The desire to establish a business usually stems from one of two perspectives. For some, it is the potential for growth and financial gain while, for others, it is the desire to translate a vision into reality. Someone with such an idea and impeccable desire mostly succeeds and flourish their business idea to best possible level with unending passion and perseverance.
One such example of adept startup is Civic, a pioneering identity verification system poised to revolutionize the industry. It is the brainchild of its founder, Vinny Lingham an ingenious internet entrepreneur.
Civic was designed by Vinny to give individuals a reliable identity verification platform. It is now spearheading the development of an ecosystem specially designed to facilitate on-demand, secure, and low-cost access to identity verification services through Blockchain technology.
An Active Technology Investor
Vinny Lingham is a well-recognized South African internet entrepreneur who moved to California a decade ago. He is an active technology investor, chiefly in Silicon Valley, and a General Partner at Multicoin Capital.
Vinny was born in South Africa and personally witnessed apartheid, where individuals were denied voting rights due to racial discrimination. The lack of access to voting cards for much of the population created an identity verification nightmare.
A geek-at-heart technologist, Vinny wanted to use digital technology to change this situation by creating a better platform that would ensure fair and secure digital voting systems. “In order to get to that point and make digital voting a reality, we first need to be able to verify online identities,” he asserts. This ideation is the force behind Civic.
Civic’s identity verification and management service enables consumers to protect and authorize the use of their identities in real-time, without the need for usernames or passwords. The system is designed to protect a user before, during and after an incident of identity theft.
Verified Civic IDs ensure quick but secure login to web and mobile apps of Civic’s partners. Consumers are able to upload and verify documents required for Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures safely. Additionally, they can securely log in through the Civic Mobile App which allows the company’s partners to validate and retrieve data protected by end-to-end encryption.
Civic has protected various businesses with its consumer identity solution and boasts a client list which includes several world-renowned global companies like Progrexion, BitGo and WikiHow. Numerous multinational banks, credit card companies, online lenders, wireless and cable providers, tech companies, and employee verification services also put their trust in Civic’s proven platform.
To meet the security needs of this diverse range of clients, Civic also offers a wide array of additional features, including ID theft monitoring, monitoring alerts, fraud support and ID theft insurance. Together, this ever expanding suite of services gives the company’s clients and their customers also, the digital peace of mind so necessary in our interconnected world.
A Versatile Startup Enthusiast
Vinny Lingham is 360-degree entrepreneur who has invested heavily in various tech startups over the years.
Prior to Civic, he was the co-founder and CEO of Gyft, a mobile gift card company founded in 2012 which was backed by Google Ventures. Within two years of inception, Gyft become the leading player in the arena and was acquired in 2014 for over $50M by global payments giant, First Data Corporation.
He also co-founded an investment fund in South Africa called Newtown Partners. At Newtown, he has led early stage investments into successful and notable startups such as Sweep South and Augmenters.
Vinny has appeared as a Shark on Shark Tank South Africa and has also contributed as a Dragon on the South African edition of Dragon’s Den, the longest-running UK investment reality show. He has been an “Angel” in the non-profit spinoff of Undercover Boss, National Geographic’s Undercover Angel.
He is an astute individual who has inspired many ambitious entrepreneurs to start and lead their own companies through these shows. Vinny is a co-author of ’I’m In: Essential Advice for Entrepreneurs’, a book which has given thousands of business enthusiasts piercing insight into the entrepreneurial journey.
Balance and Perseverance
It is normal to face challenges in the initial stages of building an innovative business; how you overcome those challenges is what matters the most – it improves you personally and professionally. Vinny recalls, “One of the toughest challenges I’ve faced was trying to raise capital for businesses that were ahead of their time. Disrupting the status quo is difficult, but rewarding.”
Though it’s tough to balance personal and professional life while working so hard every day, Vinny has successfully managed to do so with his characteristic perseverance and never-ending passion.
A Grounded Visionary
Vinny says that it is essential for leaders to be strategic and visionary, but grounded as well. He adds that one must take the right chances bravely. He truly believes that fortune favors the brave, and if something goes south, then perseverance and grit will help it find the right way.
He also stresses that a good leader should always motivate and inspire their team to be the best they can be.
The fearless entrepreneur reveals that he has agreed to lower salary packages for himself just for the chance to work in a field about which he is passionate. His advice to budding entrepreneurs is to focus on an area for which they have a real passion and to learn as much as they can about it; the money will follow!