22seven founders look to new horizons

Johannesburg – Founders of budgeting and investing application 22seven, Christo Davel and Kenny Inggs will be moving on as Old Mutual plans to integrate the application into its in-house digital strategy.

The application was founded nearly four years ago by Davel and Inggs. It was designed to help people manage their finances by linking to bank accounts. Using customer data, 22seven creates a personalised budget so customers can manage their money.

The operation, although wholly owned by Old Mutual, ran independently with separate offices and staff.

Davel told Fin24 in a telephonic interview that he was most proud of the fact that 22seven helped people change their attitudes towards finances. “We have concrete evidence of how we changed people’s lives. We had customers change their attitude to money and they started having more money every month,” he said.

He said the application made a “dent” in the area of financial education, as people became smarter about handling their money.

Building things for people

When starting out, Davel said one of the challenges was finding the right people. “My co-founder has the lovely saying, we are just people building things for people,” he said.

In an email to customers announcing that he and Inggs would be leaving, Davel mentioned that some 22seven staff would be leaving too. He told Fin24 that he and Inggs, along with his executive team are “quietly working on the next chapter”.

Davel said it was too early to say what this new venture might be, but that it would most likely have to do with finance.

He added that he hopes people will continue to get the best value from 22seven.

Further in his email to customers, Davel assured existing customers that the move would not interrupt services to them as 22seven will keep using the same secure partners and providers and maintain the same security standards and partners.

“I hope that people will continue to get the best value and continue to do so,” he said. “One thing I would love to see happen, is for them to take this baby of ours and help it grow up to be a significant component of their plans.”

Old Mutual echoed these sentiments in a statement the financial services group issued. “We are excited about the potential for integrating the 22seven service into our larger digital offering without any changes for customers,” said Raymond Berelowitz, director of customer solutions at Old Mutual.

Berelowitz also thanked Davel and Inggs for their contribution to the business and the “valuable role” they played in building 22seven.

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