Monday November 19 Goal.com, now the world’s largest football website run by PERFORM sports media group partnered with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM), to promote BlackBerry® smartphones and BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets and other products on its platform of over 14 million football fans across Africa and Middle East.
The marketing promotion will cover Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Qatar, UAE and Jordan. The promotion will also go on mobile platforms. Goal.com is in plans to develop a BlackBerry only mobile micro-site for its 9.6 million mobile users and will have an editorial team dedicated to that. The deal also entails local contests and live promotions in each market.
Speaking during the partnership, Daryn Wober, Managing Director, Global Business Development, PERFORM said: “This is a very exciting development in the evolution of Goal.com as both a global and a local platform. Our ambition has always been to provide our users with the best and most relevant football content which in turn will provide RIM with an opportunity to reach an engaged local audience.”
Digital sports media business PERFORM sports owns Goal.com and claimed that by July 2012, it had reached 29m unique users globally.
Nokia on Wednesday November 14 launched HERE maps across several devices and operating systems in a move the Finish firm says will change the mobile experience forever.
Here was launched in partnership with Mozilla and Earthmine,a 3D capture startup Nokia plans to acquire.
Nokia says HERE is the first location cloud with the world’s accurate maps and better location experiences over multiple screens and operating systems.
According to Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop,“People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia’s location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world.”
Elop adds that with HERE, Nokia can extend its 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems beyond Nokia and as well benefit more people using them or building them.
HERE is not just for Nokia.
Nokia HERE has a HTML5 application for iOS with offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions. The firm has also partnered with Mozilla to have the mapping services on Firefox OS with a planned mobile web version of HERE Maps for Firefox OS next year.
Speaking during the launch, Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Vice President of Products said,“Mozilla is a leader in HTML5, building the Web as a platform for developing compelling applications, and location is a key part of that platform.” Sullivan added, “We are excited to work with Nokia as the combination of Firefox OS and HERE’s location platform provides rich possibilities for mobile application developers to create amazing experiences for users.”
For developers a HERE SDK for Android will be available early 2013. The firm also demonstrated an Android OS location application.
To come up with better mapping products, Nokia sees the need for technology and is in its final stages to acquire Earthmine, a 3D Berkeley, Calif. based firm. The acquisition will be concluded before the end of this year.
Showing on how Earthmine’s 3D technology is significant, Michael Halbherr, executive vice president of Nokia’s HERE said, “Maps are hard to get right – but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world.”
Halbherr added, “That’s why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world’s most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today.”
Nokia also introduced LiveSight™, a highly accurate, 3D technology for precise and intuitive augmented reality experience. LiveSight™ uses a phone’s camera viewfinder and is the technology behind the Nokia City Lens exclusively for Nokia Lumia devices.
Nokia however comes late in a field already dominated by Google Maps and joined recently by Apple Maps. mapIT and TomTom also play a significant role in development of location and mapping services.
Checking on my browser this morning, HERE has the direction of my whole city, off course not in detail but this is no mean feat for the Finnish phone maker. HERE could be Nokia’s announcement to the world that they are ready to diversify or do without their handsets,a lesson that could have helped Kodak had it embraced change.
Technologically speaking, there is a ‘perfect storm’ heading Africa’s way and the opportunity is now for companies to position themselves to leverage off the impact.
This is the view of management at Dac Systems, a national specialist services provider focused on turnkey implementation of leading edge industry solutions.
The Gauteng-based national company believes local companies can truly benefit from a whirlwind of technical value from an increase in innovation, Research & Development, as well as the impact of consumerisation, Big Data analytics, mobility and cloud based services.
In addition to the value of its established social development and corporate social investment (CSI) program – including The Nkomazi Trust and the company’s annual Team Building which is used to build a house for disadvantaged individuals in the rural community of Shongwe – the company’s commercial investment is driven the focus to provide real business value through a Solutions Layers model and its core value offering is based squarely on Microsoft technology.
And it has the credentials to meet stringent, ongoing market requirement for solutions. DAC System has Gold Certified Content Management status and has also acquired Silver Certification for ERP and Project & Portfolio management.
The company’s technical competency covers a number of key business disciplines including consultancy, analysis, Microsoft solution platforms and software development.
