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All posts by Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Keen to take over the world, Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University with an interest in innovation and initiatives and how they could contribute to the benefit of society. He has always been interested in both politics and development and started becoming more and more intrigued with how technological development could contribute to society. He loves arts and more specifically the art of writing. His interests in writing and journalism grew more over the last few years with a keen focus on current trends in technological innovation and social development.
  • Does the future of instant messaging apps lie in bulk?

    The instant messaging space is a tough nut to crack. Add a couple feature and it becomes cluttered and the users become uncomfortable. Remove a feature and the product risks falling behind the pack. Just ask Mxit, which has gone from being Africa’s largest mobile social network with 27-million registered users in 2010 to dwindling numbers suspected of being less than 1 million. Instant messaging phenomena WhatsApp, on the other side of the spectrum, has achieved international success in just six years after after which it boasted 800 million active users around the globe and got bought out by Facebook...

  • InstaLens: How SA’s Instagram acolyte is capturing global success

    Instagram is well known for its dedicated communities. Especially in cities such as Cape Town where designers, both local and tourists, take advantage of the popular photography app. From Saturday brunches at The Old Biscuit Mill to sundowners in the Winelands, you'll find the hashtags #CapeTown or #CT constantly trending locally, especially at dusk. Not only have these communities inspired amateur smartphone photographers to become popular online influencers, they've enabled companies like InstaLens to launch into international markets by selling its sleek, universal smartphone camera lenses to smartphone photographers around the globe. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Tweeting emoji will help save endangered animals

    We all love emojis. They're as simple as they are efficient. But we all too often take the tiny digital critters for granted. That's until now as the World Wide Fund for Nature just launching an online campaign to help raise awareness and donations for 17 emoji animals that are endangered. Running with the hashtag #EndangeredEmoji, every cute, cuddly emoji animal you tweet will donate €00.10 / £00.10. If you're using a Mac, simply click the Twitter tweet box then press ALT-CMD-T for a list of emojis. Windows users need to right-click on the taskbar and choose “Touch Keyboard” inside the Toolbars section. A new...

  • Ventureburn speaks to entrepreneurial maestro Adii Pienaar on Receiptful’s $500k Angel round

    South African serial entrepreneur and investor Adii Pienaar's new startup called Receiptful is making some noise. The co-founder of the popular website theme builder, WooThemes -- which is also behind one of the world's biggest online shop builders, WooCommerce -- has developed an elegantly simple tool that helps online shops increase customer engagement using email receipts. Since launching late last year, over 290 000 receipts have been sent which translates to around 5 000 receipts per day. To top that off, the startup has just revealed to us that it's raised US$500 000 (over R6-million) to help it strengthen its...

  • Apple turns manufacturing process green with WWF China partnership

    Apple is partnering with the World Wildlife Fund to help protect as much as 1 million acres of forests responsible for pulp, paper and wood products in China. This is part of the tech conglomerate's mission to take all its global operations off-the-grid. Although as 87% of Apple’s global operations is already run on renewable energy, which include its offices, data centres and stores, the multinational  is now looking to green up its manufacturing processes as well. "We’ve set an example by greening our data centres, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon...

  • Is Elon Musk’s Tesla Energy just what Africa’s energy grid needs?

    It's a week-day evening in South Africa and I'm tapping away at my keyboard for an article due the next day. Suddenly, I get a notification on my phone warning me that load shedding level one is about to start, again. I'm going to have to cut my research short and settle for the next, not-so-tempting early morning instead. A few days later, serial entrepreneur and futurist Elon Musk announces Tesla's Powerwall -- a battery that might just be the key thing the world's been looking for to cut down on carbon emissions and making sustainable energy, well, more sustainable. "Hooray!...

  • Can online boutique startup &Threads follow-up on YDE’s success?

    In 1995, Paul Simon (age 21) started the very popular Young Designers Emporium (YDE). The retail store for fashion designers soon grew to 13 stores across South Africa. Ten years later, he sold his company to Truworths International for an undisclosed sum of green, and with that, became one of the country's most inspiring entrepreneurial success stories. Since Simon made his exit, the serial entrepreneur has been involved in various projects, from setting up a kids play park, driving those yellow fan helmets during South Africa's Soccer World Cup in 2010 and launching a new ice tea brand called Uber...

