Some awesome news has just hit Twitter: MIH has acquired Afrigator, the social blog aggregator run by our very own Mike Stopforth, Stiaan Pretorius, Justin Hartman and Mark Forrester. This is fantastic news because an acquisition like this is an excellent validation of the business model (barring ’90s style hype, which I doubt very much in the circumstances).
Charl got the scoop and published the news first on his blog:
Moments ago Bandwidth Blog got the scoop in the latest South African internet acquisition. MIH Print Africa have acquired a majority stake in African blog aggregator Afrigator. This will be huge for the local startup as MIH Africa has investments all over Africa which will help Afrigator reach a larger audience in the African continent. The acquisition also means funding to market and further develop the Afrigator platform. With large internet audiences in SA, Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria Afrigator is in a great position to gain critical mass by combining the audience (bloggers, readers) in these countries. MIH Africa’s objective is to build audiences and communities in Africa and with Afrigator’s platform they can launch into the emerging market to quickly gain market share and also leverage Afrigators existing base.
The acquisition looks set to cause a little bit of a shakeup as Justin and Stii relocate to Cape Town to focus on Afrigator full-time. It feels like just the other day that Justin joined Avusa (then Johnnic) and shifted into the new iLab division/department. It also seems like everyone is moving to Cape Town (Matt Buckland moved recently after he joined 24.com). Naspers is behind many of the moves in this space and I am beginning to wonder if Cape Town shouldn’t have a new media lawyer of its own (my wife may disagree …):
The Naspers group’s social media strategy has also really taken off in recent months with local internet guru Matt Buckland moving to 24.com as GM of online publishing and social media (Laaik.it, play.24.com, Spaces, 24.com blogs etc), Rafiq Phillips moving to MIH Swat and then the acquisitions of Blueworld and Afrigator.
I am fortunate to know Justin, Stii, Mike and, to a lesser degree, Mark and this is great news for a great bunch of guys. Well done!