US-Based First Data To Acquire South African Startup For $50m

US-Based First Data To Acquire South African Startup For $50m

ENTERPRISE54 – Leading American e-payment firm First Data, in an acquisition deal has agreed to pay $50 million for Gyft Inc., a San Francisco-based mobile gifting company owned by one of South Africa’s leading tech stars Vinny Lingham. “We are joining First Data to accelerate our growth and significantly improve the gift card experience for

ENTERPRISE54 – Leading American e-payment firm First Data, in an acquisition deal has agreed to pay $50 million for Gyft Inc., a San Francisco-based mobile gifting company owned by one of South Africa’s leading tech stars Vinny Lingham.

“We are joining First Data to accelerate our growth and significantly improve the gift card experience for both customers and retailers,” said Vinny Lingham, Gyft chief executive officer.

This acquisition will allow consumers to buy, send, manage and redeem gift cards using mobile devices. It’s also powered with over 200 recognized retailers and adds it pack to First Data’s 300 plus national retail prepaid clients.

Gyft, a virtual gift card provider, was co-founded in 2012 by South African entrepreneurs Vinny Lingham and Mark Levitt. Before its acquisition by First Data, it raised a total of about $7.5 million from Google Ventures, Karlin Ventures and A-grade Investments, a venture capital fund co-founded by Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher and investors Ron Burkle and Guy Oseary.

“Once we close the deal, we will own 100 percent of Gyft. We would be buying 100 percent of the outstanding equity from the equity holders,” First Data spokeswoman, Kwiyoung Baumgarten said.

Lingham has assured Gyft users that there would be no material change in the way that Gyft operates while the 18-person strong Gyft team will stay on and continue working out of the company’s offices in San Francisco. Also, according to First Data, Gyft will operate separately under its existing name.

 

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