Basheera Khan is a South African technology journalist and blogger based in London. She is a Contributing Editor to TechCrunch Europe and blogs about social media and other geeky things for The Daily Telegraph.
Basheera began her career in technology publishing as a staff reporter for ITWeb and Brainstorm in Johannesburg. She moved to the UK in 2001, somehow ending up in Swansea. After a stint editing itwales.com for Swansea University’s computer science department, she launched Wales’ first and only technology news publication, Ping Wales (2004-2007, RIP). She has appeared on ITV Wales 6pm news commenting on new media, and has in the past blogged for Social Media Influence.
Basheera has been a frequent contributor to the Welsh business press, and has lectured in online journalism at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism and Glamorgan University’s School of Creative & Cultural Industries. She is a regular speaker at events organised by the non-profit company bloc, which focus on creative technology in Wales.
I’m not sure what the best part of the second annual TechCrunch Europe ChristmasCrunch was. Between the numerous cool startup pitches, the collected wisdom of our terrifically qualified panels and individual speakers, the auction of signed copies of the LDN Nude Tech Calendar that raised £2,000 for Take Heart India and of course, the annual air guitar competition, it was a pretty eventful… → Read More
Online shopping has come along in leaps and bounds since 1994 when the first e-commerce transaction actually occurred — but as dotcom bombs UrbanFetch and Kozmo proved, delivery can be the most painful point in the ecommerce chain. Enter Shutl, which today launches an on-demand delivery platform that aggregates transportation carriers. Think of it as cloud computing for the logistics industry… → Read More
[FRANCE] Another startup pitching on their home turf is Storific, which is all about getting companies and customers talking to each other using the de facto social media avenues we know as Twitter and Facebook.
It’s your classic ‘opt-in for great rewards’ model that drives the plethora of email newsletter services which most companies still rely on as their mainstay of direct communication with… → Read More
Each auction starts with a top price which begins to fall until either the reserve price is reached or all units of the product are passed. Like a shopping channel TV show, live sales begin at a… → Read More
[IRELAND] CloudSplit, a real-time analytics tool working towards private beta, helps businesses understand where their cloud computing costs are going and hopefully saves them from the shock of a massive bill when the PUT and GET requests come thick and fast. This is pretty exciting stuff, when you consider that Amazon itself doesn’t have a solution like this for its own customers.
You may… → Read More
[RUSSIA] Here’s something that ought to get personal productivity geeks a little bit hot under the collar. Task.ly, not yet launched, approaches to-do management with the same re-engineering focus that Google Wave’s creators took to email.
The prototyped product looks very exciting. It incorporates some fairly obvious features that make a task management app kick butt, like having a desktop-like… → Read More
[FRANCE] French startup Tigerlily offers a white label Facebook Page management system that makes community management a heck of a lot easier than Facebook intended.
In essence, the tool set encompasses flexible contest and quiz widgets to customize a Facebook Page, and is targeted at media groups, large brands and their agencies and marketers. The FPMS uses ‘Share’ buttons on the individual… → Read More
[FRANCE/US] Stribe is a plug and play service to instantly create a social network on any website — not unlike competitors Ning, socialthing and meebo. It was founded in March 2008 by Kamel Zeroual, Gaël Delalleau and Demba Diallo, who launched Stribe at TechCrunch50 in September this year.
[UK] With the mass of social networking sites and tools out there comes the dire need for aggregators to unite the threads and bring order to the chaos.
One of the latest such offerings is FriendBinder, an aggregator launched in beta in September that combines all your friends activity across multiple social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Digg, Delicious, YouTube, Last.fm and… → Read More
[UK] As the saying goes, there are no original ideas – only original people. It’s this concept that drives the latest music-related startup to come out of London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout‘, that concentration of tech startups around the Old Street area.
