Vinny Lingham is a South African Internet entrepreneur who is the co-founder & CEO of Civic - an identity protection and management startup. He was also previously the founder and CEO of Gyft & Yola, Inc. He is also the co-founder of SiliconCape, an NGO based in South Africa that aims to turn Cape Town into a technology hub. Lingham was also previously the founder and CEO of the global search marketing firm incuBeta and its subsidiary Clicks2Customers.
African-based organization which aims to turn the Western Cape into a high-tech startup hub. He is also the co-founder of the investment fund Newtown Partners, through which Lingham has led early stage investments into successful and notable startups including Sweep South and Augmentors.
Lingham was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2006 and a Young Global Leader in 2009 with the World Economic Forum. Endeavor is a global non-profit that selects and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets.
In 2012, Lingham started Gyft, a mobile gift card company, with the backing of Google Ventures. In two years, Gyft became the leading service in the mobile gift card space and was acquired by First Data Corporation in 2014 for more than US$54m.
In 2015, Lingham founded Civic, a startup that encrypts identity information on the blockchain. Civic raised in excess of US$33m in funding during its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in June of 2017. In August of 2017, Civic partnered with WikiHow, providing the how-to website with encrypted login functionality.
From 2014 to 2016, Vinny Lingham was one of the investors, or "dragons", on South Africa's Dragons' Den reality TV series. Starting in 2016, he is one of the "sharks" on the follow-up to Dragons' Den, Shark Tank South Africa. In November 2016, he made news when he invested in a company on Shark Tank using bitcoin instead of dollars. The company, Augmentors, develops an augmented reality game, and Lingham convinced them to use the blockchain technology for their game; he felt that having the money in bitcoin would be a good way for them to get started with the technology. In 2017, Lingham was also an "Angel" on National Geographic's not-for-profit program Undercover Angel. Lingham is also the co-author of "I'm In: Essential Advice for Entrepreneurs".
Lingham’s industry accolades include:
Top 500 CEO's in the World, 2015
World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders, 2009
Endeavor High Impact Entrepreneur, 2006
Top Young ICT Entrepreneur in Africa Award, 2006
Civic, Dragons Den & Shark Tank
Co-founder & Investor