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VENTURES AFRICA – South African mobile social network, Mxit has launched operations in India, as it begins the first phase of its expansive push into emerging markets.
“Launching Mxit in India was a natural strategic next step, which allows us to continue building on the success we’ve had with the application in South Africa,” said Francois Swart, CEO of Mxit.
“Expanding our emerging market footprint enables us to bring our innovative technology to the masses, making the ‘smartphone’ experience affordable to every consumer, regardless of the device they use.”
The expansion into India comes coupled with the release of Mxit 7 for both BlackBerry and Android users – focused mainly on speed and simplicity – to provide a cheaper, simpler navigation and an overall improved chat experience. The app will be available across 8,000 mobile devices and tablets.
Mxit will employ a similar strategy in India, previously used in South Africa, in which it targeted feature phone users with the hope of securing their loyalty when they upgrade to a smart phone.
This carves a fine niche for Mxit as India is ranked the largest feature market in the world with over 550 million users. It can profitably attract low end users with the data light app, allowing users with the most basic mobile network connection, a cheaper chat alternative to SMS.
“We’re excited at the prospect of enhancing the lives of Indians by providing functionality otherwise not available to low end handset users, as well as replacing the reliance on SMS on feature phones with a cheaper, more engaging chat alternative,” added Sam Rufus Nallaraj, CEO of Mxit India Pvt. Ltd.
Mxit currently has 7.4 million monthly active users, of which 6.5 million are in South Africa.