Mxit-Motribe deal details

 ·25 Sep 2012
Alan Knott-Craig Jnr

Mxit recently announced its acquisition of mobile community specialists, Motribe. The mobile social networking group is set to become the 100% owner of Motribe after buying out the current shareholders 4Di Capital, Nic Haralambous and Vincent Maher.

Mxit CEO, Alan Knott Craig said that the deal made sense for them as Mxit’s web team is similar in mind-set, tool chain and outlook to Motribe’s development team.

“The success of Motribe’s apps, JudgeMe and MxPx clearly demonstrated to both companies that there was a lot to be gained from a more formal partnership,” said Knott-Craig.

Key projects that Motribe will take the lead on include the integration of a single Mxit ID across platforms via the Mxit APIs and improving the analytic capability across all community interactions.

Questions have been raised about the exit for Motribe CEO Nic Haralambous from the company. Haralambous told BusinessTech that he is better suited to a startup environment than a job in a large company, meaning that it was the best decision for him to leave Motribe.

Haralambous said that he has no immediate plans, but is looking at starting a new business in the mobile space or joining a startup operating in the mobile market. Haralambous will also consult to larger companies and agencies on their online and mobile strategy.

Mxit and Motribe would not divulge financial details about the deal, only saying that it was a profitable exit for all parties.

The figure being bandied around by people close to the transaction is R6 million, but Mxit and Motribe would not confirm or deny this figure.

Rumors suggest that 4Di Capital, which initially invested R4 million in Motribe, was the main benefactor from the deal, with founders Haralambous and Vincent Maher also getting some cash out of the deal.

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