  • Could Stellar be the answer to enable financial inclusion around the globe?

    When the internet first came round in the mid-nineties, people didn’t expect to see impactful tools like open-source libraries like Wikipedia or renting sites like AirBnb or car-sharing ones such as Uber and Lyft. As an open tool, the internet has laid the foundation for these products to be born, reaching audiences far and wide with powerful applications that impact most of our daily lives, whether we like it or not. But a lot of important industries have been left behind in the process. This, however, might be starting to change. Vumi is an open-source messaging app that doesn't rely...

  • Stitch Video: unlocking Africa’s growing video ad industry

    Having been responsible for launching one of the first video ad exchanges, Adapt.tv, which was then later acquired by AOL for over US$400-million, Chris Smith has a strong background in video products and solutions. Today, with South African-born Henk Van Niekerk from AOL and serial entrepreneur Vinny Lingham on board as advisors, the startup founder is looking to Africa's growing video market as the next big thing. Ventureburn sat down with Smith from Stitch Video to talk about how an American came to set up a startup at the very tip of Africa.

  • Facebook drives video ad strategy by targeting desktop users with games

    As you might know, video on Facebook is massive. With over four billion native videos on the platform every day, the company says that people are uploading, sharing and discovering videos on Facebook more than ever. To boost this number even further and show how effective video advertising can be, Facebook has announced that it will soon be rolling out video ads for desktop. It will do so by focusing on game developers first. About 445-million people who play Facebook-connected games across desktop and mobile every month. For users, this means that video ads of games like Farm Heroes and...

  • Apple earnings report: iPhones destroy iPads, China pays off

    Tim Cook announced Apple's quarterly earnings yesterday, highlighting a couple of significant trends which can help us better understand where The Big Red is moving. Apple reported US$58-billion revenue and a nice US$13.6-billion profit. This was mainly fuelled by China, with larger iPhones leading the pack in products and services overall. Unfortunately for tablet lovers, Apple's latest array of golden-clad iPads is falling behind the limelight. China is paying off Revenue from China rose a massive 71% to US$16.82-billion since last year. According to the report, 69% of the Californian-based company's quarter revenue was made from those outside the company's motherland. "Apple’s forays...

  • Bitcoin’s first killer app? Bankymoon lets you pay your utility bills in digital currency

    We're living in a world where everything's being labeled as smart. From our phones to watches and even our cars. But something that's really being taken for granted is our utility grids -- including gas, water and electricity. And while the majority of the world might be migrating onto the so-called smart grids, they are still filled with a lot of dumb problems. The biggest being payments. South African bitcoin startup Bankymoon is boldly taking on this industry. That's besides having a killer name for a bitcoin startup. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Me&you mobile is South Africa’s first lean ecommerce mobile network

    If you've been taking the Gautrain in Jozi recently or followed the #BeUnordinary hashtag, you'd have come across these orange banners with the winking cartoon face, tempting you to reconsider your mobile contract. The campaign is the workings of me&you mobile -- a new mobile network in South Africa which plans to officially launch 4 May as South Africa's first ecommerce mobile network. "We operate completely online, sign-up via the website takes only a few minutes -- including RICA and number porting -- and even customer service can be done via consumer friendly channels like Whatsapp," me&you mobile CEO Brett...

  • Recast opens its doors, lets you tune into your favourite radio station’s playlist online

    People get really attached to their radio stations. Each one has its own personality and unique music taste. The only problem is that they're filled to the brim with ads and chatter, which doesn't float well in a world where people have also become spoiled with on-demand music services like Spotify or Rdio. Having just launched alongside its iOS app (you can also tune in online), the savvy Cape Town, South African startup seems to have managed to find a sweet spot in between a radio industry playing catch-up and a highly competitive music industry ruled by record labels and...

  • Memeburn goes behind Gyft’s big Bitcoin ecosystem plan

    Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. Unlike platinum which has an industrial use case for, say, the automotive industry, there are none that exists for bitcoin today. The price is determined in the market based on supply and demand, which today is driven by just the speculators. "Bitcoin is a commodity, not a currency," Gyft founder Vinny Lingham told the audience at the Bitcoin African Conference 2015. The popular digital gift card startup is hoping to change this within the near future. "Our vision is to use bitcoin as a platform for secure digital gift cards," the serial entrepreneur said. In essence,...