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  • 10 defining moments that shaped SA’s startup ecosystem in 2015

    2015 was a year of grinding it out and building momentum... More and more investors, business accelerators and corporate venturers are embracing South African innovations. These are some of the defining moments that shaped the South African entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2015 that stood out for me: iKubu: Exit to Garmin GPS navigation giant Garmin acquired South African radar startup iKubu to make roads safer for cyclists... And they did! Time magazine has named the Garmin Varia as one of the Top 10 Gadgets of 2015. Corporates are insourcing innovation worldwide, and SA is ideally positioned for this trend. Garmin established a...

  • Company Office

    An Exclusive Sneak Peak At Compare Guru – Coming Soon!

    Cape Town, South Africa - The time is getting close to the relaunch of Click n Compare as Compare Guru. The rebrand – planned for mid February - comes as a strategic move to join the brand’s counterparts in Nigeria and Kenya, as well as to incorporate an animated character, The Guru, as their mascot. Compare Guru will fall under the umbrella brand Compare Africa (previously known as CNC Group), now also inclusive of PriceCheck. According to recent research, 31% of South Africans use the the internet to compare products / prices / features online, while insurance accounts for 7%...

  • 11 big startup acquisitions in India and what they mean for entrepreneurs

    Observers of an emerging startup ecosystem look for exits as a sign of maturity. That is because exits in the form of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) or IPOs give VCs a return on their investment. They can then launch new funds to invest in fresh startups. It completes the cycle of venture capital. Indian tech IPOs are rare. So the approval given in September by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to ecommerce firm Infibeam to raise INR 4,500 million (US$68 million) breaks new ground. Rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal will be watching what kind of reception the public...

  • Leadhome is the latest startup keen to change real estate in South Africa

    Real estate startup Leadhome thinks South African real estate is stagnant and believes it has what it takes to shake it up with a melange of traditional and innovative services. Launched late November, the company was founded by long-time friends Marcél du Toit (pictured left) and Harry Hattingh (pictured right). The pair met in 2001 when they were studying undergraduate degrees at the University of Stellenbosch and have been friends ever since. Du Toit was previously the vice president in Corporate Finance and M&A at Deutsche Bank, and Harry Hattingh was a founding member of In2Assets Gauteng. The initial idea came from Hattingh while...

  • 4 reasons startups should consider virtual offices

    In the virtual world of today, it is actually surprising that brick-and-mortar offices and stores still exist. With all of the modern technology that is available, it seems a real office could be ditched by just about every business, and choose a virtual office instead. Some business owners already have made the switch, while others are holding onto their real office or storefront for dear life. Like anything else, virtual offices do have downsides to them. However, given all of the benefit that they provide, you really should strongly consider whether the virtual office is something your business should switch...

  • Storage space is no longer a viable business model for file storage startups

    As one of the most competitive cloud micro-markets, file storage SaaS has grown considerably over the last few years. In 2015, venture capitalists recognised startups in this field as lucrative investments, so it’s unsurprising that the number of companies aiming to meet the demand for cheap storage space keeps growing. However, most of them are bound to fail mainly due to the inability to compete against giants such as Microsoft, Google and Dropbox. This is particularly the case with startups that based their business models on storage space offering, which has long stopped being a true differentiator. With Google’s...

  • Taking African innovation global: Q&A with Aaron Fu from Nairobi’s Nest

    "We're seeing a lot of innovation born in Africa, servicing the world." says Aaron Fu (pictured left), managing partner of the Hong Kong VC and incubation firm Nest Africa. But there's not enough, which is why the Hong Kong founded startup incubator in July this year launched its African chapter in Nairobi, Kenya. So far Nest has given South Africa's Creditable and Kenya's SuperFluid Labs the opportunity to learn from some of Hong Kong's top financial providers through its DBS Accelerator programme. One of these startups is already in the process of running a pilot with an Asian bank. The...

  • Nigeria’s top 5 startup moments of 2015

    Barring last-minute announcements, it is safe to say the curtains have been drawn on the 2015 startup year in Nigeria. Like previous years, the startup ecosystem in Africa’s powerhouse continues to record year-on-year growth and 2015 was not an exception as new products and startups were launched in the outgoing year. There were also several developments in the startup space that got everybody talking for an unusually long duration. At the outset of 2015, many industry watchers were not sure how the industry would play out considering the fact that it was an election year in Nigeria and the result...

  • The year of mobile? 9 of Africa’s most exciting startup investments of 2015

    If you ever doubted the significance of mobile innovations in Africa, then this year's developments are likely change your mind once and for all. Not only has 2015 been a good year for investments in startups across the continent (the most we've seen in South Africa thus far), millions of dollars are flowing towards mobile innovations. From micro-jobbing platforms to peer-to-peer payment solutions, more and more investors are growing confident in the potential of the many interesting mobile solutions Africa has to offer. But apart from smartphone applications, companies like M-Kopa and Off Grid Electric are fast growing in popularity....

  • This inspiring entrepreneur proves startups can be born from anywhere [correction]

    Correction: this article originally stated that Kanayo Okwuraiwe was let go from his previous employer Ad Dynamo. We have since updated the article to reflect that Okwuraiwe left Ad Dynamo on a mutually agreed basis. Kanayo Okwuraiwe is an entrepreneur that has been through an incredible amount of hardship over the last few years. Even with these problems, he sees disaster as a blessing rather than a curse and shows us that entrepreneurs can come from anywhere, regardless of circumstance, or personal loss. A taxi lies overturned on a Lagos highway. Moments ago, its tire burst, sending the vehicle skidding along the road and...

  • Nitestay’s attempt to stand out in Nigeria’s highly competitive hotel booking space

    Even though ecommerce giants Jumia and Konga are still Nigeria’s foremost startup companies, attention is gradually being extended to other sectors as 2015 saw the launch of quite a number of well-equipped startups emerge in non-retail sectors. A sector that saw surge in the number of new companies is the online hotel booking space which used to be dominated by the likes of Mark Essien’s Hotels.ng and Rocket Internet-backed Jovago. But that’s not all. There is also Hotelnownow, SlimTrader also secured US$1-million to grow its online booking platform and several similar services are expected to be rolled out in the...