Two new web startups launched in SA

Fuelled by growing interest in tech, innovation and startups in Africa from all over the world, and an increasing realisation of major opportunities online, Africans are establishing new ground in the online, mobile and digital fields.
Here are two new web startups recently launched from South Africa.


Guzzle’s aim is to connect the online and offline worlds by searching for special deals found in newspapers and retail catalogues and posting them online, giving them exposure and allowing people to find them more easily online. Guzzle also provides specials based on location so users can find those nearest to them. The site also provides customisable email alerts to monitor specific products over time and specials available from different suppliers. Guzzle is a free service for both prospective customers and retailers.



Virtusa is a social news and aggregation website where users based in South Africa can can share and discover popular stories on the web covering a range of topics such as celebrity, business, sports and political news. Users can submit interesting news pieces, articles and stories as well as vote for, and rate other submissions. Virtusa also gives users the opportunity to to connect with other like-minded people, create and join groups of interest, and make new friends.

source: Affrinovator

      1. I think this post has single-handedly destroyed all our hard work of convincing the world that SA is a healthy and competitive tech space. Techcentral did the same thing with Playlistcentral the other day. Nauseating.

    1. Completely agree – we have a new drive to cover local companies more aggressively. This is  just the start.

    2. well, Digg and Reddit seems to be very limited. virtusa, i think takes two votes to get a story published instead of the 5 or whatever it is that Digg requires. I know you can also create groups. Nothing to write home about but i am pretty confident that virtusa will be releasing some attractive features within the next few weeks as promised

      1. “i think takes two votes to get a story published instead of the 5 or whatever it is that Digg requires.”
        i.o.w the site is easily gamed. Digg and Reddit have a more complex algorithms to get stories onto the homepage. Its not just votes. Last time I checked you needed 50-70+ votes to get onto Digg homepage anyway.
        Besides, social news sites are struggling world wide. Its only Reddit with its loyal fan base that is really active. See here:

        1. i don’t disagree with you at all Charl. However, you are basically saying that just because social aggregation sites struggle (worldwide), they are not allowed to be taken a shot at? I was pretty amazed at how was made out to be the ‘best’ thing to hit SA at the time and now because a new one popped out, its a “no-go”? Any site out there has potential to grow regardless of what type of site it is the last time i checked. If not, so be it but a fair chance should be given to any startup

          1. By all means, go for it! 
            A lot of the world’s greatest products weren’t first to market (second mouse gets the cheese). I like giving people benefit of the doubt, which is why I asked what features your are planning that are truly going to set it apart from other sites. The reason Reddit is king these days, is the focus on their community. Digg suffered a massive loss when it started catering towards the content creators, not the content curators.
            Starting with an open-source CMS isn’t the best way to start, as you will run into problems soon with extending it (you have to learn the ins-and-outs of it all).
            Best of luck!

  1. virtusa seems to be built on OS code however, if the BEST in SA as said before (including by you Mr Charl Norman), is MUTI.CO.ZA then i have to admit that virtusa is already one hell of an improvement. might be badly executed but i read somewhere that the additional functionality and such will be rolled out over the coming weeks. what is so bad about it?

    1. Let me take a wild guess – you own Virtusa? 
      I said Muti was a cool site like 3 years ago. Thats a very long period in online business.

      1. yes, i do. correction, the current muti seems to be hacked and really offers nothing to its users anymore. although better executed than virtusa, i don’t see why it has to be run down. some like it and some don’t. simply as that.

          1. yes, because you are sitting behind my PC right? Look, i am not here trying to analyze or define the term “open source code” so have a good one.

    2. Haha the only other comment on your Disqus profile, ‘Ceo’, is on How about you just introduce yourself as the guy behind the site. LOVE that your ‘About’ page is still ‘Pligg’, by the way. 

  2. Anyone keen to download and then launch it as a startup? Oh shit, beat me to it!
    I was originally very upset about this post, but I have changed my mind entirely. I think it’s a fantastic idea to publish terrible ‘startups’ and then have people tell them how bad they are in the comments. Inspired thinking, @cn:disqus  

    1. In all due respect richoakley, criticism is fine but acting like a 5 year old #$@hole in a thread with about 6 active people won’t really cause any “loss” in any way, nor will it change the fact that virtusa (as terrible as it is) according to a few people here, still is. Happy days.

      1. Fair enough. The motivation behind my comments is nothing to do with trying to cause any ‘loss’, though – I’m just emotionally invested in the South African startup scene and think publications like this should be highlighting innovative ones. There’s nothing wrong with launching something ‘bad’ – it should just go unnoticed. I want nothing less than to discourage entrepreneurship and @SeanNieuwoudt:disqus is right to criticise me if that is the outcome of this. Go and iterate and build something better and you’ll find me 100% behind you.

        1. I respect the fact that you are so emotionally invested in the SA startup scene but i do not believe that it is for a single individual to decide the success or failure of any given startup. Feel free to dislike it, that is your god given choice. I am still convinced that i can turn it into something !

  3. Come on guys, it doesn’t matter what the products look like or what they’re built on. We should be encouraging startups (in any form) in SA. Twitter looked like shit and could barely scale when it launched – don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying any of these are a “twitter”, but someone still put some kind of effort into getting them up there. 
    If there are lessons to be learnt from this, let the founders learn them without being tainted and/or scared to launch something in the future. 

    1. Good point Sean. I learned a lot from launching pretty shit stuff (crap design, crap execution, etc)! Using an open-source CMS you can change things here and there and gauge user-response, iterate and move forward (Lean startup Style).

    2. Thanks for the comment here Sean !! I can’t argue with the fact that virtusa looks like shit and could improve in many more ways than one. I don’t see a crime in using free OS code and sure i am not going to let a few people knock me down in not trying harder and better in the future. virtusa needs work to it, loads of it (and i do have some plans). I believe i can still have virtusa evolve into something here, no matter how terrible it might be at this stage. May i add Sean, i dig your blog by the way.

      1. Anyone that knows me would know I did exactly the same thing with a couple of years ago (at the time BWB refused to review it for that reason). It was built on Joomla and I tweaked it a little bit and punted it as a start-up. I got tons of criticism for it and that resulted in me becoming more driven to learn how to build better products. See this as an opportunity to become better, not as a failure. Welcome to the community bro.
        PS start using your real name, keeps us all a honest and responsible 🙂

        1. Now this i can deal with ! However, at this stage i still refuse to see it as a complete failure as i do have some plans of my own. I respect and appreciate positive criticism. Jason, thank you ! Names Rynaldo by the way

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