About Us

DigiCo was founded in 2020 by Garth Mackintosh, Johan Visser and the DNI Group, with a vision to bring together interrelated assets with strong intellectual property, technology and operational expertise.

The Group has expanded from 3 businesses to 10 through a deliberate acquisition strategy to find scalable, collaborative businesses from which cross-selling opportunities can be unlocked.

Today, DigiCo employs approximately 300 people globally and delivers its solutions and products in over 30 markets around the world.

DigiCo is blessed with a world-class blend of technologists and entrepreneurs who are all motivated and incentivised to scale the Group’s operations.

"Our vision is to augment businesses to empower global growth."

We are committed to building, acquiring and augmenting businesses with complementary strategic focus, driving positive impact in communities, and shaping a culture of agile innovation and empowerment to increase stakeholder value.

“DigiCo embraces a world filled with disruptive, progressive and scalable technologies. In this context, DigiCo is building and scaling to help deliver solutions that enrich and create value for our global consumers. At the centre of DigiCo’s vision is convenience and inclusion for the previously excluded members of our communities.”

Our core values

Innovation

Constantly seeking new ways to augment and improve.

Empowerment

Fostering a culture of autonomy and accountability for experts to drive our businesses.

Positive Impact

Ensuring our products and services enable positive change in communities and economies.

Strategic Growth

Strategically expanding territorial reach, product diversity and market share through complimentary assets and tech leadership.

Thought Leadership

Developing human resources to become thought leaders in our industry with cutting edge technology.

Relevance

Providing products and services that are impactful, relevant and future-proofed.

Scale and profitability

Pursuing highly profitable business models that scale for sustainable growth.

Stakeholder value

Using our core values framework to enhance stakeholder value consistently.

Investors

The DNI Group is a diversified technology and distribution business. DNI was founded in 2006 and has evolved into a diversified investment company operating primarily in distribution and technology related services from a B2B perspective.

1K1V is a private equity firm that invests in sub-Saharan Africa. 1K1V looks to drive economic development and create stable jobs through deploying private family capital. 1K1V targets investments among Sub-Saharan Africa across a variety of sectors.

Founders equity:
Garth Mackintosh is a key investor in DigiCo as one of the original founders and visionaries behind the portfolio.

Management:
Ross Venter, Johan Visser and Ziyaad Manie, are also co-shareholders and aligned to driving the global growth aspirations of DigiCo

Our Team

TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVES

ROSS VENTER
CEO – DIGICO

A Master’s graduate, Ross has been instrumental in developing the MMS channel in South Africa, especially around its adoption in the credit provision, lending, and banking sectors.

Ross was CEO of IMI Mobile SA when it was eventually sold to Cisco. He then joined DigiCo as CEO where he has been instrumental in driving the strategic growth and business development for the Group.

JOHAN VISSER
CFO – DIGICO

Johan is a CA(SA) and has more than 20 years’ experience in corporate & strategic finance. 

Johan worked in London for 8 years in senior finance positions for some of the world’s leading companies (Warner Music International, Lastminute.com) before joining Clickatell as FD for 3 years. 

He then joined ViaMedia as CFO before helping to found Digital Ecosystems in 2016. 

ZIYAAD MANIE
CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER – DIGICO

Ziyaad graduated from UCT and is a CFA holder.

Prior to joining DNI (DigiCo’s majority shareholder), Ziyaad spent over 7 years working at RMB in investment banking. He covered Mergers & Acquisitions (“M&A”), Leveraged Finance and Family Office Group Solutions.

At DNI/DigiCo, Ziyaad is in charge of Group strategy, funding and M&A. He sits on 20 boards across the Group and privately. Ziyaad has helped the DNI Group source over R1bn in equity, raised over a R2bn in debt funding and execute approximately R1.5bn in acquisitions. 

