Entrepreneurship, Venture capital

Just how badly does your startup need that investment?

9677860781_8f985a6513_b Quora raises millions (both dollars and questions). Facebook buys WhatsApp for billions. Uber gets another trillion in investment and is now "worth" a quintillion. Or a brazillion. Who knows? The news in the entrepreneurial scene, especially in tech, is usually loud and involves big numbers. It is so easy to get swept up in this frenzy that I've seen many a business builder spend more time at events than on making his or her own company something worthwhile. And goodness ...

Africa, Mobile, Startup news

Crowdsource location app Traffic Lite hits Nigeria’s streets

traffic New community-based app Traffic Lite by Nigerian software developer Panthelope Technologies has been launched in an attempt too curb Lagos' notorious traffic. Traffic Lite is said to crowdsource real-time information from its users. This means that the more people using it, the more accurate the information will be. Panthelope is responsible for Point of Sale apps Kollect and Uxie. Company founder Ikenna Iloeje hopes the app will enable people to help each other by just going about their usual business. He explains: By ...


Dragons’ Den SA episode 12: going out with a bang

Dragons Den SA 12 The first season of Dragons' Den SA is over. Throughout its course, the dragons have given away millions, laughed some horrendous ideas out of the room and watched a couple of chancers sweat their way through their pitches. It's been a pretty varied season and the producers have controlled the pacing reasonably well. Thing is, you can't end a season on a damp squib, so what would they pull out of the hat for the final episode of the season? ...


DroneScan: the startup using flying ‘copters to manage your stock

Stock take Data management can make or break a business. Especially when it comes to big companies, refining a simple process could save you millions. It's all about maximising efficiency. A few weeks ago we featured Big Inja -- the data management startup that explained how important it is to visualise your business processes in order to make the right decisions. Now, Durban-based software startup DroneScan is taking it to another level. Literally. The startup is using drones to scan barcoded items in ...

Africa, Startup news

Tanzania’s pre-paid solar startup Off Grid Electric raises $16 million

timthumb Things are looking bright for East Africa this season. At least that's the case for the solar as a service startup Off Grid Electric and its customers. Tanzanian-based solar company Off Grid Electric has raised a massive US$16-million (about R184-million) lead by the US alternative energy giant and NASDAQ-listed, SolarCity, the UK's Zouk Capital as well as Microsoft co-founder Pual Allen's Vulcan Capital. The investment comes after it raised US$7-million (roughly R80-million) in March this year. Similar to the mobile airtime model, ...

Emerging Markets

10 exciting startups from Israel you should watch out for 2015

israel-flag-graafix-blogspot-com-flags-of-86079 Of the thousands of Israeli startups vying to become global businesses, only a small percentage of them will make it to the big leagues. Everyone wants to bet big on the next Waze, Wix, or Outbrain. So which ones are on the verge of greatness? Here are some up-and-coming Israeli startups that I believe you should watch closely in 2015. StoreDot Storedot is developing quantum dot-utilizing fast-charging smartphone battery technology, among other things. A few months ago they revealed a prototype device that ...

Africa, Ecommerce, Startups

Guns and Rain: an art gallery that inhabits the contours of online space

Guns and Rain Ann Gollifer, Ntlo, Pelo, Mosadi Guns and Rain founder Julie Taylor's oldest art memory is of drawing dinosaur stencils. That memory, wrapped up as it is in the imagination of a child, re-imagining creatures that are extinct and inking them back to life, is in part what inspired her to establish the contemporary online art gallery. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Guns and Rain sells artwork by artists from across Southern Africa, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana, online . The ...

Africa, Startup news

Ampion Venture Bus to wrap-up tech startup travels in Tunisia

ampion From the inception of health app in West Africa to an innovative water sanitation solution in Southern Africa and a carpooling service in the East, Ampion Venture Bus is to wrap-up its travels in Tunisia this December. Everywhere in Africa, the convenience of technology has given citizens the opportunity to speak of their political experiences to a wider audience. This has been evident in Egypt, Kenya, and Tunisia and to acknowledge this the Ampion Venture Bus will slant its focus ...

News, Venture capital

U-Start launches investment vehicle, will be worth €30-million in 2015

ustart Global Venture Capital initiative U-Start has recently rounded-off its 2014 conference series in Cape Town, South Africa, and announced further penetration to the Central and Eastern European region as well as the launch of U-Start Ventures -- its new investment vehicle to carry €30-million (over R418-million) by mid-2015. Apart from the conferences, the global boutique advisory firm is also responsible for the U-Start Club which is an international group of private investors which is aimed at sourcing investors’ money into the most ...


10 tips for keeping your ecommerce startup safe this festive season

bow-22254_1280 It’s the end of the year and it’s time to shop. If you own an e-commerce platform or sell stuff online you are probably hoping that common sense prevails and the mouse click wins over the cheery festive music in the mall. It’s also a time when you need to watch out for fraudulent behaviour. Here are 10 essential tips to stay ahead of cyber criminals this festive season. 1. Obtaining an authorisation code does not guarantee settlement by the bank ...