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Old Mutual buys 22seven

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
South Africa , 01 Feb 2013

Old Mutual buys 22seven

Long-term savings and investment firm Old Mutual has acquired South African online personal finance management tool 22seven, after similar such services launched in the country last year.

22seven caused controversy upon its January 2012 launch, as the service links to users' online banking accounts to display the data in a colourful and easy-to-understand way. Details of the data on display include users’ categorisation of spending, which can be used to help attain savings goals.

The startup, though, attempted to allay critics’ fears by saying that it uses account aggregation service Yodlee, which intends to ensure that internet banking login details of the likes of 22seven users are never capable of being viewed by anyone else.

After a trial period, 22seven then started charging a R70 per month subscription fee in May.

Since then, though, more online personal finance management tools have been unveiled in South Africa. Late last year, financial institution Nedbank unveiled its personal finance tool, dubbed ‘My Financial Life’ followed by accounting software firm Pastel, which launched its free-to-use ‘My Money’ system.

Old Mutual, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), has subsequently then wholly acquired 22Seven following further developments in this space. The value of the deal has not been made public.

"We've always had big plans for our service, and what we think it's capable of doing. With Old Mutual's support, the evolution and enhancement will happen much faster," said 22seven chief executive officer Christo Davel in a press statement.

Old Mutual's strategic marketing director, Carlton Hood, added: “Old Mutual is serious about helping people realise their goals, a huge part of which is helping them to understand their financial decisions better.”

“22seven gets that, and does it brilliantly," said Hood.

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