Using this framework of technical skills, the company has conceptualized and rolled out a Solutions Layers model focused on productivity, governance and enterprise.
Chris Willemse, CEO, Dac Systems, explains that whilst most technology companies focus on branded third party solutions for delivery skills, Dac approaches clients with the emphasis on how to work efficiently, control effectively and scale seamlessly.
Real applications of genuine solutions
Dac systems has been established to help South African mid-sized to large manufacturers and professional service companies decide on ICT solution requirements.
”We then construct these solutions using Microsoft technology,” says Willemse.
It is a recipe that is working well for the works well for the company and its partners Microsoft and Nintex.
This is because it is positioned at exactly the point where companies now seek to acquire and implement technology, having reached a higher level of maturity and understanding. It is a sense and awareness of solutions that forces decision makers to no longer ‘toy’ with technology, but actually apply it in the very truest sense of the word.
“The time for simply playing with technology is well and truly over. Today, information technology is about using solutions to secure market share, sustain the highest levels of performance and ensure value-add through practical application. This is what we will explain and demonstrate at industry-led events,” says Willemse.
The company works directly with prospective clients through a combination of communication and promotional events.
This is an effective forum that allows industry experts to network and identify key issues that continue to impact on operations going forward the company claims.
For management at Dac Systems, there has never been a better time to be established within the Microsoft services space.
Dac Systems is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with over 17 years’ experience in the full turnkey implementation of leading edge industry solutions to help solve common business problems and processes.
Through its offices located in Johannesburg and Centurion and a global partner network, Dac Systems leverages off the expertise of its in-house business analysts, consultants, systems architects and developers.
Dac Systems supplies Information & Communication Technology solutions in the Productivity, Governance and Enterprise layers and industry solutions for Professional Services, Manufacturing and Always-On-Learning amongst others.
Their solutions are designed to ensure a cost effective way for clients to integrate information and strengthen their operations either through on-premises or cloud-based implementations.
Technical advice on next-generation solutions that impact the business environment is guaranteed through the company’s rich pool of experts – including professionals with degrees, Microsoft-accredited certifications and industry experts.
The company also features a strong social development and corporate social investment (CSI) element, with a track record of meaningful contribution to several projects and partnerships including The Nkomazi Trust and the company’s annual Team Building which is used to build a house for disadvantaged individuals in the rural community of Shongwe.
Dac Systems is founded on a solution philosophy which incorporates several key aspects: delivery is key, a solution for real people, harmony & convergence.
It is the combination of these principles that has helped the company to carve out a solid, leadership position within a competitive marketplace.
Crowdpesa is a mobile marketplace for both Merchants and Shoppers to transact easily using existing mobile money services such as MPesa. Crowdpesa provides Shoppers with a mobile application that allows them to find and pay for offers they care about. The application’s mobile wallet allows shoppers to make one click payments for offers posted by merchants.
Crowdpesa also provides merchants with a point of sale service where they can receive and track payments made for offers.
TechMoran talked to John Karanja, VP Product development and Information and this is what we learned about the startup.
Who is on your team?
The Crowdpesa Core Team include Chief Executive Officer (Co-Founder) – Patrick Maina, in charge of strategy development and execution. He is an Intellectual Property lawyer by profession with a passion for software development and sales. Email: [email protected]VP Product & Information (Co-Founder) – John Karanja also Founder of Whive.com (a Mobile and Web social media platform where people interact using different forms of media with over 120,000 members). With his expertise in software development and growth hacking John will lead the product development and growth at Crowdpesa. Email: [email protected]Business Development Manager – Christian Kakoba
Christian Kakoba has academic qualifications in Business and Informatics and is in charge of Business Development at Crowdpesa. He speaks both French and English and as such is also the company’s day to day spokesperson. Email: [email protected]
Have you won anything since you began?
Crowdpesa has been featured in several media channels and was recently named among the 30 brilliant tech startups in Africa by Memeburn. Crowdpesa was in the first class of DEMO AFRICA October 2012 and was also a finalist at Pivot East Mobile competition in June 2012.
