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CRM specialist HubSpot enters SA to rejuvenate VC investment

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 24 Apr 2024
Eoin McGuinness, head of startups and emerging markets at HubSpot.
Eoin McGuinness, head of startups and emerging markets at HubSpot.

CRM software provider HubSpot has announced entry into the South African market to grow its customer and partner network in Africa, as well as help to attract wary investors to the continent.

HubSpot is a multi-services platform that offers businesses software solutions or "hubs" to help them with various disciplines, including CRM, data and reporting, sales, inbound marketing, and lead generation.

The company already has ten partners in South Africa, including Spitfire Inbound and ML Agency in Johannesburg and Huble in Cape Town.

Eoin McGuinness, head of startups and emerging markets at HubSpot, said the company views South Africa as a key market and gateway into other countries on the continent. It plans to expand into Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana, among others.

He said that HubSpot technology can help companies scale. He added that the technology is designed to bring different technology tools and resources together in the HubSpot system, based on a company's own needs. "We have a hub called the operations hub and the idea behind this is to build a connected system.”

HubSpot’s customer growth strategy for South Africa will be based on three core metrics, McGuinness said. These are the number of qualified leads, the acquisition of customers using the technology free of charge for a specific period, and the net new number of customers.

He said that Africa is rich with opportunity - especially for start-up ventures that are willing to embrace technology.

With comparatively high growth rates, until recently, the continent's start-up scene was the darling of international investors. However, this interest has since waned. Factors for this include a global economic slowing and reduction of international investments, and more specifically in Africa, a lack of infrastructure, and difficult socio-economic and political conditions.

Fluctuation of exchange rates, including the devaluation of the South African Rand added to concerns.

McGuinness remained upbeat, however. He said, “For me, one of the things I want to help African founders with is getting them in front of the right people, not just in South Africa, but also outside of South Africa to help them grow – whether it be funding, expertise or whatever.”

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