Posted by: Carel | December 10, 2007

Vinny Lingham – CEO of Synthasite

SynthaSite Logo

Recently Vinny Lingham stepped down from his post as chief strategy officer of IncuBeta, the online marketing company he co-founded, to concentrate on the interests of his venture capital company, Lingham Capital and more specifically on Synthasite. Lingham, along with his wife, Charlene, and a couple of friends started IncuBeta in 2003 and have grown the Cape Town company into a 50-employee operation with offices in the United Kingdom and United States. IncuBeta owns and manages several businesses, namely Clicks2Customers, a performance search marketing partner; SEM agency Quirk, ReveNews, and CostPerNews.

 

Another IncuBeta startup company, Synthasite, is now one of the primary investments of his venture capital enterprise, Lingham Capital, and one of the primary targets of Lingham’s attention. Synthasite recently received another round of financing worth $5mm.

 

Lingham is a mix of youthful energy and idealism, hard work, brains and national pride. He’s 28, works 60-70 hours a week, is a member of the Mensa organization, and loves South Africa.

 

Raised in East London, a city on the east coast of South Africa, Lingham received an information systems degree from the University of Cape Town and (Vinny corrected me: he dropped out because he didn’t have the finances to continue. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets an honorary degree from UCT) an honors degree in electronic commerce from the University of South Africa. He is a fourth generation South African with ancestors from India. He loves to read, especially novels by Dan Brown and Tom Clancy, and is a movie fan. He considers Virgin founder Richard Bransen and U2 lead singer Bono personal role models. (He admires Bransen for his passion and fun, and Bono for his work for Africa.) In 2006 Lingham was the winner of the Top Young IT Entrepreneur in Africa Award. He is also listed in South Africa’s who’s who database.

 

He now serves as CEO of the Synthasite company, which taps into the Web 2.0 bloggosphere craze. Synthasite offers users the ability to assemble and publish their own Websites from any PC, with free hosting. Synthasite’s Website reads: “No more are your applications and files stuck on the office PC. Ever lost a file? Not with Synthasite.”

Lingham says, “Our primary goal is Web publishing for everyone. If we can tap into one percent of people online, then those are big numbers.” Synthasite will generate fees from user add-ons and specialist services.

This from a recent e-mail from Synthasite:

SynthaSite is now in the process of setting up offices in the Silicon Valley area later in Q1 next year, and we will maintain our offices in Cape Town. I, along with my co-founders will be moving to Silicon Valley and we’re looking to recruit a number of people – so please check our Careers page over the next few weeks for related positions in our company.

Synthasite is Lingham Capital’s single biggest investment. Another is Skyrove, a Wi-Fi hotspot provider.

Lingham’s first Internet business was Autofinance, which he sold to Johnnic e-Ventures in 1999. From there he worked as a business analyst for online gaming company Slickstreet Marketing. He quit Slickstreet to start the company that would become IncuBeta.

You can learn more about Lingham’s experiences and thoughts by reading his blog at www.vinnylingham.com.

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