We are Self-funded at the moment,but our immediate funding requirements are USD 355,000. We would also like to get exposure for our business and find the right strategic partners for our early growth. We are also seeking early growth funding to up-scale our service as well as roll out out to more merchants. We would also like to recruit more team members to fill critical roles like Sales & Marketing as well as Financial Management.Is there market for Crowdpesa?
The growth of mobile phone use in Africa and around the world offers an unprecedented opportunity to reach more consumers directly. Crowdpesa leverages its Location Based Application and Mobile Wallet to provide an online shopping experience for goods and services on mobile devices. Our test bed market is East Africa, however our goal is to develop a service that can scale globally.Any partnerships?
We are integrating with mobile money platforms like Mpesa, Airtel Money, Mobikash to allow people to buy goods on the go.Is the going smooth?
Reaching potential customers with limited budget is one big challenge and building partnerships has not been easy for us. Your future plans?
We plan to launch with over 50 merchants and partners by January 2013.
The Founder Institute is in final plans to open a new chapter in Alexandria, Egypt for the Spring of 2013 to help entrepreneurs in Egypt start and launch long-lasting tech firms.
The insititute at the moment is testing the demand of the accelerator to to be set in Alexandria through an Interest Form posted online for enough people fill it out by December 2 as a sign an expression of interest.
The Founder Institute is a global early-stage startup accelerator and global launch network helping entrepreneurs set up significant technology companies through its part-time four month program offering expert training, feedback, and support from experienced startup CEOs while still in their day jobs.
Launched in 2009 by serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi in Silicon Valley the Founder Institute has helped launch over 550 companies across 27 cities and five continents – becoming the world’s largest startup accelerator.
According to the Founder Institute, “Our goal is to “Globalize Silicon Valley” by launching 1,000 meaningful and enduring technology companies per year in over 35 cities worldwide. Our unique Graduate Liquidity Pool also enables graduates and mentors to share in the equity upside of each class, creating strong teamwork-based startup ecosystems where great companies can flourish. We call it “Globalizing Silicon Valley.”
The Institute yesterday in Alexandria, hosted a Startup Ideation Bootcamp where founders pitched their startup ideas to acquire financing, customers, partners, and top talent. The three hours Startup Pitch Bootcamp helps founders improve their pitching skills and recruit potential co-founders. According to the institute, the intensive, collaborative workshop begins with talks by leading startup Founders designed to help them understand the key ingredients of a successful pitch. The evening was led by Tarek Fahim, Partner, Tamkeen Capital, a venture capital firm that invests at seed and early stage companies.
On Novemeber 26, the institute will host anInformation Session. The informational event helps founders meet local Directors, ask questions, and learn how you they too can launch a startup with the Founder Institute’s help.
Samer El Sahn (CEO of Tahrir²), and Hashem Zahran (CEO of Cloud7Labs) are the voices leading the Alexandria Founder Institute chapter. The program is open to those who want to build a technology company either with an idea or without. In a full-time job or unemployed, young or old, male or female, experienced in business or straight out of school. The program supports a wide range of technology industries ranging from digital media, software, biotech, cleantech, ecommerce, advertising, consumer electronics.
If you are in Egypt, help bring the Founder Institute to Alexandria by filling out this Interest Form NOW!
This morning Kim Dotcom announced in a tweet that his site was online and legally.
He tweeted, “New Zealand will be the home of our new website: http://Mega.co.nz – Powered by legality and protected by the law.”
The new Mega is big and better and promises to deliver. The site will allow user’s privacy, will have an online Mega file manager, has a cloud file system and allows multi-centric data warehousing. Mega is also looking for hosting and API partners and investors to make the service free. Mega II as we may call it here, will of course be a hit when it goes live on January 19th.
This comes just days after the Gabon government denied him to use Me.ga citing cyber-crime but Kim said it was plain witch-hunt by the US government which he claimed has interests in the Gabon economy.
As we reported earlier, the government of Gabon suspended Me.ga and issued warnings to defunct Megaupload founder and internet tycoon Kim Dotcom locking Kim’s business interests.
However in a a surprise move, the government of New Zealand has allowed Kim who is out on bail in New Zealand and awaiting a March extradition hearing to run to for a January 20 re-launch, a year after his online piracy arrest in New Zealand.
