MXit Mixes Mobile Networks with Social Conscience

The South Africa-based wireless service is gaining millions of developing-world users by emphasizing social change, not just music and gamesHerman Heunis isn’t your typical social-media startup founder. He’s 50 years old, was raised on a sheep farm in Namibia, and is a veteran of the South African Navy. Little surprise that the company he built is no garden-variety social network either.The company is called MXit Lifestyle and offers a range of mobile social networking tools, including instant messaging and music downloads. Since its launch in 2005, MXit has attracted more than 14 million users across the developing world, from Buenos Aires to Beijing, and it’s adding 25,000 users a day. Initially funded by Heunis alone, the company broke even in its second year of operation.

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