Cape Town based 22seven has been wholly acquired by Old Mutual, a long-term savings, protection and investment group.
22 seven joins the Old Mutual with an already existing online service and impressive technology for Old Mutual’s digital strategy, while Old Mutual brings the power of an established global brand and customer base to 22seven’s ambitions.
22seven CEO, Christo Davel said,”We’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.”
22seven which will stay in their Cape Town office have the behavioural science, technology and play and make it more engaging for customers to make better financial decisions.
Old Mutual’s Strategic Marketing Director, Carlton Hood was also pleased about the acquisition.
He said, “We’re excited about the acquisition. 22seven brings energy, innovation and world-class capability to our global digital strategy, and has already helped so many people change the way they think about money. Old Mutual is serious about helping people realise their goals, a huge part of which is helping them to understand their financial decisions better. 22seven gets that, and does it brilliantly.”
Here is an interview with had with the founders earlier.
What is 22seven and why the name?
22seven helps people do more with their money by driving awareness. We use behavioral economics, play dynamics and smart technology to show people their own actions and activities surrounding money in new and interesting ways. The name comes from the numerical value of pi – which is 22 divided by seven. It’s an irrational number and people are irrational beings – that’s part of what we love about them. Pi is also the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and circles are very important to us.
When was it launched?
The service launched to a small group of test pilots in the last quarter of 2011 and was released to public beta shortly thereafter. We exited beta in May 2012 and have been open for business ever since.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
The business was founded by Christo Davel who many will remember for 20twenty – South Africa’s first online bank. Co-founders Chris Tisdall and Kenny Inggs were also on the team at 20twenty. All three of the company’s founders have a solid track-record in building businesses and financial systems for banks and other institutions. They were recently joined by Simon Dingle who heads up product design and strategy.
Any features and how does it work?
22seven collects information from your various bank, credit card and retail store accounts, bringing it all together and showing you a combined view of where your money has gone along with clever tools that use behavioral economics and just plain fun to enable you to do more.
What inspired you?
Customers. We believe that people should know more about where their money is really going and why. A new era in personal finance has dawned and people want to take control of their spending and not just passively consume. The team at 22seven passionately focuses on its customers and wants to create the best possible service for them.
What is your business model?
The service is made available via a subscription model. The first month is free, thereafter R70 per month.
Who is your target user-regions?
Everyone, everywhere! At the moment we support all major South African banks, credit cards and retail store accounts, but we’d love to take 22seven to the world, eventually.
Have you had any challenges?
Our biggest challenge was earning the trust of our customers. We know people take their money seriously and we had to show them that we are fiercely on their side, with no ulterior motives.
How better are you than the competition?
We don’t spend much time worrying about what other services are doing. We’re too busy worrying about our own customers and how best to meet their needs – they would be the best people to answer that question.
Any funding yet,if yes how much and by who?
We have been funded from day one, but are not at liberty to disclose numbers. The business was originally funded by Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa, the Hollard Group and a consortium of angel investors.
What’s coming next from your labs?
Apps, along with some seriously new ways of visualising your money beyond just daily transactions.
Any user stats or testimonies at the moment?
Testimonies from users are available on our website at 22seven.com.