Why did 22seven founder leave Old Mutual? [Exclusive]


News broke earlier this week that 22seven would finally be absorbed into Old Mutual, following the app’s acquisition in 2013.

It was also confirmed that co-founders Christo Davel and Kenny Inngs would be leaving the business as a result.

Now, Davel has explained the reason for his departure in an interview with Ventureburn.

“It was just a differing of long-term strategies, mostly…” Davel explained in a telephonic interview, confirming that it was a mutual agreement. “Oh yes, it was a very amicable agreement between us and Old Mutual.”

Davel confirmed that 22seven was looking for buyers last year, elaborating on the process.

22seven co-founder Christo Davel has spoken out following his departure from the business

“We were engaged with a couple of potential buyers, but none of the… deals came to fruition between the buyers and Old Mutual… And subsequently… Old Mutual decided to not sell their stake in 22seven. And that’s when me and my team decided that the best thing for us will be to step out and carry on with our strategy elsewhere.”

At the time of the deal in 2013, the two companies said that expansion plans were afoot. In fact, Old Mutual’s Carlton Hood said that the UK was the first target for expansion. So what became of those plans, then?

“We still have that ambition. We still think our future strategy (is to) expand outside South Africa. And Old Mutual doesn’t,” Davel answered. Does that mean that we could see a 22seven rival?

“We have a very clear and fair arrangement with Old Mutual. We won’t compete exactly with 22seven as it is today. We definitely are… formulating some plans which we think will be exciting and will address the needs of the consumer. There are just so many opportunities out there at the moment with how technology is evolving.”

Hadlee Simons


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