Gabon Communications Minister Blaise Loumbe Tuesday announced:”I have instructed my departments to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga,” in a move to “protect intellectual property rights” and “fight cyber crime effectively”.
Kuza is a mobile, location-based business platform for feature phones that helps buyers and sellers in emerging markets to trade goods and services in their area.
Using any one of 6000 supported types of feature phones, a user can create a website, mobi site and business cards right from his phone in about 5 minutes. Our micro-ads, also created right from the phone, are broadcast to an audience in the entrepreneurs’ area, allowing him to reach a wider market. We monetize our product through airtime and micro-payments on a pay-as-you-go basis.
TechMoran caught up with the CEO Pieter Nel and he led us on several developments at the firm.
When was it launched and where?
Demo Africa, 2012, Nairobi Kenya
Who are its founders their age,education or firm behind it?
Pieter Nel (CEO and Co-founder) (38) was previously the Chief Technology Officer of MXit Lifestyle in South Africa. He holds a Masters degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch and is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School’s Entrepreneurship Development Program. His business plan for Kuza Mobile won the MIT Entrepreneurship Center’s EDP business plan competition in 2011.
Andrew Maunder (Co-founder) (30) holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town. His research was focused on designing user-centric mobile services for developing markets. He has spent time at Microsoft Research in Cambridge UK and Flow Interactive, and was the principal user experience architect at MXit Lifestyle where he was responsible for the look and feel of the product.
What inspired you to find Kuza?
We wanted to use our unique experience in mobile social networks to address the more fundamental problems in emerging markets, namely, empowering entrepreneurs to use mobile technology to expand their businesses.
In a move to promote entrepreneurship in the country ILO, the Safaricom Foundation, Inoorero University and Chase Bank together with the Enablis Entrepreneurial Network East Africa launched this years annual Enablis business plan competition aimed at youth 18 years and above or those with startups not more than a year old.
The Enablis business plan competition, runs from November 12 2012 to February 2013 and wants to give a platform for entrepreneurs with outstanding businesses or ideas to write leading business plans about their innovations or ideas.
The competition is in four categories but in line with agri-business and agri-processing such as manufacturing; ICT, media and green or eco business.
To enter the competition, aspiring entrepreneurs will submit an online business plan from November 12, 2012 to December 18, 2012, then top finalists will be announced on January 18, 2012.
Inoorero University, as the training partner will hold a series of awareness and training sessions to give young entrepreneurs skills in writing successful business plans. The training sessions will be countrywide.
According to Chase Bank CEO Duncan Kabui, “The ideas that have been presented in the last two years have shown promise and many of them have gone on to be the foundations of small companies with bright futures. Many companies started as a dream structured on paper and these dreams had the great fortune of landing in the hands of fellow believers.”
Xmx Me is a mobile phone application that is used to send customized bulk SMS at a very reduced price with improved and cool functions like the ability to select some or all of the numbers in one’s phone book or minimise other features.
TechMoran caught up with the 14 year old founder and were amazed at his success so far!
When was it launched and where?
Xmx Me was launched on October 10 this year in Rumuodara – Port Harcourt. Who are its Founders?
Xmx Me was founded by Elvis Chidera a 14 year old SSS1 student of U.V.A(Ultimate Victory Academy).
What inspired you?
Its a long story but let me just cut it short. When I first heard of bulk SMS I was marveled at how it works so I decided to try it. Due to my age I was unable to try it because most bulk SMS sites only allow payments in banks. I decided to create my own bulk SMS service so that any one despite their age can buy SMS at any time without spending much time in banks. At the process of creating the site I had problems, so I decided to make a mobile phone application instead.
How does it work
Xmx Me uses 2 trusted fast bulk SMS gateway to send bulk SMS. All the user has to do is visit www.xmxme.com and register then download the application and purchase credits after that he can start sending SMS.
Xmx me uses little bandwidth so as to reduce cost. How many users on board now?
We have 389. Why SMS?
We chose sms because it is the best and faster way to advertise your
products and also to stay in contact with friends. Any objections from telecoms also offering SMS?
No objection so far. What is your business model?
we generate money by selling the SMS units to users that needs it. we also plan on starting adverts. Any competition
We have like about 3 competitors which are Text Dey Go, JoggeSMS and Beta SMS.
