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Top ICT award for Gadget founder

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Gadget founder Arthur Goldstuck has been named recipient of the Distinguished Service in ICT Award 2013 by the ICT industry’s professional body.

Gadget founder and editor-in-chief Arthur Goldstuck has been named recipient of the Distinguished Service in ICT Award 2013 by the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) and the award sponsor, EngineerIT.

The IITPSA, the professional body of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, in conjunction with EngineerIT, determine a worthy candidate for this award for ‘distinguished service’ to the IITPSA and/or the IT Industry based on the following criteria:

The Award criteria are:

* The recipient ideally should have been a member of the professional body of the IITPSA for 10 years;

* Has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the objectives of the IITPSA and the ICT sector.

* Has been a role model and mentor showing dedication to the advancement of
the ICT industry in SA.

* Is recognised as having made an exceptional, career-length contribution to
the ICT industry.

The person who receives the award is also bestowed with the grade and title of Fellow (or Honorary Fellow) of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa, if he/she is not a Fellow already. The ‘worthiness and acceptability’ of the nominee for this award is assessed by the Committee of Past Presidents of the IITPSA where a majority must support the nomination and recommend it to the IITPSA Executive Council. Here, in turn, the nomination must also receive the support and approval of the majority of the Executive Council.

The Citation for Goldstuck’s award, presented at the IITPSA President’s Awards Breakfast last week, reads:

“It is our custom not to mention the name of the Award Recipient until the end of the citation, but we will be very surprised if everyone in this room, including the recipient (who doesn’t yet know that he is getting the award), doesn’t work out who is being referred to after the first few sentences that follow.

“This person is a well-known South African journalist, media analyst and commentator on information and communications technology, internet and mobile communications and technologies.

“He is a former investigative journalist and news editor at the Mail & Guardian, one-time South African correspondent for Billboard, contributor to numerous magazines and newspapers on tech and popular culture. He has written 18 books, including 7 on Internet- and mobile-related topics, 6 on urban legends and 3 humour books. Most have been best-sellers in South Africa, with “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Internet: A South African Handbook” the biggest selling IT book ever in this country.

“He is the Editor-in-Chief of Gadget Magazine which is South Africa’s oldest online technology magazine, launched in 1998. In June 2011 it became a content partner of the MSN portal, replicating its content on the Tech & Gadgets section of the MSN.co.za portal.

“This person is the founder (in 2000) and Managing Director of World Wide Worx, a leading independent technology market research organisation. World Wide Worx researches Internet access, mobile consumers, mobile Internet, mobile payments, online banking, online media, social media, cloud computing and trends shaping business and consumer use of technology in Africa. It has established itself as one of the leading independent technology research organisations on the continent.

“He was a pioneer in the South African market in the use of the internet as a tool for productivity. He developed the first South African benchmarks for website strategy, and has represented South Africa as a judge for events ranging from the International Advertising Festival in Cannes to the Global Mobile Awards at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. World Wide Worx research is used by international, regional and local organisations, corporations and universities. He also provides regular newspaper columns on IT-related topics, and has been interviewed on SA radio stations many times, making technology interesting and accessible to the general public.

“He is both a true stalwart and a justifiably well-known personality of the South African ICT Industry and is fully deserving of the 2013 award for Distinguished Service in ICT, having made a genuine career-length contribution to the community and the world of ICT.

“The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa and EngineerIT are thus delighted to present both an Honorary Fellowship of the Institute and the 2013 Distinguished Service in ICT Award to Arthur Goldstuck.”

The IITPSA President’s Awards Breakfast, hosted by ITWeb, also saw the following awards presented:

Sal Laher, CIO of Eskom, was named the 2013 Visionary CIO of the Year winner.

Mteto Nyati, Microsoft SA MD, and Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering, were the co-winners of 2013 IT Personality of the Year Award.

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Naspers feeds into Latin America’s tech funding

Movile will get $400m funding from the SA-based technology investment giant for iFood expansion.

