Entrepreneurship, Startups

What does running a startup feel like?

Handshake Someone recently asked what it felt like to run a startup. It's an interesting question, because you constantly get peppered with advice on how to choose your partners, what sins to avoid committing, and what events to go to but never get told how you'll feel. It's not an easy subject to tackle with any brevity -- emotions are, after all, complex -- but I've given it my best shot. First off, it's very tough to sleep most nights of ...

Entrepreneurship, Mxit

Alan Knott-Craig Jr on missing his first shot at Mxit, founding World of Avatar

Venture Capital In the second in a series of extracts from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr reflects on the first encounter he had with Mxit founder Herman Heunis. At that stage the company was worth a lot less than Knott-Craig would eventually end up paying for it. He also describes the bits of luck, opportunities, cups of coffee, and marital difficulties that put him on the path to leaving wireless broadband company iBurst and starting World of Avatar ...

News

Rocket Internet’s Nigerian Amazon clone blasts off

Kasuwa German cloning giant Rocket Internet has officially launched Kasuwa, its Nigerian Amazon-style ecommerce site. The company made its first big forays onto the continent with a number of properties in South Africa. These include a stake in Groupon, shoe and clothing site Zando, and make up testing service Glossybox. Prior to the launch, Nigerian tech blogs had speculated on what kind of site Rocket Internet might launch in the country. Techloy were right in the end, punting for an ecommerce ...

Ecommerce, Facebook

Facebook commerce is dying? Not so fast cowboy

If the headlines from a couple of months ago were anything to go by, Facebook commerce was as good as dead. Major US players were shuttering their storefronts and in the words of one commentator, "the entire ecosystem was painted a very ugly colour". Thing is, we probably shouldn't be so quick to hammer the last nail into Fcommerce's coffin. A number of the stores that failed said their people simply preferred shopping on their websites to their Facebook storefronts. ...

News

On your marks, get set, get IPv6

We are at the dawn of a new online era, but you probably won't notice. Than again, that's sort of the point. Today marks the day that participating websites, Internet Service Providers (ISP), and network hardware manufacturers switch on IPv6 permanently in parallel with IPv4. Say what now? Well, here's the thing, in order to connect to the internet, each device has to have an IP address -- a numerical label which identifies every computer, phone, tablet, ebook reader, etc. ...

News

Chinese online video ad revenue hits $330m, spikes 218%

China's online video advertising market is now worth US$330-million, up nearly 25% from the last few months of 2011. More impressively, it represents 218% year-on-year growth. According to Chinese online research company Analysys International, the sudden spike came in the wake of slow growth in the latter parts of 2011. The company says that ad revenue grew spiked after the "Spring Festival", more familiar to Westerners as Chinese New Year. It also says that ...

Startup news

Microsoft to give startups a free flight to the cloud

Microsoft is set to give a select group of early stage startups free access to its cloud offering. Under the initiative, which is part of its global BizSpark Plus accelerator programme, the software giant says it will be giving away US$60 000 of free software to South African startups over 10 years. According to Clifford de Wit, developer and platform lead at Microsoft SA, the initiative is aimed at building a vibrant local software development community in South Africa: “We ...

News

Google buys Quickoffice, looks to integrate into app suite

Looks like the acquisitions team at Google has been given free reign over the company cheque book. Just one day after the internet giant bought out social and sharing outfit Meebo, it announced the acquisition of Quickoffice. In an official press blog post, Google said that it was "happy to announce" that we had acquired the "leader in office productivity solutions". It also made it pretty clear what its intentions for the company were: Today, consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps ...

News

100k apps published on Windows Phone store

Over 100 000 apps have now been published on the Windows Phone store at a rate of 313 a day, with nearly 10 000 added in the last month. That's according to All About Windows Phone (AAWP) -- a site dedicated to well, everything Windows Phone. It should be noted however that those numbers come with a bit of a caveat. One hundred thousand plus apps might have been published, but just under 90 000 are currently available for download. According ...

News

Airtime: Napster team launches video-based social network

Airtime Napster founder Sean Parker has launched a video based social network called Airtime, which connects people based on their Facebook interests. The social network has been in development for the past year. In an official statement, the Airtime team claims that it "is not just a product, it’s a network service designed to create live shared experiences online, between two sets of people: those that you know and those who you want to know". "The service," it claims, "allows you to share ...

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