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Bevan Ducasse

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Entrepreneur
Bevan Ducasse
Company
wiGroup
Industry
Technology - Software
Website
wiGroup | 
Year Selected
2014
Jobs at selection
45
Company Snapshot

In 2007, Bevan Ducasse had had enough of carrying around a wallet filled with paper, coins, loyalty cards and bank cards. It was time, he felt, to change the system.

 

It wasn’t a quick fix and it wasn’t easy. His original idea was to allow customers to load credit and loyalty card information onto a mobile application, which then allowed them to transact in a retail store. The idea included an integration to point-of-sale software, which allowed the phone to be paired at the time of purchase and then route the card information for processing, providing a real time authorisation back to the till/merchant.

 

After building the business plan and the financial model, it took a great deal of self-belief, as well as encouragement from family and friends, to quit his job. Bevan had no real financial backing or family wealth and therefore knew he had to raise funding within the first few months to continue with the business. While exploring investor options, he asked an old university friend, Basie Kok, to assist him in building a prototype and running that area of the business. Not only was Basie perfectly qualified, his values were totally aligned with Bevan’s.

 

Bevan, Basie and four employees worked on the first model out of Bevan’s flat for a year; and launched the product on 8 August 2008. But they soon realised that they needed to shift from a customer-facing application to a business-to-business platform, which would open their point-of-sale integrations up for any application to plug into. In this way they could own a share in all mobile transactions, not only transactions from their own application.

 

Eighteen months later they had developed a mobile aggregation platform that allows retailers to accept any mobile transaction application through a single integration, and allows transaction applications to access merchant till systems through one platform. This allows both merchants and application providers to be far more agile in their approach and allows them to scale as fast as their creativity enables them to. The market potential is any transaction done at a merchant today that could be done on a mobile device, including coupons, vouchers, loyalty, payments, gifting and money transfer.

 

wiGroup has already made its mark on the African continent by integrating with two of the largest FMCG retailers in Africa – Pick n Pay and the Shoprite Group –  as well as two of the largest network providers – MTN and Vodacom.

 

Entrepreneur quote: “It is a huge honour to be selected as one of the Endeavor Entrepreneurs, and it's humbling to be part of such an elite group.”