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    January 31, 2013

    Official: Old Mutual acquires local finance startup 22seven

    There have been rumblings in our local community that Old Mutual have acquired local finance startup 22seven.

    BWB can now confirm that this is true, based on the below internal memo sent to Bandwidth Blog. 

    The acquisition comes as part of Old Mutual’s strategy to develop digital support for its customers that now wholly-owns the Cape Town based startup. 

    We previously video interviewed Christo Davel, the founder of 22seven about his new company.

    Davel has now officially commented on the acquisition saying, “œWe‘re fired up about where we can now take 22seven, and I don‘t just mean geographically. We‘ve always had big plans for our service, and what we think it‘s capable of doing. With Old Mutual‘s support, the evolution and enhancement will happen much faster.“

    Read the memo below:

    Hi (removed)

    I’m writing to tell you that 22seven has been bought by Old Mutual. The deal will be announced to the public today.

    I’m guessing that your reaction is one of either “awesome”, “who cares?” or “wtf?” Well, I can honestly say that my feeling about it is the first of those, and not for reasons some cynics may think.

    There are two reasons my team and I are so excited, and they both pertain to the big, bold ambitions we’ve always had for 22seven. One is that they don’t change at all. Old Mutual shares them and is completely behind them. We would never have sold if they weren’t. Reason number two is that the deal gives us fuel for our rocket. With Old Mutual’s support, we can go much further, much faster. And that’s a huge deal.

    If you’re in the “who cares” camp, I’m comfortable with that. It’s business as usual and nothing changes about our service, other than that we’ll be taking bigger leaps forward, sooner.

    If you have reservations about the deal, I want to reassure you that, although we’ve sold, we haven’t sold out. We didn’t compromise to make it happen. We will still be objective. We will not suddenly start spamming you or trying to sell you anything. We still want to help you do more with your money, whoever that money may be with.

    22seven is not just a business for us. We’ve been building it for almost four years. It is very personal, and very much a child to us: we want it to grow, to mature, to be all it can be, and, hopefully, to do some good. This deal will help make that all happen.

    If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me personally. If not, we hope you enjoy the ride with us for a very long time.

    Christo Davel
    Founder and CEO

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    • Ohidonot

      This aquisition serves as proof of the stupidity and ignorance of both companies.

      • Charl Norman

        Share your thoughts, why do you say that?

        • Ohidonot

          227 has a business model which, for SA, is DOA. Why? It is a service the majority of people do no want due to either cost, privacy or security concerns.

          OM is not only a publicly traded company, but also a financial services provider which include savings products which are affected by their overall financial performance. Therefore, poor financial decisions by OM impacts not only their shareholders, but also holders of certain financial products.

          I do apologise for using harsh words in my original post, but when obviously poor decisions are made affecting my financial health, it is upsetting.

          • Charl Norman

            Thanks for replying, very interesting take on things. Will be good to see how this plays out.

      • PaulC

        Jealousy making you nasty? Or just ignorance?

      • How so @b8991c06163e88f7f28af0e6ef94db2e:disqus ?

    • I don’t imagine there are very many PaulC, Siliconcapers around and seeing as I did voice a strong view point concerning the security of 22Seven when it first launched (http://ventureburn.com/2012/02/why-22seven-is-most-probably-but-not-necessarily-safe/ ) I would like the record to reflect that neither the comment by PaulC or Ohidonot is mine. I have never and will never comment anonymously on the Internet, I believe hiding behind anonymity it is one of the highest forms of cowardice.

      While I’m here, I think the OM/22Seven acquisition is excellent news, well done to all involved.