How unique are you from the competition?
We offer many things which the others don’t offer. Some of them are:
1)Ability to select some or all of the numbers in your phonebook with ease.
2)Xmx Me has a minimize button.
3)Xmx Me has a page that it uses to offer more services and keep users
informed with promos.
4)Xmx Me is simple.
5)Xmx Me is cheaper than other bulk sms app.
6)Xmx Me uses 2 bulk sms gateway.
Any funding yet?
Not yet, we are still bootstrapping.
Our greatest challenge was to raise money to solve all the needs of our customers and also to offer quality. Future plans/expansion e.t.c ?
We plan on expanding to other African countries and then the whole world. We also plan on moving to other platform like iphone, Symbian, Android, etc. Currently we only support J2ME enabled phones and some Symbian and Black berry.
We at the moment only accept payments from Nigeria but we plan to expand further. We also will like to reduce our price and improve our services.
According to TI-Z board member Mr Loughty Dube the platform will enable Zimbabweans report corruption incidences anonymously and in real time.
“The SMS Platform is open to all citizens. Witnesses and victims of corruption can report corruption via SMS to the following number 0775 220 700,” he said.
Also present at the launch was the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Nelson Chamisa who applauded TI-Z for coming up with this SMS Platform.
Chamisa says the platform is an important step in the country as it will hold ‘everyone accountable’. The platform has been highly touted as the best solution for the country as it will encourage citizens to report corruption without fear of victimization.
The SMS (+263 775 220 700) will cost a regular US 9 cents and can be used by those outside Zimbabwe. TI-Z can also receive reports via web.
Skype,a VoIP telephony Thursday launched a new online platform dubbed Skype in the workspace (SITW) in a move to help SME’s promote themselves to the Skype population.
The SITW will be available for free for all small businesses. The SME’s can use the service to promote both their services and products to their Skype connections and new networks. The SME’s can send instant messages and talk to or meet their clients or make business prospects over Skype.
Skype has been doing a beta testing of the service for six months and over 500 businesses, with over 140 different services, had signed up for the pilot.
Ural Cebeci, head of SMB Marketing at Skype said,”With more than 280 million connected users each month, Skype offers a huge range of contacts for the small-business community,” and added, “We aim to connect millions of small businesses with Skype in the workspace and believe that, by taking advantage of this shared network, businesses can develop the range of tools they need to grow, regardless of location or industry. From the designer in San Francisco looking to source textile suppliers in Thailand to the London consultant connecting with clients in Milan, the possibilities are endless.”
The service is easy to join.
SME’s join the service by using their existing Skype accounts, then they create their own profiles indicating offers and opportunities they have. The SME’s then invite them in live Skype sessions and show them how their products work or the services they offer.
SME’s can also invite or set up appointments with potential customers with notifications.
Skype was founded in 2003 and headquartered in Luxembourg and is part of Microsoft Corp and has over 40 million users online at the same time during peak times. This move will help the firm expand more due to the need for SME’s to collaborate cost effectively.
Launched both in Nigeria and Morocco, Hellofood is aiming to bring the best food delivery platform to the Region.
The food ordering service promises customers a great variety of culinary choices online.
According to Alfonso Pastor, the managing director of Hellofood:”Our belief is that ordering food online should be fuss-free, fast and fun”, and added that customers just enter their location, choose their favorite restaurant and select the food they want.
Hellofood which delivers food at a fee promise to save consumers time and even increase clients for their partner restaurants.
“We definitely expect an increase in customer numbers from the cooperation with hellofood”, said Nike Majekodunmi, restaurant owner of “Nuts about Cake”. Like Nike some of the partners believe the “online delivery service will be enthusiastically embraced” by their clientele. Another partner, Victoria, owner of “Bukka Hut” added, “Without a doubt, the exposure from hellofood’s online ordering website will increase my business revenue” said Victoria.
Restaurants in Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki and Ikeja in Nigeria have signed up and Hellofood says over 43 top restaurants are now on board in Nigeria and clients can choose from a variety of menus.
The Morocco service is also picking up, with over 10 restaurants on board already.
