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    September 14, 2007

    South Africa’s web startups to watch

    I‘ve had an idea for this kind of list for quite some time now, but I guess I‘ve been waiting until we have clear and well-defined players rather than something we insiders consider successful but is really unknown to the rest of the local web space.

    I‘ve tried to diversify the list with startups doing things in different markets, and while this is a list of the most promising startups they are by no means the best but are looking toward a bright future. If I missed out on any please share your insight in the comments area. In no particular order:

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    Amatomu is an aggregator of South African blogs with a ranking system based on page views and inbound links. The aggregator also features various widgets to integrate Amatomu functionality into your blog.

    Founded by Vincent Maher and Matthew Buckland from M&G

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    Modelbase is an online portfolio hosting website for South African models and photographers. Sort of an online modeling agency to view and contact South Africa’s best photography and modeling talent.

    Founded by Freestyle Labs

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    Synthasite is an browser based AJAX website construction tool that allows you to assemble your website from any PC. The application features many widgets and templates to choose from enabling any novice web designer to create professional web properties.

    Founded by Vinny Lingham from Incubeta

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    Blueworld is an social network which allows you to create your own profile and express yourself through blogs, videos and photos which aggregates on your profile and in various sub areas of the network. Sort of South Africa’s Myspace, Blueworld also features clubbing photos from around South Africa including foreign destinations such as London and Germany.

    Founded by Brent Brooks, Bradley Voges and Charl Norman

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    Afrigator is the second aggregator on this list but has a unique hook focusing on blogs in the Africa internet name space. Afrigator is Africa’s first social media aggregator with content channels from Nigeria to Uganda.

    Founded by Mike Stopforth, Justin Hartman, Stiaan Pretorius and Mark Forrester (Some jumped on board later in the project’s live)

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    Zoopy is one of the first photo and video sharing networks in South Africa featuring numerous channels from politics to humor.

    Founded by Jason Elk and co

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    One of the first social media startups to come out of South Africa, Muti is a social bookmarking site inspired by reddit and Digg but dedicated to content of interest to Africans or those interested in Africa.

    Founded/headed up by Neville Newey and Dave Duarte

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    The Vottle project allows you to network online, to buy and sell goods, and it enables you seek out other like-minded people. Vottle can be described as an online classifieds or a community service. With many ad listings in numerous categories and a useful sms service Vottle has become one of the leading online classifieds destinations in SA.

    Founded by Greg de Chasteauneuf, Ronnie Apteker, Andrew Murray, Colin Peterson, Justin Spratt, Richard van Katwijk and Gus MacRobert

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    iBlog is a blogging community where anyone can register and create their own blog. Showcasing thousands of bloggers, iBlog is the biggest independent blogging community in the dot coza name space.

    Founded by Mark Garbers

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    AmaGama, another project out of the M&G stable, is a blogging community where anyone can register and create their own WordPress blog and post podcasts.

    Founded by Vincent Maher and Matthew Buckland

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    Zoopedup is an automotive social network that allows you to create an online garage for your car featuring blogging, video and picture sharing, discussion forums, ride battles and event galleries from around the globe.

    Founded by Charl Norman

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    My Video is the second video sharing platform in this list and claims to also be the first of its kind in South Africa. Featuring all the characteristics of a video sharing site groups, channels and off course videos.

    Founded/Run by Rowan Polovin, Tristan Owen and Michael Salzwedel

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    MyGenius allows users to promote themselves, build relationships and possibly collaborate with others. The focus of MyGenius is to give individuals a space to showcase their skills, brand themselves and share their ideas.

    Founded by John Raath and Doug Timberlake

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    Freelancentral is a hub for talented freelancers to pitch for projects posted by employers.

    Founded by Jo Duxbury

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    iJol allows you to scan through a summary of all kinds of events happening in your area, and even to see which of your buddies are planning on attending. The site also allows you to plan and post events while creating a profile (myJol) of events you will/have attended.


    Other startups hovering around:

    Digspot, Vrinne, Student Village, LitNet, SA Reunited, MK89 (worth featuring but bought off the shelf), My Bookmark, Mobimii, TWAC, Wibble, Springleap 

    References:

    Uno de Waal, David Duarte, TechCrunch, IOL Technology

    List by Charl Norman

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