Summary: Investment firm World of Avatar buys MXit. World of Avatar CEO Alan Knott-Craig Junior to take over as CEO of MXit from founder Herman Heunis.
World of Avatar has signed a binding agreement to acquire 90% of Stellenbosch based MXit for an undisclosed amount with 10% remaining in the hands of its staff via a trust, which was set up by founder, Herman Heunis in 2005. The sale is subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.
According to local website Memeburn the funding was raised from private investors and estimates the value of the deal at around R500-million.
“With over 43 million registered user accounts in over 120 countries, MXit is Africa’s largest mobile social network,” MXit said in a press statement.
Both current shareholders, MIH Holdings (a subsidiary of Naspers) and Herman Heunis have sold their entire shareholding in MXit.
At the conclusion of the sale, MXit will be headed by Alan Knott Craig Junior, the founder of World of Avatar and former iBurst MD.
Herman Heunis, MXit’s founder and CEO, will no longer be involved in the company and will take a six-month sabbatical before deciding on his plans for the future.
“Creating and building MXit has been an enormously interesting journey for me, and I have had a lot of fun, but it is time to inject new and young energy into the company, and I believe that Alan and his team will do a superb job,” said Herman Heunis.
Knott-Craig said, “In the short-term, we want MXit to maintain and grow its position as the largest mobile social network in Africa. This means a focus on consolidating and strengthening the core of the business before we move to implement the long- term strategy.”