Rocket internet has a heart for Nigeria and this is not their first venture their.
The brothers have ventures allover the world and recently received funding from J.P. Morgan, after merging e-commerce portals, Kasuwa and Sabunta to form Jumia.
Either, Rocket internet wants to capitalise on Nigeria’s high population as potential market or it could be due to its nearly 50 million internet population according to Internet World Stats.
Nigeria’s Prowork enables real time collaboration, anywhere and anytime, allowing team members to stay on top of what’s happening on their projects.
According to the founders, Prowork is available for Blackberry, Android and Java mobile phones, Web, and has a robust API to allow developers to extend its functionality.
The founders say Prowork can do lots and can be used by Business Project Managers, Software Development, Managing your Personal To-Dos, Planning events, and Sales.
TechMoran caught up with Francis Onwumere CEO Digital Craft Studios, the Nigeria based startup behind Prowork.
What is Prowork and what does it do?
Prowork (www.prowork.me) is a project management application that makes team collaboration on Projects easy.
It’s like Microsoft Project and Sharepoint but mobile and easier to use, more powerful, with real time collaboration everywhere, anywhere. Prowork is accessible via mobile, the web, and a robust API to allow developers to extend the functionality.
Who are its founders? What inspired them?
Back in 2009 I (Francis) started collaborating with my co-founders Ope and Namzo on our IT consultancy business. At any given time were working on several projects– we used email, SMS, Skype,Google Drive just to collaborate, but somehow it just wasn’t working.
Since then, we have discovered that we were not alone. Many businesses faced the same loss of productivity by improvising project management and collaboration.
So when Startup Weekend came to Lagos we decided to build a prototype at the event and, and in June this year we went commercial.
How does it work?
At Prowork we believe Project Management and Collaboration should take place right where the project activities happen that is why we have developed a mobile first enterprise class business solution.
Prowork enables you to create a project and draft your team members into that project. You could create tasks and assign them to your team mates.
You get to also receive notifications via mobile app, web, email and SMS for offline scenarios. Prowork also has group chat so you can discuss with your project team mates across all your devices.
You can also share documents easily and generate project status reports at anytime
What is your target population?
Prowork empowers businesses by bringing together project management and collaboration on one platform and putting this in the hands of team members via mobile.
Prowork is easy to use and works well for Enterprises, Medium and Small Businesses. From the ground up we have built a very horizontal product that can be adapted to any business vertical.
What is your business model?
Our business model is of two types: We have hosted software as a service platform with different plans and features depending on the nature of the organisation
We also have a self-hosted offering whereby larger organisations can host Prowork on their own servers
Since our commercial launch in June, we have grown to over 5000 active users- with a number of companies paying to use our platform to manage their multiple projects.
Samsung South Africa said it the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet it will supply the firm’s staff around the country to serve as an operational communication device within the enterprise.
Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung South Africa said in a statement, “We are pleased that Telkom Business has chosen the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 as it continues to substantiate the unique value proposition that Samsung is able to provide within the enterprise mobility space – through our product innovation and unique offering. It is also testament to the fact that when business needs to procure a premium tablet – one that delivers a quality experience and productive advantage – the device of choice is a Samsung.”
According to the firm, the tablet has an intuitive user experience with the functionality and precision of a pen and paper on a 10.1-inch large display. The tablet also has a 1.4GHz quad-core processer and 2GB RAM which enhances its performance and allows faster multi-tasking easier and faster.
Fleischer added that in this digital age tablets are the ideal solution for business connectivity whether in the field, in a meeting or traveling.
Telkom SA has this week been in the news over its CEO’s notice to quit and few days after the resignation of it director. Sources close to the firm are citing governement control which angered its management earlier ths year by blocking a 20 percent stake sale to South Korea’s KT Corp.
Users of Opera Software in South Africa can now download version 12.10 of the desktop browser specifically built for them.
Designed with Speed Dials the 12.10 version for desktop has been customized for South African websites.
Opera said: “South Africans can also look forward to local Speed Dial as, for the first time in the country, Opera Desktop has country specific settings for South Africa.
Version 12.10 of Opera has both a Mac support with a Notification Centre and Windows 8 support. It also supports extensions from social networks and its HTML 5 standard allows a website to access the camera on a mobile device or desktop PC.