MICHAEL ROFFEY
EXEC AND CO-FOUNDER – AIRVANTAGE

Michael completed his BCom Accounting degree at Wits University in 2001. He qualified as a chartered accountant CA(SA) in 2004. Michael is a co-founder of Airvantage.

He has been involved in the telecommunications industry for more than 15 years and has previously sold 2 telecommunications businesses to JSE listed companies. Airvantage products and services are today available in over 10 countries across emerging markets.

MARK COLLIE
EXEC AND CO-FOUNDER – AIRVANTAGE

Mark completed his BCom at RAU (now University of Johannesburg) in 2002, specialising in finance.

Mark is the co-founder and executive director of Airvantage, a fintech provider of mobile financial and value-added services for mobile network operators. In 2009, he founded Icon South Africa in partnership with Icon UK. Under his leadership, the company was appointed by FIFA to design, produce and install the signage and branding for the FIFA Confederation Cup 2009 and the FIFA World Cup 2010. He was previously the operations director of Wideopen Platform, the leader in large format outdoor advertising in South Africa which he sold to Primedia Limited in 2006. 

Tandi Kuper
CEO – AIRVANTAGE

Tandi completed her BCom degree through the University of South Africa in 1997 specializing in Accounting and Business Economics.

She started her career in lending and credit industry and has over 15 years’ experience. She was a member of the management committee and one of the top 50 executives for the listed Transaction Capital Group. She has managed debtor books which comprised of asset classes including cellular micro-lending, asset based finance, unsecured debt such as credit card, loans and overdrafts. These books were in excess of USD1 billion.

Tandi has over 10 years’ experience in the tech industry having joined Airvantage in its infancy and has now been promoted to CEO as of 2022.

NIEL BARNARD
CEO – CellFind

Niel has more than 25 years experience in IT and Telecomms. At Nashua Mobile he started the Product and Project teams and he was a key member of the team that created the Nashua Mobile Retail team. 

He was then head hunted to lead Cellfind, a specialist Location Based Services company mainly providing services to Vodacom. 15 years later, he is still passionate about the Cellfind business and has morphed the business into one of South Africas largest messaging companies, providing services to most of South Africas Major Banks, Mobile Operators and Medical Schemes.

JACQUES SWANEPOEL
MD – PANACEA

Jacques is the Managing Director of Panacea. 

He has over 20 years’ experience in the ICT sector.  His career started in the Information Technology industry in 1991 where he was exposed to diverse sectors such as Government, Medical Aid, Banking and Telecommunications.

He oversees the day-to-day operational activities, driving profit and growth through the alignment and execution of group strategies.

YUSUF VAHED
MESSAGING DIRECTOR – CELLFIND

Yusuf completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Kwazulu-Natal and has worked across a broad range of sectors, including Finance, Shipping & Logistics, and Telecommunications. He has over 13 years’ experience in the Telecommunications sector and joined the start-up company, Panacea Mobile in 2014, from Vodacom.

Yusuf is currently the Messaging Director for the Cellfind Group and is primarily responsible for increasing margins (Messaging), and driving International growth with our Strategic International partners.

BRAD VOGES
EXEC CO-FOUNDER – HYVE MOBILE

Bradley has a masters degree in Economics from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Bradley founded his first company whilst at University, which he later sold to Naspers. 

His next business was Hyve Mobile, which he has grown into a leader in the Mobile VAS space with connectivity over 15 African countries. Hyve today generates over R500 million in annual revenue, operates a team of over 80 people across 20 countries and processes billions of transactions per month on their flagship Service Delivery Platform.

CHARL NORMAN
EXEC CO-FOUNDER – HYVE MOBILE

Charl started his first business in his early twenties which was acquired by global media giant Naspers. 

He then went on to start another business with Bradley, called OnNet, which was a full service digital agency. From within OnNet, Hyve Mobile was born.

Charl was Young Entrepreneur of Africa runner up at age 24, and named in Mail&Guardian’s 200 Executives to watch at 26.

