Cape Town-based start-up Magnetic wants to be the all-in-one solution for small and medium business management in South Africa, turning the not-so-glamourous management of company processes into an online platform accessible from anywhere and on any mobile platform.
In 2012, Magnetic co-founder Daniel Marcus, 32, was looking for business management software for one of his other companies, Living Your Brand, but did not have much success with any of the services offered online.
“I tried a whole range of systems, from Basecamp to Salesforce, but my team never got too excited about them.”
He claims those online services are not particularly intuitive to use.
At the same time, he heard that an old school friend, Korak Kuhnert, now also 32, was developing a product he could use.
Although still in early beta development, Kuhnert assured Marcus that it could be customised completely to suit his needs.
“I decided to take a chance on it. The team also enjoyed using it and I quickly saw a change in the business,” says Marcus.
Later that year, Marcus and another of his friends, Jan Pickard, joined Kuhnert as business partners to take Magnetic to market.
Things picked up quickly, and Marcus says that in February last year, Pickard left his “high paying” corporate job at PayU, an e-commerce gateway platform, to join Magnetic full time.
“Pickard was brought on board to focus on the development of Magnetic and to make it more intuitive to use,” says Marcus.
The company served a few small clients in 2013, but it was not until earlier this year when things really started picking up for the trio.
Marcus joined the company full time to focus on sales and today the company has 55 paying clients and over 600 users.
The business was self funded initially, but raised funding in February with the help of Tim Bishop, founder of Prezence SA and now director at Deloitte Digital.
Magnetic has grown quickly since then and now has salesmen in Johannesburg and Cape Town, along with additional developers.
“We are technically a start-up, but we don’t see ourselves as a start-up,” says Marcus. “It’s a very competitive market we are playing in, but we saw a gap in the market for a platform that handles multiple systems, not just one vertical, so Magnetic handles sales, customer relationship management, project workflow, accounts and human resources on one platform.”
The founders believes Magnetic’s pricing model is a key to its success. The company charges a flat rate of R228 a month per user, and this includes all of the modules. Its mobile app is available for iOS and Android.
Magnetic wants to establishitself in South Africa, but is also building a partner network in Kenya and plans to reach Australia and the UK in the next 12 months. — © 2014 NewsMedia Central