According to News24, Opera has taken in Kalahari.com and BidorBuy as its SA content partners, indicating a likely shift or just strenghthening e-commerce.
With 2 percent market share Opera browser may not seem significant when compared to Chrome’s 35 percent, however it leads in the the mobile ecosystem, with around 22% of the market beating Google’s Android browser, at around 20%.
Opera is also using its success mobile to take on the web even as many users turn to mobile devices.
Bruce Lawson, open standards evangelist at Opera Software told News24 that Opera is confident it will grow.
He said: “Betting against the web hasn’t proven to be a particularly useful strategy for a decade and a half for anybody. Betting with the web seems to me to be the only way forward.”
This November Vodafone is linking up its M-Pesa to HomeSend ,a person to person global money transfer hub in a move that will see Tanzania M-Pesa users transact through an international network of over 21 international money transfer businesses in 35 countries.
The partnership will link Vodafone’s M-Pesa in Tanzania to HomeSend to enable users send and receive money internationally.
According to the Vodafone Director of Mobile Money Michael Joseph: “Mobile changes lives. It also transforms societies and economies: a 10% increase in mobile penetration in a country equates to a 1.2% increase in GDP growth.
Joseph, who was the head of Kenya’s mobile telecommunication firm Safaricom and in charge of the successful launch of M-Pesa in 2007 added that the service is now at the next stage of growth and will see national barriers broken down to make the service global and multi network.
The HomeSend will enable customers using Vodafone M-Pesa to receive money from a range of providers in other countries directly from their mobile phones. Homesend is run by BICS, a leading global provider of wholesale carrier services and a first mover in the mobile financial services.
HomeSend Hub serves both banks and mobile money transfers and acts as an open and neutral intermediary system between participants to allow the flow of electronic mobile money beyond national boundaries, irrespective of the mobile network provider.
Vodafone’s M-Pesa service , used by over 15 million in Kenya alone has given rise to nearly 140 similar mobile transfer systems today in 65 countries, the majority of which are in emerging markets across Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific and GSMA says ba further 104 mobile money services are being build..
The IDC report claims the Android smartphone operating system was among three in the four phones shipped.
Android units hit 136 million from the total 181.1 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter this year, giving Android a three in four lead.
According to Ramon Llamas, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC, “Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008.”
Llamas added, “In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market.”
He said, “The smartphone operating system isn’t an isolated product, it’s a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem. Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not. This factor and others have led to loss of share for competitors with few exceptions.”
GO LTD, a startup founded by university students based in Rwanda is finalising development of a mobile web and SMS app to help people find the right address and direction and want to beat Google Maps in Africa.
The SMS and mobile web app dubbed WeGo, a name coined from English for we are going, will enable users get SMS notifications indicating the place they are, the nearest institutions, the nearest bus station, street code instead of asking passersby, as is in Africa.
The WeGo app also names the building and room wherever the user is from where they want to go.
Speaking to TechMoran, Shikama Dioscore CEO GO LTD, said, ” It not only finds ones direction, WeGo can let one know if the office is operational or closed following the firm’s working hours.”
Dioscore added, “One can access the contact numbers of the office or contact its call center.”
GO LTD was founded by Shikama Dioscore, Manishimwe Alexis and Niyikiza Aimable in 2011 after finishing their high school studies.
Go Ltd says it also has a pool highly talented youthful team of programmers and journalist for its content.
The lead developer says they were inspired by Google Maps but wanted to do more by allowing users access required information on premises to guide them. He said ,” It is a solution handy with extra help than Google maps!”
Go LTD has finished working on the SMS app and are final testing it for the larger African market. The Android and Mobile web version are nearly over too according to the firm.
GO Ltd, with its slogan “Enter the Digital World” says as a Mobile apps and general software development firm its aim is to empower the spirit of IT Innovation and creativity in Rwandans.
GO LTD was recently shortlisted among the top finalist African Startups World competition apart from its continuing dependency on for IT solutions by Rwandan Private and Public companies.
A data visualisation app for iPhone and iPad has been used to present the results of South Africa’s national census to the media.