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Movile is to receive US$500-million in funding for iFood in the largest tech funding in Latin America to date. Naspers and Innova Capital have committed to invest $400m of new capital into Movile to use for further investment in iFood, the leading online food delivery platform in Latin America, of which Movile is a majority shareholder.  

Movile and Just Eat have already invested $100m in iFood during 2018. iFood’s extraordinary growth and the vast market opportunity in Brazil and more broadly in Latin America has driven the increased investment commitment. 

iFood’s monthly orders in Brazil have fed more than 9 million customers in the past twelve months, 16 times the nearest online competitor, in terms of daily active users. This means its partner restaurants are serving the biggest population of consumers ordering food in Latin America. iFood has 50 000 restaurant partners and uses 120 000 couriers. 

The increased investment commitment from Naspers, Innova and Movile is expected to accelerate growth, speed up product development and innovation, and fuel geographical expansion for iFood across the region. The company’s vision is to gain deeper knowledge of consumers through artificial intelligence technology, to personalise the food delivery experience – and at a reduced price, because of improved logistics. 

“Movile is very fortunate to have long-term investors who have supported us for the past decade to help achieve our goal of transforming the lives of more than one billion people and thus we are able to continually back iFood to ensure it remains the market leader,” said Fabricio Bloisi, Movile CEO. 

“Our entire ecosystem of companies is focused on allocating resources and energy towards our one billion people goal. iFood is leading the way, fueling unprecedented growth through its innovative technology platform, providing consumers, couriers and restaurants with the best experience in food ordering and delivery.”  

Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures, said: “iFood has established itself as a technology leader in Latin America and its success stacks up with some of the most innovative food companies that are leading regions in North America, Europe and Asia.  We have been impressed by their execution in Brazil and remain committed to backing the company on its path to transform the entire food chain to better serve consumers.” 

Online food delivery is experiencing massive expansion globally. According to latest reported results, Grubhub grew daily average orders 39% year-on-year, reaching over 416 000 orders per day. In Latin America, iFood has reached 390 000 orders per day just in Brazil in the last week of October, compared with 183 000 in October 2017, representing 109% growth.

iFood CEO Carlos Moyses said: “We want our consumers to have an amazing delivery experience from the moment they order their food to the moment it arrives. Our partners – the restaurants and delivery fleet – make that happen by living our purpose of improving people’s lives using our services.

“iFood exists for our customers and, with an increased investment commitment of this size, we will be able to build out our state of the art technology platform, and increase our courier and restaurant partners to even better serve our current and future customers in Latin America.”

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SEACOM buys fibre provider

The pan-African telecommunications service provider, and undersea cable owner SEACOM has bought 100% of FibreCo Telecommunications.

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FibreCo owns and operates a national open access dark fibre network, providing infrastructure, connectivity and services across South Africa. The acquisition is subject to approval by the South African Competition Commission.

SEACOM says this acquisition represents another major milestone towards achieving its vision to expand its African footprint through the consolidation of fibre assets.  SEACOM believes this is necessary for the evolution of the market, particularly as 5G arrives with its requirement for pervasive fibre networks.

SEACOM connects South Africa to the east coast of Africa, India and Europe and FibreCo connects over 60 points of presence across South Africa, including major data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London.  FibreCo’s network also connects the SEACOM subsea cable system, which lands in Mtunzini on the east coast of South Africa), to the WACS cable that lands at Yzerfontein on the west coast. This enables fully redundant high-speed ring protection “for diversity around the African continent”.

According to a SEACOM statement, “The FibreCo acquisition significantly strengthens SEACOM’s operations in South Africa by creating a platform for the expansion of its business services. It enables the delivery of high-speed Internet connectivity and cloud products into smaller cities and towns across the country, which have typically been under-serviced.”

FibreCo’s current shareholders say that they have met the original intent behind starting the business in 2009, namely “to successfully transform South Africa’s long-haul bandwidth transmission landscape”.

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