Virgin, Smollan buy into Cape Town's wiGroup - TechCentral

Virgin, Smollan buy into Cape Town’s wiGroup

Bevan Ducasse

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and retail solutions provider Smollan have acquired a stake in Cape Town-based mobile loyalty software company wiGroup, joining Investec Asset Management and Crossfin Technology Holdings as co-shareholders.

The new investment will be used to fast-track wiGroup’s entry into new markets, both developed and developing. The value of the deal hasn’t been disclosed.

wiGroup CEO Bevan Ducasse said in a statement that the company will use the investment to expand more quickly in Europe, Australasia and emerging markets.

The investment from Virgin Group follows a deal with wiGroup on the creation of Virgin Money South Africa’s new peer-to-peer payment app, Virgin Money Spot, which was launched in January 2018 and allows customers to send money to friends in a secure and “social way”.

wiGroup was founded in 2007. It has expanded from its South African base and now has a presence in Namibia, Nigeria Mauritius, and Ghana. It has 75 000 integrated till points accepting mobile payments, loyalty and rewards transactions.

“Through our software as a service, we’ve delivered mobile transacting solutions to leading international hospitality and retail brands who are looking to enable their customers to engage and transact via their mobile phones in a simpler and more rewarding way,” it said in the statement.

Ducasse said the business recently established a presence in Amsterdam, London and Paris, and is looking to the Middle East and Australia as key growth markets over the short to medium term.

“We hope to leverage our new partners’ extensive global footprints and explore opportunities to create shared value between our businesses. In addition, our strategic focus on Africa — which will be home to one-fifth of the global consumer market by 2025 — remains in place, especially in light of the continent’s high penetration and usage of mobile.”

wiGroup’s key clients include retail, banking, quick service chains, insurance and telecommunications companies. — © 2018 NewsCentral Media

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