TYLER REED
EXEC CO-FOUNDER – HYVE MOBILE

Tyler Reed is a technically led CEO with 10+ years experience in the digital, mobile, and telecoms environments having worked with companies such as Vodacom, Multichoice, Media24, TraceTV, WeChat, SAB in an agency or consulting capacity. 

As part of the senior management at Hyve, Tyler has worked on the expansion and growth of Hyve both technically and operationally, taking Hyve to a team of 80+, with 15+ deployments throughout Africa.

SAMANTHA McMURTRIE
CEO – VIAMEDIA

Samantha graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in Film & Media Studies from the UCT (Dean’s Merit List for academic excellence).

In 2007 Samantha qualified as an Executive Consciousness Coach accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and COMSA board.

In the last 15 years Samantha has been involved in the IT and telecommunication sector, developing, deploying and monetising mobile content, products and platforms in the mobile space.

GEORGIE MIDGLEY
CEO – M4Jam

Georgie is the CEO of M4Jam; a technology platform that embraces the “gig economy” by enabling people to earn by undertaking microtasks.  

She is an entrepreneur and is highly passionate about disruptive technologies that have the potential to improve the quality of life for South Africans.

Georgie has over 14 years of experience in strategic investment, business development and leadership at Standard Bank, MTN and Richmark Holdings.

DOMINIC CARTER-JACKSON
CFO – M4Jam

A Chartered Accountant and member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). 

After completing articles he gained banking experience at Rand Merchant Bank, as well as 10 years telco experience, Dominic joined the DNI Group in 2014, handled various transactions, selling numerous businesses’ and ultimately added to the growth of M4Jam.

DEON NOBREGA
MD – PAYMENOW

With qualifications in engineering and IT, Deon has worked at Investec, Barclays/ ABSA on implementing client-facing digital products. 

After a stint as an FX trader, Deon joined a fintech startup in Stellenbosch as Director and Head of Product.

His experience at the intersection of financial services and disruptive fintech enables Deon to found Paymenow with the ultimate objective of pioneering the earned-wage access space in South Africa.

BRYAN HABANA
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT – PAYMENOW

Bryan studied BSc IT and is extremely well connected in corporate South Africa. He is a Laureus Academy Member following a record-breaking career as a Springbok rugby player.

Bryan is now a serial entrepreneur, having founded the Bryan Habana Foundation and various other startups in the digital tech industry, most notably Paymenow. 

WILLEM VAN ZYL
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR – PAYMENOW

With his education in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Willem has worked at ABSA for 12 years where he built some of the largest payments and workflow platforms in South Africa. After honing his skills being the payments architect, he was part of the Barclays Digital Products team.

Willem founded Fintec Labs in 2015 as chief technologist before joining Paymenow as one of the founding partners.

GERRY POTGIETER
SOFTWARE DEV DIRECTOR – PAYMENOW

Previously the Head of Development at a fintech company specialising in both B2B and B2C environments, Gerry has engineered the online banking platform at First National Bank and has been a core developer for over 20 years.

Gerry was poached to help develop the Paymenow mobile app and is one of the founding partners.

Richard Walton
CEO – DIGITATA

Richard has extensive experience and expertise in the telecoms and technology industry, he has a customer-focused approach, exceptional leadership skills, and a passion for developing talent within the organization. Richard has been with Digitata for 10 years in various leadership positions, he was appointed as CEO in 2018 and under Richard’s leadership, the company has achieved growth and expansion, and further delivered innovative solutions that have exceeded customer expectations. Richard is committed to excellence and to driving the company strategy forward.

Sarah Sprich
COO – DIGITATA

Sarah is a data-driven professional with a strong passion for building models, crafting compelling stories, and guiding informed decisions. Holding an MSc in Electrical Engineering, she has been an integral part of the Digitata team for the past 9 years. Sarah’s journey at Digitata began with the development of innovative pricing algorithms, and her dedication and expertise have led her to her current role as Chief Operations Officer. In this position, she is committed to ensuring top-quality delivery and exceptional service to all of Digitata’s customers, leveraging her extensive experience and deep understanding of Digitata’s unique value proposition.

