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Weekly Round Up #31: Alphabet, Bic’s fail, Naspers’ Netflix, M4JAM buys Pondering Panda

Welcome to Weekly Roundup, our podcast discussing the tech trends, innovation and news from the last few days.

This week on BurnCast, Stuart Thomas, Jacques Coetzee and Graham Van Der Made discuss Google’s new parent company Alphabet, Bic SA’s Women’s Day fail, Naspers’ attempt at opening a Netflix competition, and M4JAM acquisition of digital market research company Pondering Panda.

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This week started with a bang as Google announced that it was starting a parent company called Alphabet. The news caught the world unawares and as a result a lot of confusion ensued. Some people thought Google had changed its name but as things came settled down, it became clear what was going on.

The team discusses if this is a good move by Google and why now. The team also discusses the appointment of Sundar Pichai as the new Google CEO and what it means for India, his home country, and other emerging markets.

Bic SA found itself in hot water on Women’s Day with its sexist poster that it posted on its Facebook page. This is not the first that Bic has gotten into trouble and the questions has to be asked, is this intentional or a slip up. In its statement Bic SA did not really apologised but tried to dodge the bullet. The team discusses this ‘cock-up’ and also debates if there is a space for gender targeted products.

There is not doubt that a video on demand service has challenges in a country like South Africa where data and internet charges are not cheap. This is what makes Naspers’ gesture into this space quite interesting, both in examining if it will work or not. The service is yet to be launched but details are getting revealed as the date for the launch gets close.

With the data and internet charges as the main obstacle to its success, how will Naspers’ ShowMax fare? The team discusses this and other alternative means it can explore to succeed.

Compared with Silicon Valley, the startup scene in South Africa is far from reaching that level of investments and acquisitions but it is thriving still. One of the success stories is M4JAM and its latest acquisition of the digital market research company Pondering Panda.

Though there are no details about the numbers involved in the deal, the deal shows the growth and success of M4JAM. The teams looks at the future of M4JAM and what the acquisition could mean for it and its future.

Have a listen:

If you want some more context, take a look at the stories below and join in the discussions:

Google gets to grips with ABCs, rebrands parent company Alphabet

Bic SA #HappyWomensDay poster stirs up social media, misses the point

Naspers’ Netflix competitor to be called ShowMax

M4JAM acquires digital research company Pondering Panda to fuel African expansion

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