The app, by US-based Roambi, was used in partnership with South African firm Dataways and Statistics South Africa to present the results of the nation’s 2011 census. Trevor Manuel, South African Minister in the Presidency for National Planning Commission, presented the census results to the media using the app on a giant iPhone this morning.
The custom app delivers interactive graphical displays of the 2011 census results, giving policy-makers, business leaders and the general public, mobile access to the census data via immersive analytics tools. Roambi says the app has been designed to help examine data from different perspectives, drill down through multiple levels and view specific cross-sections – all with the help of intuitive visual displays that enable more penetrating insights. The new census data is likely to guide policy decisions for years to come by shedding light on issues affecting South African communities and their diverse populations.
Bill Hoggarth, Director of Dataways, says President Jacob Zuma immediately requested the app to be installed on his iPad, to enable him to have instant access to the relevant data that would ‘enable him to ask the tough questions.’
“Roambi’s goal from day one has been to enable people to use data in meaningful ways,” said Santiago Becerra, CEO of Roambi. “Partnering with both Dataways and Statistics South Africa to unveil this landmark data and helping government officials to better serve their constituents is one of the most notable uses of Roambi to date, and we are honored to be a part of it.”
“We are very proud of the role we have been able to play in assisting the Stats SA team in the successful delivery of this project, from initial conception all the way through to the launch and beyond,” said Hoggarth.
Brand new mobile partnership to bring iROKING artists to South Africa commuters – anytime, anywhere
iROKO Partners, the world’s largest online distributor of African music & movies today announced an exciting new partnership with GoMetro, a mobile site launched in September 2012 by mobi.lity in collaboration with South African commuter rail agency, Metrorail.
The brand new GoMetro mobile site provides commuters with real-time train schedules, timetable deviations, schedule changes and platform changes – to provide users with an enhanced digital resource for their daily commute. In addition to this, as of 31 October 2012, GoMetro mobile users will be able to listen to, watch, download and share the freshest tunes out there, anytime, anywhere via iROKING’s exclusive mobile site, gometro.iroking.com. Downloads on iROKING are FREE for anyone who visits the mobile site.
Adi Nduka-Agwu, iROKO Partners’ Head of Business Development for Africa says: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with GoMetro on this new project – it symbolises how we want to work with tech and entertainment companies across Africa. In addition to GoMetro users being able to keep on top of their travel plans on the mobile site, they will also have the ultimate soundtrack for their journey, courtesy of iROKING – whether people want some chill out tunes, or something to get them pumped up for the day, we have it”.
Users will also be able to share any of their favourite iROKING tracks with the rest of the world at the click of a button via email, Twitter and Facebook. iROKING features internationally celebrated home-grown talent such as 2Face, PSquare, Lynxx, Eva, Bez, Timaya and more. This new year-long partnership will revolutionise the daily commute for over 3 million daily South African railway users.
Justin Coetzee of GoMetro adds “We have always positioned GoMetro as a mobile platform to improve the commuter experience – and it is validating to see that pan out. GoMetro is a transit community on your phone, and to have been able to conclude a deal of this nature right after our inception shows incredible traction and an appetite for a mobile transit platform. It is fitting to have iROKING on our platform as the first music offering, as they are true African tech innovators. Public Transport just got cooler with GoMetro and iROKING.”
iROKING is West Africa’s number one music distribution platform, with over 35,0000 tunes from 400 artists. The company also manages the YouTube channels of over 80 artists, delivering 15 million video views on average a month and over 130,000,000 views across its pages.
iROKING is Africa’s number one music streaming service. Launched in 2010, www.iroking.comhas over 35,000 songs from over 400 of West Africa’s biggest recording artists, including international superstars such as Bez, 2Face and 2Shotz. iROKING is successfully re-organising Nigerian music distribution via iROKING.com, YouTube, iTUNES and Amazon. Since its inception, the iROKING team has grown the business to over 80 managed YouTube channels delivering 15 million video views on average a month and over 130,000,000 views across its artists’ pages.
In August 2012, iROKING announced that the music platform had registered 100,000 users and October 2012 saw the launch of a mobile site for iROKING, where registered users can listen to and download any of the 35,000 tracks on the site from their Feature phones.