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Sunday, Nov 19th

Startup 'Gust' wins SeedStarsWorld Cape Town leg

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South African mobile payment startup Gust has been selected as the winner of the Cape Town leg of the global SeedStarsWorld pitching competition.

Gust’s apps range from the likes of ‘Gust Pay’, ‘Gust Finder’ and ‘Gust PayPoint’ which are available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms.

The apps aim to make it easier for shops to allow customers to pay for goods or services using a smartphone device. Gust Pay, for example, is described on the Google Play store as an app that has “a quick and easy geo-fenced mobile payment experience. Pay with your name, two taps and a swipe.”

Gust is running a pilot of Gust Pay in just a few places in South Africa, such as the Western Cape town of Stellenbosch.

SeedStarsWorld is an exclusive worldwide competition, held in 20 countries through 2013 to discover the best startups in emerging markets and regions with vibrant startup communities. Each entrepreneur is given exactly six minutes to pitch their business idea in front of a jury made up of local and international judges including SeedStarsWorld co-founder Pierre-Alain Masson.

And Gust has impressed the SeedStarsWorld judges, who have awarded Gust a prize that includes travel to Switzerland to compete in the competition’s global finals and a cash prize of approximately 40,000 Euro.

The judges have also said that they were particularly impressed by the startup’s 'Event Intelligence' product, which uses NFC wristbands for event ticketing, access control and cashless payments.

'Event Intelligence', according to Gust’s co-founder Joe Botha, is designed for music events and outdoor markets with the company having already tested and used it at some music concerts in South Africa.

South Africa’s mobile payments landscape is dominated by the major banks: namely FNB with their Geo Pay and e service, ABSA with their CashSend service and Standard Bank with a mobile payment service only available to the bank’s account holders.

Botha concluded “Our in-shop payment product is still limited to Stellenbosch in South Africa, but our events and soon to be released vouchering system will be available nationally.”

Other winners from Africa for the SeedStarsWorld event include:

  • Accra, Ghana - Retail Tower
  • Kigali, Rwanda - FOYO
  • Lagos, Nigeria - SimplePay
  • Nairobi, Kenya - Jooist

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