South African-born serial entrepreneur Vinny Lingham announced on Thursday the founding and funding of his new startup venture, Civic, based in Palo Alto, California. By Staff Writer
Lingham said in a statement that Civic aims to tackle the problem of consumer identity theft and reducing online identity fraud. Civic is expected to launch in spring 2016.
Civic has just closed a $2.75 million round of seed funding, led by Social Leverage, a notable early stage fintech investment fund. Social Leverage’s founding partner, Howard Lindzon, will also join Civic’s board.
“Consumers need better control of their personal information and their digital identities. Civic will deliver a beautiful and secure consumer experience to solve this problem,” said Lingham. “We believe that consumers should never have to pay to protect their identity from misuse and that’s why we will be offering free identity protection for life when we launch in spring 2016.”
Originally from South Africa and now living in Silicon Valley, Lingham is a serial entrepreneur who has served as founder and CEO of three prior companies (Gyft, Yola and Clicks2Customers) and was recently appointed to the board of the Bitcoin Foundation.
He maintains close ties to his homeland where he stars in “Dragon’s Den” (South Africa’s version of “Shark Tank”) and is also the co-founder of the local technology hub, the Silicon Cape Initiative.
After a successful leadership transition period following First Data’s acquisition of Gyft, Lingham recently stepped aside from overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations to focus on his entrepreneurial efforts.
He sold his virtual gift card service, Gyft, for $52m and is an alumnus of Endevour Entrepreneurs that includes Bruce Morgan of GreatSoft, Adrian Gore of Discovery, and Taste Holdings’ Carlo Gonzaga.