Former FNB boss Jordaan buys into Snapplify

Former First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan’s venture capital company, AngelHub Ventures, has invested in local e-books start up Snapplify.

Snapplify launched in late 2011 and has since signed on some of Africa’s largest publishers for its trade and academic industry e-book solutions, including Penguin Random House, Pearson, Oxford and Cambridge.

AngelHub Ventures, backed by Jordaan and RMB co-founder, Paul Harris’ family fund, invests in “disruptive businesses with innovative technology solutions making an impact in emerging markets and Africa in particular”.

The angel investment company says it was “highly impressed with what Snapplify was doing and immediately offered to invest with a view to speeding up its growth”. The funds will be used to expand the product and team across multiple countries and acquire new users in this rapidly developing market.

CEO Wesley Lynch says Snapplify aims to make content and e-books more accessible in the African market, especially within education. “Challenges such as textbook delivery problems, lack of internet infrastructure and other barriers can easily be resolved by a digital solution. Getting books from the world’s leading publishers into the hands of all South African students is currently our main priority.”

Jordaan says Snapplify is “ideally positioned to surf the wave of digitisation that is sweeping across and irrevocably changing the old print sector”. In the content and media industry, he says, the survivors will be the players that see digitisation as an opportunity to reach a much wider audience – rather than an existential threat to the status quo.

“Snapplify can grow electronic distribution massively while protecting digital rights and ensuring there are incentives for the creation of intellectual property. It’s a win-win business model.”

Snapplify says the knowledge and expertise contributed by investors will allow the start up to reach new heights. “Michael Jordaan will specifically play an active role in the company by joining the Snapplify board with a shared vision to globally expand the company.”

The company says it has “huge global expansion plans” in the near future and is also working on revolutionising the education landscape in SA.


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