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Two months since his Johannesburg startup Touchsides was acquired by a European company, the startup’s co-founder Gary Kaplan remains mum on the name of the firm that bought a majority stake in his company.
Speaking to Ventureburn yesterday, Kaplan — who founded the consumer insights and brand management platform in 2013 with former Blue Label Telecoms colleague David Fraser — said the acquisition, which was concluded in January, was “quite sensitive” and that he therefore could not divulge the details around the deal.
Kaplan however did say that he and co-founder David Fraser would be staying on and retaining a minority stake in the company.
He said the European company had bought out the remaining shareholders, including investors Paper Plane Ventures, which last year invested an undisclosed amount in the startup.
Touchsides co-founder Gary Kaplan said the acquisition, which was concluded in January, was ‘quite sensitive’ and that he therefore could not divulge the details around the deal
Responding to a question from Ventureburn on how the deal had materialised, he said the European company had been the one that approached Touchsides.
Paper Plane Ventures founder Stuart van der Veen revealed to Ventureburn this week that Touchsides was acquired in January by a European based global fast moving consumer goods company (see this story).
Touchsides uses in-store touchpoints at point-of-sale points and via mobile phones to collect data on consumer behaviour for retailers and brand marketers.
Kaplan said the startup’s main clients are in the liquor industry — mainly bars and taverns. He said the company has been focusing on outlets that don’t have a point-of-sale system to register them on their rewards programme, which can then be used to gather data and insights in client behaviour.
He said the European company intends to use Touchpoint’s technology both globally and in Europe.
The startup currently has 60 employees, said Kaplan, adding that the plan is to grow this to 100 by the end of the year.
Kaplan is a former co-founder of JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms, where he worked with Fraser, who was the company’s former Group CTO.
The startup, he admitted had been “keeping a low profile” and the idea now is to “raise our heads”, he added.
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