The beginnings of WiGroup came from Bevan Ducasse, a farm boy from Escourt, “scratching his own itch”.
He was tired of carrying around a thick, heavy wallet so, at the age of 24, the Stellenbosch University financial management graduate found a solution by establishing a mobile transaction company. By 2008 he had bought his first coffee using his own phone app.
WiGroup later changed its client base from consumers to businesses and is used today by more than 60 companies, including Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Shoprite, and at 55 000 till points. Creating a business client base was tough for a young entrepreneur with a team of seven and no track record.
But he hustled – sought funding from friends’ families and approached companies and chief executive officers until capital came in. He attributes his success to his team of employees, and he prioritises creating a space where people love coming to work.
WiGroup has won Ducasse the Maverick Award for Technology Innovation and South Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneur in 2014. In August 2015, Investec Asset Management bought a stake in WiGroup, believed to be worth almost R400 million.
The major financial players are seeing the now 32-year-old Ducasse’s vision – mobile transactions are clearly the way of the future.
Find Ducasse on Twitter: @BevanDucasse