Alan is founder of World of Avatar and CEO of Mxit, Africa’s largest social network. Between 2003 and 2006, Alan co-founded five companies in the mobile services sector. In 2006, he was appointed managing director of iBurst, a broadband network operator in South Africa. In April 2008, he published Don’t Panic, a best selling book aimed at persuading emigrant South Africans to return home. In June 2008, he founded The Trust, an NGO focused on assisting charities access skills and capital. In 2009, he was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In June 2012 he published Mobinomics, the story of Mxit and mobile in Africa. Alan is a qualified Chartered Accountant (SA).
The Story of MXit
MXit (pronounced "mix it") is a free instant messaging application developed by MXit Lifestyle (Pty) Ltd. in South Africa that runs on multiple mobile and computing platforms. According to a 2011 study by consultancy World Wide Worx, MXit currently has about 10 million active subscribers, making it the largest mobile social network in Africa.
MXit allows users to send and receive one-on-one text and multimedia messages to and from other users, and in general chat rooms. MXit also supports gateways to other instant messaging platforms such as MSN Messenger, ICQ and Google Talk.
On 1 April 2009, MXit released an open-source plug-in for the libPurple library. This allows applications using the libPurple library such as Pidgin and Adium to connect to the MXit network. This coincided with the release of the MXit Developer Zone web-site and documentation on the MXit client protocol. MXit has been included as a standard protocol in Pidgin since version 2.6.4.