Ethos Supports Clickatell's Mobile Messaging Expansion Plans
Clickatell is set for major expansion in Africa and the Middle East.
The expansion will see Clickatell offering a range of value-added services including mobile messaging, mobile marketing and mobile banking enablement for several major banks, retailers and service providers across the region.
Clickatell continues to focus on enabling large and small enterprises to reach and transact with their customers via the now nearly ubiquitous mobile phone platform.
The increasing demand for banking and money transfer services as a result of the emergence of a middle-class and the opportunity to provide safer, more convenient payment options in emerging markets is driving this strategic growth area.
Already Clickatell is one of the largest independent providers of enterprise-to-consumer mobile messaging in the region having relations with the major banks, insurance companies and telecommunications carriers. Clickatell's messaging solutions enable financial institutions to acquire new customers through mobile applications which allow them to transfer money or make payments via their mobile phone.
Private equity firm Ethos, being Clickatell's largest institutional investor, has been instrumental in supporting Clickatell's expansion plans in Africa and abroad.
Commenting on this, Ethos partner Stuart MacKenzie says: "We are committed to working closely with the management of our investee companies to support them with their strategic and growth ambitions. We have supported Clickatell in their strategic, marketing and business development activities including introductions to large South African and African corporates. Clickatell is a remarkable home grown success story with a pioneering offering."
Established in Cape Town in 2000, Clickatell created the world's first global SMS messaging network. Revenue has grown ten times resulting in a 60% annual growth rate over five years.
Ethos has also helped Clickatell realise its strategic vision through enabling a top US venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital, to co-invest for growth and expansion. US venture capital funding is necessary for Clickatell's international expansion so it can roll out its pioneering services globally.
The funding and support by Sequoia is a major achievement because US venture capital funds are often prohibited by their mandates from investing in companies not incorporated in the US and Ethos was able to set up an innovative solution and motivate the benefits to South African regulators. The involvement of Sequoia is significant because of its leading track record of support for the US technology sector, including Apple, Oracle, Cisco, Yahoo!, Google and many more.
Stuart MacKenzie adds: "We are delighted to have helped Clickatell secure much needed funding and support for their internationalisation strategy. We hope the involvement of a firm of Sequoia's standing highlights South Africa's ability to build exciting technology companies and thus attract more venture capital funding and support to the sector."