South African online spend expected to reach R53bn by 2018

Updated on 22 February 2017

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Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (22 February)

South African online spend expected to reach R53bn by 2018
PayPal’s third Annual Global Report on Cross-border Trade, in partnership with Ipsos, is predicting that South African online spend will grow to over R53 billion by 2018, with cross-border shopping continuing to rise.

In 2016, 43% of adults in South Africa shopped cross-border, with the US as the most popular cross-border online shopping destination, followed by China and UK.

The global insights research, which investigated the online domestic and cross-border shopping habits of more than 28,000 consumers in 32 countries, including South Africa, reveals new opportunities for merchants to expand their international sales.

Online shopping has been slow to take off in South Africa but in recent years has picked up steam. The research indicated that 58% of online adults in South Africa shopped online over the past 12 months, amounting to an estimated total spend of R37.1 billion.

The increase in online spending is also forecasted to continue; with over half of online adults interviewed (53%) saying they will increase their online spending in the next 12 months.

As reasons for the expected increase, they gave convenience of shopping online (cited by 84% of those predicting an increase), planning to save more money (38%) and change in disposable income (36%).

When it comes to buying products online, the most popular online categories for South African consumers were downloadable digital entertainment and education items (purchased by 53% of online shoppers in the past 12 months), event tickets (47%), and clothing, apparel, or footwear (45%).

OUTLIERZ, a new seed investment fund dedicated to startups in Africa launches in Morocco
A new Morocco-based seed investment fund, dedicated to providing smart capital to African startups, launches. The initiative is led by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, and backed by some of the world’s most famous US and African serial entrepreneurs and angel investors.

After three years of hard work connecting entrepreneurs and building a startup community in Morocco on the ground, a team of entrepreneurs has launched this new seed investment firm called OUTLIERZ.

“We started from a simple yet striking conclusion: too many startups fail at the pre-seed and seed stages because of a lack of appropriate resources. We intend to change that by providing smart capital to the continent’s most promising companies. The target outcome will be a stronger pool of high potential startups that are ready for subsequent investment and, in the end, lead to success stories that are uniquely African,” shares Kenza Lahlou, the firm’s founder and Managing Director.

The fund is backed by some of the world’s most respected angel investors and venture capitalists. They include Michael Seibel, CEO of YCombinator and Hassan Haider, Partner MENA at 500startups, as well as some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs from the the Moroccan and African diaspora such as Hicham Oudghiri, co-founder of, a successful big data company based in New York.

The firm invests time and money at pre-seed and seed stage, with the ticket size ranging between $50k and $200k. More than just money, Outlierz also provides entrepreneurs with smart capital through its unique network, mindset and advice.

Outlierz considers pre-seed stage startups with an MVP or a prototype who demonstrate they can execute. Seed stage startups who are expanding and raising their next round of funding, whether it’s a seed or Series A round, are also eligible candidates. Before investing money, Outlierz runs a qualification phase to work closely with entrepreneurs, provide them with advice and validate their ability to execute.

Applications are open for startups based anywhere in Africa. Startups dedicated to Africa based anywhere in the world are also encouraged to apply.

Significant growth in money transfers to Tanzania
A new record number of unique transactions were recorded in December 2016 in digital money transfers in Tanzania, according to WorldRemit. This is a 150% year on year growth, driven by the rapid expansion of mobile money accounts.

As a result, digital money transfer service WorldRemit is consolidating its rapid expansion into Tanzania, supporting the growing demand for instant remittances to the country from over 4 million expatriates living abroad.

Remittances play an important role in the economy of Tanzania – in 2015 the country received a total of $390 million according to the WorldBank, almost 10 times the amount received in 2010.

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