fast-growing companies from around the world in Switzerland in February 2016 where it will stand a chance of securing up to US$500 000 in equity. The competition follows Seedstars World most comprehensive tour in Africa to date. Since May this year,...

  • AIG startups in Nigeria get zero data app deal

    This week, online marketplace Kaymu becomes the latest member of the Africa Internet Group (AIG) network of companies to get zero data apps on the MTN network and this follows previous announcement of similar services for ecommerce giant Jumia and hotel booking platform Jovago. This is how it works. MTN is offering these startups zero-rate data usage and this means that current and prospective users of the services offered by these companies, on the MTN network, can do so for free on the network without incurring any data costs. The network and the companies believe the partnership would not only accelerate...

  • LulaLend is a true fintech company mixing tech and finance

    Fintech is a buzzword that tends to be applied to any financial company doing anything with tech in some way or another. LulaLend is a fintech company that actually uses the word in a meaningful way as it successfully meshes technology and financial services. LulaLend is South Africa's first and only online, automated short-term business funding solution. The company allows for prospective clients to apply for short-term business loans in minutes and have their request approved within hours. The company is founded by Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Neil Welman (pictured top left) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Trevor Gosling (pictured top...

  • LaunchLab announces its 9 Ideas Programme winners

    Stellenbosch-based accelerator, LaunchLab announced its nine winners in for their Nedbank Stellenbosch University Ideas Programme bi-annual competition. The competition saw 17 finalists compete for a share of the final seed funding prize. It is run of all 4 of the public university campuses in the Western Cape, and includes False Bay College, a technical vocational educational training institution. The 17 young entrepreneurs pitched their startup and business ideas to a panel of judges in front of a live studio audience. They were able to submit ideas to challenges posed by industry partners in the Payments & Big Data, Paid Media, Agritech, and...

  • Kaymu is the latest Nigerian ecommerce player to step into the physical world

    Online marketplace Kaymu has officially announced the introduction of Kaymu Village, a move that is largely described as an offline effort aimed to attract those that are still skeptical about making transactions online. "For a long time, customers who bought products through the Internet on Kaymu.com.ng could only complete their payments via bank transfers, cash on delivery and Kaymu Safepay. This prevented those Nigerian consumers who are not able to access the Internet from participating in online shopping and e-commerce. Currently Nigeria only counts about 67 million Internet users in a nation of over 180 million," the company said in...

  • Disruptive startups: you’re the thing big companies fear most

    You may think your startup idea is crazy, but it could be keeping established business owners up all night. According to the 2015 EMEA Crisis Survey, companies expected “new and innovative business models entering their sector” to be a disruption they will face in the next six to twelve months. On October 20, global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller released its crisis survey, which was conducted with Enterprise and SME companies. Over the past 12 months, the so-called innovation crisis with “disruptive innovators” placed second to “controversial company developments,” which showed startups were gaining momentum in their respective markets. These points were...