5 August 2014

South Africa: Vinny Lingham's Gyft Keeps On Giving

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
File photo.


South African tech entrepreneur Vinny Lingham continues to be a man to watch. Two years ago, with two successful tech start-ups already under his belt, Lingham founded a digital gift card company called Gyft. It has just been sold to the USA's largest credit card processing company for over $50 million.

When we profiled South African entrepreneur Vinny Lingham in the Daily Maverick two years ago, he had recently stepped down from his role as the CEO of website-hosting company Yola to focus on Gyft.

Lingham told us at the time that he believed mobile payments were the next big thing, which is why he was launching a mobile platform for gift cards. Though they aren't very popular in South Africa, gift cards are huge in the US: it's a market worth about $100 billion annually. But the main disadvantage of gift cards is that people receive them as presents and forget about them. Lingham said he hoped Gyft would change that.

Customers manage their digital gift cards through a Gyft app for smartphones or an online account. Gyft allows customers to buy, send and redeem gift cards from your smartphone to merchants which accept them. The...

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