[Belgium] Earlier this week, 3D gesture recognition software developer Softkinetic and VUB university spin-off company Optrima, inventor of patented 3D sensing technology announced a joint venture offering what they say is the most complete 3D depth-sensing imaging and gesture recognition interface solution on the market. It’s available now, and is being offered to OEMs as an all-in-one… → Read More
FOWA’s known for being a launching platform for startups. The joy of being surrounded by 600-odd web people though is that there are bound to be a few other startups in the house apart from the ones that make it to the stage. One that caught my eye yesterday is RunAlong.se, which as the domain suggests is a Swedish venture, founded by former user interaction designer Heidi Harman. Currently… → Read More
Looking at the Twitter stream of Day 2 at FOWA 2009, it’s clear that Canonical’s Simon Wardley hit all the right buttons with his levelheaded and wryly humourous take on the ongoing evolution of cloud computing, and what it means for the future of innovation in the tech space. He gave a tip of the hat to Ubuntu’s Enterprise Cloud, which supports the emerging EC2 standard, and… → Read More
Today, 0870, a fantastic free iPhone app from freelance mobile developer Simon Maddox is at last available in the UK App Store, after a whopping 429 days in the approval process. And it appears that O2 was largely to blame for the hold up. → Read More
Channel 4′s 4iP fund has acquired a minority equity stake in former Seedcamp winner, MyBuilder.com for £350,000. As part of the deal, MyBuilder.com’s services will be integrated into Channel 4′s 4Homes website, with the company getting a proportion of CPA revenue generated through the site. The deal is significantly 4iP’s first investment into a later stage company with a… → Read More
Listen up, music lovers. Mixcloud, the on-demand radio startup that’s re-thinking radio for the digital age, opens its doors to the public at noon on Monday. The site launched in private beta at SXSW earlier this year, and has had some positive reviews. Which is probably why it was shortlisted for a TechCrunch Europas award a few months back. After the jump, we’ve got 500 passes for… → Read More
Okay, so I know events are not news, but this is one worth talking about. On 19-20 September, PayPal is hosting a Charity Hack Weekend, where the goal is for developers to build new ways to take donations across social media, mobile and web platforms. The idea is to help charities that don’t have the resources or know-how to make better use of technology to promote their cause, with the… → Read More
If we assume that the secret to successful tech startups is an elegant solution to a common problem, easily monetized and marketed to a receptive audience, then Young Rewired State probably saw the birth of five or more successful startups of the future, hacked together by a group of very motivated teenagers over 24 hours. The hack day, organised by Rewired State, was held at Google’s London… → Read More
Flirtomatic, the freemium mobile and online flirting service from UK startup Handmade Mobile Ltd, has launched in Australia through ninemsn, one of the most popular websites in that country. The agreement will see Flirtomatic initially launched with major carriers using existing ninemsn content relationships. Ninemsn’s digital sales team, the largest in Australia, will handle all advertising… → Read More
Forget Spotify – here comes another attempt to make money out of digital music borrowed directly from the shareware world. Nokia’s Ovi Store has hooked up with mobile music discovery app Shazam to offer a try-before-you-buy version for its handsets running Symbian OS, S60 5.0 and Symbian OS S60 3.1 and 3.2. These include the new N97, the 5800 XpressMusic, the E71 and the N95 range. A… → Read More
Vodafone UK is offering €150,000 to the top three mobile internet startups in its annual Vodafone Mobile Clicks competition to promote and accelerate innovation in the mobile internet sector. There are six finalists from the UK and the Netherlands in the running, all of which have of course been covered by TechCrunch Europe at various times in the past. In the red corner, representing… → Read More
Every now and again, you come across a service that promises to disrupt and change the entrepreneurial landscape for good. Buildabrand (@buildabrand) could do just that. The service provides high quality “strategically correct” branding for your startup for about the same price as domain registration, effectively bypassing what is a traditionally expensive and time-consuming process. → Read More
Tweetminster has raised £100k from angel investor John Arnold. The news comes just a few weeks after it launched its Livewire, a tracker that aggregates online political activity in the UK, in partnership with The Independent newspaper. Arnold, MD of public affairs agency PoliticsDirect, will join Tweetminster as chairman. Alberto Nardelli, a co-founder of Tweetminster, says the company plans to… → Read More
GQ.com will be joining the likes of The Guardian and NME in using we7‘s streaming service on its site as of next week. The service will be styled as a jukebox stocked with playlists compiled by GQ’s editorial team. As per we7′s model, GQ online readers will be able to listen for free and buy any tracks they like via the integrated download feature. → Read More
6:16 PM: The hordes descend! Champagne is flowing, the live stream is streaming, anticipation is high. 6:35 PM: Our roving reporter Mike Butcher has been Twitpiccing: 6:47 PM: Starting in one minute…. 6:50 PM: So, here we go! We’re starting with a pitch competition featuring six startups from across Europe. Pitch sponsored by UKTI. First pitch: Bernhard Niesner from busuu.com –… → Read More
Local reviews startup TrustedPlaces has partnered with Northcliffe Media to power the regional newspaper publisher’s experimental hyperlocal web strategy. News of the deal comes six months after its founders stepped back from speculative sales talks to focus on building revenue and cash flow. LocalPeople beta-launched 20 community sites targeted at small towns and neighbourhoods across… → Read More
Following the success of AudioBoo, 4iP has unveiled another investment with the potential to completely change the face of mainstream media – though this time, it’s all about print. Newspaper Club is a tool to help people make their own newspapers using online content. The site’s in private beta, with a public launch planned for late summer. Newspaper Club will let users tag… → Read More
If Ariadne Capital is backing virtual worlds, you’ve got to know they’re a safe bet for the future. The well known broker of investment deals has announced it’s adding two UK virtual world companies to its portfolio – NearGlobal and RealLife. Ariadne has in the past advised Skype, Espotting, voice-to-content leader Spinvox, P2P lending and borrowing startup Zopa, and mobile… → Read More
The BBC is getting into truly real-time interactive web apps with a new open source framework called Hemlock, developed by London-based Mint Digital, and available as of today. The Beeb’s Children’s Department has licensed the technology to develop a peer-to-peer card trading game based on its hugely popular mixed reality show BAMZOOKi, which is sort of like Robot Wars meets… → Read More
Wonga.com, the startup that has started to change the face of short-term lending in the UK, has closed a $22.25m round of funding led by Accel Partners and Greylock Partners, with the support of its existing investor, Balderton Capital. Founded by Errol Damelin and Jonty Hurwitz, Wonga provides cash advances to UK consumers, helping solve occasional cash flow problems. It’s provided nearly… → Read More