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22seven acquired by Old Mutual

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CEO and founder of 22seven, Christo Davel, says even though 22seven has sold, it hasn't sold out.
CEO and founder of 22seven, Christo Davel, says even though 22seven has sold, it hasn't sold out.

Local personal financial management start-up, 22seven has been acquired by long-term savings, protection and investment group, Old Mutual.

22seven says business will continue as usual for the service and its current team will remain the foundation of a group "that will expand over time" and will remain based in Cape Town.

22seven was officially launched in January 2012, and caused a stir in the local banking sector. The service links to users' online banking accounts and draws the information into a single "smart statement", with detailed categorisation of spending, and mechanisms to assist in meeting savings goals.

Created by former 20twenty CEO, Christo Davel, 22seven uses a combination of gamification and behavioural science to assist users to gain a holistic picture of their financial situation and improve their ability to manage it. The platform came out of beta testing in May 2012, and became a R70 per month subscription service.

Davel says 22seven is very excited about the acquisition for two reasons: "They both pertain to the big, bold ambitions we've always had for 22seven. One is that they don't change at all. Old Mutual shares them and is completely behind them. We would never have sold if they weren't.

"Reason number two is that the deal gives us fuel for our rocket. With Old Mutual's support, we can go much further, much faster. And that's a huge deal."

Davel also assures 22seven users that although the start-up has sold, "we haven't sold out". "We didn't compromise to make it happen. We will still be objective. We will not suddenly start spamming you or trying to sell you anything."

Old Mutual's strategic marketing director, Carlton Hood, says: "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."

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