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2014

20140721 vinny headshot rgb 300Mobile gift card provider Gyft, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, recently announced its acquisition by First Data, a payment technology solutions provider. Based in San Francisco, Gyft has been boosted by recent funding and new merchant onboarding, with the expectation that First Data’s network will help it scale far beyond the 200 merchants it currently serves. As Vinny’s third company, this announcement demonstrates the success of Endeavor Entrepreneurs who launch multiple ventures and inspire future generations.

Founded in 2012, Gyft offers consumers a platform to purchase, gift, and redeem gift cards via their mobile devices. Traditional plastic prepaid cards lacked efficiency and face the risk of getting lost. Gyft makes redeeming these cards easier with reminder alerts and a mobile gift card “wallet,” making it cost-efficient for small and medium-sized enterprises to break into the prepaid card market. Widespread adoption of digital wallets has made Gyft an attractive option for many e-commerce giants, including Amazon.

This acquisition reportedly grew out of a partnership between Gyft and Clover, the mobile payments and point-of-sale startup that First Data acquired in 2012 for an estimated $54 million. Considered one the world’s largest card processors, First Data handles over $1 trillion annually across more than 6 million merchants. After a leveraged buyout in 2007 and reported losses following the recent recession, First Data has actively sought to modernize its payment services by acquiring technology companies. The recent Gyft news is part of a broader strategic plan for First Data, which has included acquiring Clover and cardless customer loyalty startup Perka.

Coming off a $6 million round of Series A funding, Gyft’s decision to join the First Data family stems from the company’s mission to become a leader in the digital payments industry. First Data’s backing will allow Gyft the necessary network to onboard more strategic merchants while providing First Data with access to key technologies and brand recognition.

“We started the company with a mission to digitize and transform the plastic gift card space,” said Vinny in a statement. “We don’t see this as an exit. We see this as a continuation of what we’re already doing but with a lot more resources.”

Vinny has been an Endeavor Entrepreneur since 2006 and Gyft is the third venture he has founded. Endeavor has connected him with expert mentors and introduced him to investors through the Endeavor Investor Network, allowing him to become an active role model for entrepreneurs in South Africa, Silicon Valley, and beyond.

Read more about the acquisition in Vinny’s exclusive interview with PandoDaily.

[This article originally appeared on endeavor.org]

Click here to read an article that appeared on BDlive

20140731 VinnyLinghamPayment technology solution provider First Data has acquired mobile gift card platform Gyft, a previous TechCrunch Disrupt battlefield company which offers a mobile app that lets consumers organize, shop for and send gift cards to others. The company first launched its service in 2012, with its then iOS-only mobile gift card “wallet,” which has since expanded cross-platform to Android and the web, while growing its service to include cards from over 200 retailers.

The San Francisco-based, 18-person company had raised $7.5 million in funding prior to the acquisition, whose terms were not disclosed, from a number of investors including Google Ventures, Canyon Creek Capital, The Social+Capital Partnership, Karlin Ventures, David Sacks, Hass Portman, and others.

Following this deal, expected to close next month pending shareholder approval, First Data’s clients, including more than 300 national retail prepaid clients, will have access Gyft. The move will expand First Data’s gift card footprint and programs and add choice for consumers, the company stated in an announcement out this morning.

Gyft, with its mobile gifting platform, and First Data, with its global scale and distribution network, together will accelerate the growth of virtual prepaid with powerful new tools for merchants of all sizes to deepen their relationships with their customers,” said Guy Chiarello, president, First Data, in a release. “This means that the same robust toolset deployed by big box retailers will be coming soon to small- to mid-sized businesses, perfectly synched with our mission to offer innovative solutions to help our clients grow.”

According to an interview with Pando.com, the acquisition had been in the works for two months, and was valued at under $100 million, but more than Clover, which exited to First Data for $54 million. The deal grew out of a partnership between the two companies, Gyft and Clover, which would provide access to digital gift cards to First Data’s SMB clients, the report explained.

[This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.com] 

1351162482AltisNicEndeavor Entrepreneurs Dr. Nic Duneas and Nuno Pires have been awarded the African Innovation Foundation (AIF)’s Innovation Prize for Africa 2014 for creating the first injectable porcine derived BMP medical device in the world.

The Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix (Altis OBM™) can be used in treating bone injuries and voids using a regenerative biological implant. The invention of Duneas and Pires is seen as a much-needed intervention at a time when Osteoporosis is on the rise in Africa.

The IPA also announced two runners-up, who were chosen based on the business potential of their innovation and the social impact respectively. The winners were selected from about 700 applications from 42 countries, by a panel of jurors. They expressed delight at winning, stating that it was the result of 10 years of hard work.

“Our team has managed the development of Altis OBM over the past 10 years, from the initial idea to commercialization, with the hope that the innovation will radically change the way orthopedic surgeons treat bones injuries. Winning the IPA gets us closer to that goal,” Altis OBM Chief Executive of Business Development, Nuno Pires said.

[Read more on Ventures Africa here] 

Florianópolis, Brazil – April 10, 2014 – Endeavor selected 29 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 16 companies in 9 countries at its 53rd International Selection Panel.

Endeavor now supports 917 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 585 companies across 20 countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from April 7 – 9th in Florianópolis.

The International Selection Panel (ISP) is the conclusion of a rigorous multi-step selection process that is at the core of the Endeavor model. At the Florianópolis ISP, top business and industry leaders from eight countries interviewed candidates about their businesses and potential for high-impact growth, and then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

“I am very excited to welcome these promising entrepreneurs to the network,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Many are innovating industries in their local markets and demonstrating the potential for high-impact growth, especially in Latin America where our presence continues to expand.”

After their selection into the Endeavor network, the entrepreneurs are given access to customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created thousands of jobs and built sustainable growth models in their home countries, transforming local economies and becoming role models for future generations of leaders.

Endeavor will be hosting three more International Selection Panels in 2014. Locations will be New York, NY; Istanbul, Turkey and Miami, FL.

SOUTH AFRICA

Entrepreneur: Bevan Ducasse

Company: wiGroup Pty Ltd (wigroupinternational.com)

The world of mobile transacting is growing so rapidly that merchants are unable to keep up with, integrate to, and update their stores for each of the ever-increasing transaction applications the market has to offer. wiGroup simplifies this process through its cloud-based software, the wiPlatform, which enables mobile transacting from any application at any merchant through a simple integration with a retailer’s POS system. Since launching its platform in 2011, wiGroup has already processed over three million transactions worth over US$200 million and expects to continue this rapid growth on the back of South Africa’s booming m-commerce sector.

[Read the full story here]

“The World Economic Forum (WEF) announced South African Dave Duarte as a Young Global Leader (YGL) on 11 March. Globally recognised as a top expert on social media in business, Duarte joins 215 leaders from around the world that will make up the class of 2014, including South African actress Charlize Theron.

“As an entrepreneur and educator, Duarte has travelled the world providing insights and strategic advice, his passion being digital leadership. This opportunity is a testament to his work in the field. “I am honoured to have the opportunity join this diverse and dedicated group of leaders and committed to affect real global change. I am also thrilled to be working with fellow South African and social entrepreneur, Marlon Parker, founder of Reconstructed Living Labs who will form part of the class of 2014,” says Duarte.”

[Read the full Finweek article here]

South African ICT (Information and Communication Technology) service provider, Integr8, has taken their services to the tourism and hospitality sector to make a meaningful difference in the lives of consumers.

In this ITWeb article, the company's joint CEO and Endeavor Entrepreneur Lance Fanaroff, suggests part of the reason why technology continues to have such a profound impact on these industries is because of the immediate value derived by consumers.

“Like ICT, tourism and hospitality is dependent on the buy-in of consumers. Technology is constantly being used to deliver services to the consumer, to make the user experience exceptional – from having reliable wireless connectivity in hotel rooms right through to mobile apps and digital applications to enhance travel situations,” says Fanaroff.

Given that tourism and hospitality are high-growth areas of commerce and contribute substantially to the economy, they represent a natural and logical target for technology manufacturers, service providers and suppliers.

[Read the full article here]

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