Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Macalla disappears as Roamware MFS emerges

Just like that... Almost overnight, Macalla has also disappeared. One of the pioneers of the mobile banking and payment space have now been rebranded as Roamware MFS. I still recall some of the early days when we spoke with the founders of Macalla about this new industry and how we will make it work. Now very few independent suppliers remain. (also read my previous post). It seems as if the industry is now attracting the big guys. This is an acknowledgement of the importance and the size of mobile financial services.

The marriage of Roamware and Macalla must be evaluated separately though. While I respect both companies and the people that are in charge (I know them all well), I am doubtful that this merger will work. The culture and approaches of the two companies are so different that it would without doubt lead to friction in my opinion. It would be interesting to understand the rationale and reasoning for making this marriage happen. Could it be that the merger was required because of some urgent matters that could not be postponed?


Nikesh said...

Don't you think the coming together of such varying culture will bring in creativity and 'new'ness to the products if handled properly?
I'm sure Roamware MFS folks see things your way and work on brining better values.

Samee Zafar said...

Hi Hannes
Some mergers / acquisitions / stakes do make sense and I think the whole culture difference argument can sometimes be a bit overblown. There are inevitable strategic, operational, technological, and human challenges that have to be dealt with in almost any merger. But I think this and other transactions in this space announced recently are a testament to good technology and the appreciation and growing acknowledgement that mobile financial services, with the right investment and backing, will almost radically change the way we do banking and payments.

Hannes@Home said...

Samee, I agree with you. This merger is a testament to an increased interest in this space and in the long run will be goo dfor the industry.