Vodacom invests in social media

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Vodacom has invested in, a South African-based social media community Web site.

The cellular operator would not disclose the value of the deal, but says the transaction gives it a 40% shareholding in

The deal affirms Vodacom's change in direction by entering the multimedia market, says Vodacom Ventures MD Tlhabeli C Ralebitso. "The investment is an important move at just the right time for both parties," he says.

Vodacom is known for its mobile service offerings, and has 24.8 million subscribers in SA. The company also operates Vodacom ISP, through which it is strengthening its presence in the Internet space.

" has established itself as a key role-player in the online social media arena and has a growing community that will now be able to grow bigger, better and faster," says Ralebitso.

Vodacom puts great value in what has been achieved online so far, he says. "We look forward to combining mobile and Internet strengths to create an even more valuable destination for all users," he adds.

Symbiotic CEO Jason Elk says his company is pleased to have found the perfect partner. "At the beginning of this year, we realised we needed investment to roll out our strategy to its full potential. But from the start, we were quite specific about the partner we were looking for."

Funding was important, he notes. However, the company also wanted an investor that would add value to the overall user experience.

"With Vodacom at our side, we'll be able to bring many new features and opportunities to both their users and ours. This is exactly what we were looking for and we can't wait to make it happen."

Zoopy is privately owned by Full House Technologies.

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