Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Cape Town-based software company wiGroup is hoping to piggyback on the Richard Branson’s Virgin Group to expand its products in key global markets. The company has sold minority shares to Virgin and also to retail group Smollen.

The value of the deal and the amount of shares that changed hands were not disclosed.

WiGroup founder and CEO Bevan Ducasse said the company was looking at working with all brands within the Virgin Group, where possible. The partnership "gives us a link and introduction to those brands and also a soft entry," he said.

wiGroup provides software that enables companies to provide loyalty rewards via mobile phones. It also supplies software that enables cellphone network operators to provide airtime instantly to customers.

wiGroup has set its eyes on further expansion into Europe, Australasia, South and West Africa. The company’s services are already used in Namibia, Zambia and Nigeria.

"Our presence in Europe and expansion into Australasia and emerging markets will be fast-tracked by leveraging both Virgin Group and Smollan’s extensive global networks. As a business this brings us one step closer to realising our vision of simplifying and improving the way the world transacts," said Ducasse.

Virgin Group’s investment comes after wiGroup created a peer-to-peer payment app called Virgin Money Spot, for Virgin Money. According to Ducasse, this partnership "caught the eye of Virgin Group" and that is how the investment discussions started.

In less than a decade, wiGroup has established itself as the largest mobile transactional platform in Africa with over 75,000 integrated till points accepting mobile payments, loyalty and rewards transactions.