Anton de Jongh
CCO – DIGITATA

Anton has over 20 years’ experience in the Information Technology sector. After obtaining his BCom Informatics degree Cum Laude from the University of Pretoria in 2002, Anton started working in the Telecommunications Industry as a Software Developer. In the years following, Anton held numerous positions across the Financial Services and Telecommunication sectors, including those in the Operational, Managerial and Strategic aspects of the business. He was appointed in his position after serving as Chief Operating Officer for Digitata, where he oversees all Business Development initiatives and forms part of the company’s Executive Team.

Nico Kruger
CTO – DIGITATA

Nico is an enthusiastic proponent of automation and failure planning to ensure adaptability and success. His 10+ years of experience in the telecoms industry have given him an acute understanding of technical systems, which he applies with great proficiency to provide optimized and practical solutions. He is a seasoned expert in multiple programming languages, from C++ to Javascript, and has extensive experience in a wide range of technologies, including AI, game development, and AWS. With a customer-centric approach, Nico ensures that the tools utilized are always suitable for the job and that the customer is fully satisfied with the outcome. Nico remains passionate about technology and its limitless possibilities, making him an invaluable asset to the Digitata team.

Krish Arnachellum
CFO – DIGITATA

Krish has been with Digitata Limited for more than 13 years. He was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Digitata Limited in September 2018 and has sat on the Board of Digitata Limited since 2018. He leads the company’s financial, administration and governance operations with an uncompromising commitment to quality and professionalism.

Prior to this Krish has worked in the aviation finance industry for 7 years and in the offshore sector for 3 years. Krish is a Certified Accountant FCCA (UK) since 2009.

Vladimira Briestenska
co-founder - neem

A Forbes-awarded entrepreneur, Vladimira is a globally recognised advocate for equality and justice. Passionate about the intersection of technology and social change, Vladimira co-founded Neem in Pakistan.

Vladimira holds an E.MA degree in human rights. Prior to Neem, she co-founded tech incubator in CEE, worked with the fintech fund Anthemis Group, and the European Union. Moreover, Vladimira actively promotes mental health support for entrepreneurs, and co-founded The Future Farm.

Nadeem Shaikh
CO-FOUNDER - NEEM​

Nadeem is a renowned leader in the Digital Financial Services industry, with over 35 years of experience and a diverse background as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and philanthropist. Nadeem co-founded Neem to provide financial wellness to underbanked communities. His extensive experience includes leadership positions at First Data, Veon and Anthemis Group, a pioneering venture capital firm in FinTech.

As a board member of impact-driven businesses and charities like Access Afya, Prospero World, and CARE Pakistan, Nadeem continues to drive positive change.

Naeem Zamindar
CO-FOUNDER - NEEM​

Naeem has served as the Minister of Investment for Pakistan, CEO of Acumen Fund Pakistan and Wateen Telecom (Pub) Ltd., and CSO of Jazz where he was part of the founding team that scaled the businesses to 32 million customers. During his time in Silicon Valley with Intel Capital, Naeem invested and managed over 22 venture capital investments.

He is an influential thought leader and speaker at events such as TEDx, Stanford GSB, Harvard, Wilson Center. He is currently on the Global Advisory Council of Acumen (USA) and boards of eight tech companies. He is an MBA from INSEAD.

STEVEN FURMAN
MD - PAYTIME

Steven is an experienced investor and CEO with a track record of success in growing businesses.

Steven held an executive position at an optical retailer prior to moving into Private Equity at Brait, after completing his MBA. He completed several growth capital investments in Australia (by setting a deal by deal SPV investment structure with high net worths) and then joined one of his investee companies in an executive chairman role focusing on growth.

In 2021 Steven moved to a non executive role to focus full time on scaling Paytime.