Michael Jordaan injects investment in e-book start-up

Michael Jordaan (Supplied)
Michael Jordaan (Supplied)

Johannesburg - A venture capital company backed by former First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan and RMB co-founder Paul Harris’ family has invested in SA e-book start-up Snapplify.

Launched in 2011, Snapplify describes itself as an e-book aggregator that has signed on African publishers and provided solutions for the trade and academic industry.

In a statement, CEO of Snapplify Wesley Lynch said Snapplify seeks to overcome challenges such as textbook delivery problems, lack of internet infrastructure and other barriers.

“These are the pressing problems that our team want to solve. Getting books from the world’s leading publishers into the hands of all South African students is currently our main priority” said Lynch in a statement.

Subsequently, global publishers that have signed with Snapplify include Penguin Random House, Pearson, Oxford and Cambridge.

AngelHub’s investment amount into Snapplify has not been revealed, but the venture capital company said the funds are expected to help expand the e-book start-up’s product and team “across multiple countries and acquire new users in this rapidly developing market”.

“Snapplify is ideally positioned to surf the wave of digitisation that is sweeping across and irrevocably changing the old print sector,” Jordaan said in a statement.

“In the content and media industry the survivors will be those players who 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 that there are incentives for the creation of intellectual property. It’s a win-win business model," added Jordaan.

Snapplify also won the award for 'Most Innovative Technology' at the recent FutureBook Innovation awards where the start-up was recognised for its e-book distribution hardware – the SnappBox – at the awards.

Meanwhile, the Michael Jordaan linked investment in Snapplify comes after the former FNB CEO has taken on various challenges since leaving the bank.

In 2013, Michael Jordaan was appointed as chairperson of mobile messaging company Mxit while in May last year he was made the chair of Wines of South Africa (Wosa).

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