Virgin Group, Smollan Buys Stake in SA’s wiGroup

wiGroup CEO Bevan Ducasse
wiGroup CEO Bevan Ducasse

wiGroup CEO Bevan Ducasse

Mobile software firm wiGroup announced yesterday that it has secured investment from two leading global companies to fast-track its entry into emerging and developed markets.

The deal terms and stake amount remain undisclosed. This follows similar investment from Investec Asset Management in 2015.

According to wiGroup CEO Bevan Ducasse, the investment comes as the company is looking to accelerate its global expansion programme. Their presence in Europe and expansion into Australasia and emerging markets will be fast-tracked by leveraging both Virgin Group and Smollan’s extensive global networks post this funding.

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”.

Virgin, owned by billionaire Richard Branson, is an international investment group. It has grown successful businesses in a number of sectors including travel & leisure, music & entertainment, mobile & media, financial services and health & wellness.

wiGroup is a mobile based transaction platform in Africa with over 75 000 integrated till points accepting mobile payments, loyalty and rewards transactions. Through software as their service, they claim to have 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.

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

Smollan is an international retail solutions provider operating in five continents and over 450 000 retail stores worldwide. It was founded in 1931 as a South African-based sales agency. Today, Smollan employs over 60, 000 employees and associates in 24 markets across 5 continents. Last year they had bought stake in a consumer services based startup SweepSouth for an undisclosed amount in Cape Town.

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