Founder Collective, a venture capital firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and co-founded by David Frankel, one of South Africa’s tech leaders has acquired 100 percent of South Africa’s Hellopeter.com, a top consumer advocacy and corporate reputation management website.
Founder Collective was joined by a consortium of South African and global entrepreneurs, all with a highly proven track record in the global marketing and online arena. Founder Collective has made early investments in over 150 startups including consumer marketplaces like Coupang, South Korea’s largest ecommerce company and Uber, the revolutionary ridesharing service.
Since its launch in 2000, Hellopeter.com has grown into one of the leading websites in South Africa and has become one of the largest customer service platforms in the world.
“We are thrilled to be backing Alon who brings a proven track record of building businesses that put the customer ahead of everything else,” says Frankel. “This felt like a very good fit for Hellopeter.com. We have great respect for what has been achieved to date and know that Alon and team can take the company to a new level.”
Alon Rom, former shareholder and Director of Mr Delivery, the South African multiple restaurant delivery service, co-founder of Mr Delivery Express, the non food logistics arm of Mr Delivery, and shareholder of takealot.com, has been appointed as the new Hellopeter.com CEO from 1 December 2014, replacing founder, Peter Cheales, who announced his exit from the business. Supporting Rom will be the current Hellopeter.com team, which remains in place.
According to Rom, the presence of Founder Collective in the new shareholder base will provide immense benefits to the Hellopeter.com ecosystem. “Not only do they have a proven track record in technology investments worldwide, but they offer the ability for Hellopeter.com to leverage off the Founder Collective community.”
Rom says that the Hellopeter.com platform and brand will live on under the new ownership structure and encourages South Africans to continue using the service as per usual.
He explains however, that the platform will evolve, by combining the authenticity of its core offerings and values, with the launch of exciting new products and services that will significantly benefit both consumers and corporates.
Rom says Hellopeter.com will also launch a more user friendly web and mobi site under a refreshed corporate identity that will integrate all social media content, and will, in time, launch an application that will allow live interaction between consumers and corporates. Full-service Marketing Agency, Mustard Marketing, has been awarded the full marketing account and will manage the launch, roll-out and maintenance of all these platforms.
“Being part of a consumer-centric organisation has made me realise the extreme importance of customer service in today’s fast paced world. Understanding customer needs is a fundamental pillar to success.
“I am therefore excited to be involved in a business that can provide independent, valuable, and credible information to help corporates understand their customers and the needs of their organisation, and at the same time provide consumers a voice to far reaching audiences and connect them to great businesses.
“We have an extremely strong board and shareholder base in place who have some exciting future innovations to be introduced in due course. But for now, it’s business as usual for South African consumers and corporates,” concludes Rom.