Vinny Lingham

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Vinny Lingham
Lingham Vinny.jpg
Vinny Lingham
Born Vinny Lingham
(1979-02-07) 7 February 1979 (age 36)
South Africa
Residence San Francisco, CA
University of South Africa
Gordon Institute of Business Science
Occupation Internet entrepreneur
Title Founder and CEO of Yola, Inc. (2007–present)
Term 2007 – Present
Board member of
Awards World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders (2009), Top Young ICT Entrepreneur in Africa Award (2006), Endeavor High Impact Entrepreneur (2006)
Company website
Personal weblog

Vinny Lingham is a South African Internet entrepreneur who is the co-founder & CEO of Gyft - a mobile gift card company, backed by Google Ventures. He was also previously the founder and CEO of Yola, Inc. (formerly known as SynthaSite), a San Francisco-based Web 2.0 start-up that provides free website building, publishing and hosting services. He is also the co-founder of, an NGO based in South Africa that aims to turn Cape Town into a technology hub.[1] Lingham was previously the founder and CEO of the global search marketing firm incuBeta and its subsidiary Clicks2Customers.[2]

Linghman serves on the boards of ChessCube, SkyRove, and Personera and previously served on marketing advisory boards for Nasdaq-listed companies ValueClick and Yahoo.

Lingham lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.

Early life[edit]

Lingham was born on 7 February 1979 in East London, South Africa. He finished high school at the age of 17 and went on to study Information Systems at the University of Cape Town but did not complete his studies there.


In 2003, Lingham founded incuBeta, an investment holding company that engages in the ownership, management, and support of online marketing companies in various stages of development, with offices in the US, UK and Cape Town. Also in 2003, Lingham founded Clicks2Customers, a subsidiary of incuBeta that provides search engine marketing software and services. Lingham served as the CEO of both companies.

In 2007, Lingham founded Yola (formerly known as SynthaSite), a proprietary web development platform for individuals, small businesses and organizations. To date, Yola has received $25 million in funding from Johann Rupert’s Reinet Fund.[3]

Vinny Lingham is also the co-founder of the Silicon Cape Initiative, a South African-based organization which aims to turn the Western Cape into a high-tech startup hub.

Vinny Lingham was selected as an Endeavor (non-profit) Entrepreneur in 2006. Endeavor (non-profit) is a global non-profit that selects and supports High-Impact Entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Vinny Lingham has sold his tech startup Gyft to First Data for an amount rumoured in excess of US$54m.[4]

In 2014 Vinny Lingham will be one of the dragons in the first season of South Africa's Dragons' Den.[5]


Lingham’s industry accolades include:

External links[edit]