Intel Capital invests in African mobile firm
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| July 10, 2012, 11:14 a.m.
Adlevo Capital Managers, a private equity fund manager focused on investments into technology-enabled businesses in sub-Saharan Africa, and Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment and mergers and acquisition organisation, today announced that they have completed an expansion investment into Rancard Solutions Limited (“Rancard”), a leading provider of cloud based software for mobile content discovery and delivery, focused on Africa.
Commenting on the investment, Kofi Dadzie, CEO of Rancard, said: “Today’s investment will play a vital role in enabling us to expand our footprint across Africa on both a reputational and operational level. We’re delighted that both Adlevo Capital and Intel Capital have agreed to come on board at a time of such opportunity and are excited about working with such experienced and globally recognized partners.”
Since launching in 2001, Rancard has established itself as a trusted provider of cloud-based mobile software and services which Africa’s mobile operators are increasingly turning to. As voice-based average revenue per user declines, mobile operators are increasingly using Rancard’s content discovery platform to profitably increase data revenues by delivering targeted content to their subscribers.
The company has developed a cloud-based social recommendations engine called ‘Rendezvous’, which maps connections among mobile users and then uses this mapping of shared interests as a basis for recommending content to consumers.
Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner of Adlevo Capital said: “Rancard is a perfect example of African entrepreneurs bringing world-class technology solutions to market. The company is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between content owners and mobile operators and is poised to benefit from the growth in mobile data services. Our lead investment in Rancard will leverage Adlevo Capital’s industryexpertise gained from backing successful mobile value-added service companies in other geographies.”
Arvind Sodhani, President of Intel Capital and Intel Executive Vice President, noted: “Africa is a market with attractive macro-economic trends which we believe will unearth great business opportunities for us. With technological developments playing a key role in the region’s economic growth, we are seeking out Africa’s leading technology companies and great entrepreneurs as part of our mission to foster technology innovation globally.”
Christian Morales, General Manager, Europe, Middle East, Africa of Intel Corporation said: “As a business Rancard provides a wide range of services that are well placed to meet consumers’ rapidly shifting demands, particularly as the market for cloud based mobile content grows. It’s a company that has a promising future and one we feel could benefit not just from access to our capital, but also from our global network and technological expertise.”
The deal marks Intel Capital’s first investment in West Africa. Intel Capital is represented in the region by Sam Mensah, who is Investment Director for sub-Saharan Africa. This latest investment builds upon Intel Capital’s long track record of supporting the growth of companies which deliver innovative technology solutions.
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