SA marketing app MiBRAND acquired by UTH

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South African startup MiBRAND, which this year launched an app that connects businesses and consumers, has been acquired by local premium technology group Universal Technology Holdings (UTH).

UTH has acquired a 51 per cent stake in the Johannesburg-based MiBRAND, which launched in July and is designed to act as a reciprocal connection between business and consumer. When a consumer follows a store, and that store posts a new special or update, the user receives a push notification.

The acquisition sees UTH provide MiBRAND – which was founded by 21-year-old Salvatore Barras and 19-year-old Kyri Ioulianou – with further funding to develop new products and enter new markets.

“Using our investment and new found resources we will be focused on increasing our global footprint, starting with the launch of our mobile development branch in Asia,” Barras said.

“We want to create a household name in South African software development. 2017 will be a big year for us as we focus on bringing powerful tools to market designed to challenge and disrupt the status quo.”

MiBRAND will also be announcing a new product designed to revolutionise e-commerce on a global scale, while also launching with one of South Africa’s biggest shopping mall groups early next year.

Development of the app began in January of this year, before an official launch in July. Since then it has been downloaded over 2,500 times. It raised a ZAR1 million (US$73,000) angel round in March.

Barras told Disrupt Africa MiBRAND was proud of the uptake it had achieved.

“We were humbled by the amount of support we have received from our community and the media. It has allowed us to build great relationships as well as got us in with the South African household names,” he said.

“We want to provide life changing products to consumers as well as powerful solutions for businesses. We believe too many tech entrepreneurs are building solutions that are replicated from the American model. We are in Africa and there are a different set of problems compared to the US – we want to provide those solutions.”

MiBRAND charges stores to list and post, and with the new shopping mall deal has reach a break-even point.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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