Mxit acquires mobile development specialists Motribe

Africa’s biggest social network Mxit has acquired mobile community specialists Motribe, to help more developers build products on its API.

Motribe worked with Mxit recently to launch photo-based apps like MxPix , which had over a million users in less than a month after it launched, and JudgeMe, a photo sharing and judging app.

The acquisition is expected to double Mxit’s efforts to develop its API for developers, as the firm recently launched various developer APIs and redesigned the developer centre, a space Motribe excels at.

Speaking to Ventureburn, Mxit CEO Alan Knott-Craig Jnr said he was “very excited” and that the deal was “great news for both companies”.

“The Motribe crew are rockstars,” he said. “In two years they’ve done an incredible job of building mobile communities in Africa. Mxit has spent seven years engaging communities, mostly in South Africa. We could not resist the combination of great people, Africa’s success and B2B experience… it feels to me like a marriage made in heaven.”

Motribe CEO Nic Haralambous said the deal was a progression of the “mutual collaboration” between Motribe and Mxit.

Founded in 2010 by Vincent Maher and Nic Haralambous and headquartered in Cape Town, the Motribe platform has been used by individual users, brands, agencies and publishers across the world to build and manage their own mobile social communities.

Ventureburn says the Motribe staff of 10 people will join Mxit, while the CEO Nic Haralambous leaves. Motribe CTO Vincent Maher will join Peter Matthaei at MxiT as co-Head of Community.

“We started the company two years ago and it has grown to something very successful. I need to take a breath and look for new motivation and find innovative opportunities,” said Haralambous. “The team that’s headed to Mxit is great and they will no doubt continue to grow.”

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