Pieter de Villiers began his career as an optometrist, but quickly pivoted into the world of technology entrepreneurship when he realised running a retail store was not his cup of tea.
Today, the business he co-founded with his twin brother Casper and two others — Danie du Toit and Patrick Lawson — is chasing down US$1-billion in annual revenue in the coming years and is helping invent the fledgling world of “chat commerce”.
De Villiers joins Duncan McLeod on the TechCentral podcast to talk about Clickatell’s journey, including the early days of the business, how it raised funding from Sequoia Capital — becoming the first African company to successfully get funding from the storied venture capital firm — and why he spent 10 years living in Silicon Valley, only to return to South Africa in 2015. Listen to the interview below.
He talks about how Clickatell helped WhatsApp become the messaging giant it is today (co-founder Jan Koum was a fan of Clickatell’s technology) and how the company has used WhatsApp as a basis to build solutions in the areas of chat banking and chat commerce.
He also talks about Clickatell’s future plans and comments on whether an IPO is in the offing.
Don’t miss the discussion!
(A video version of this podcast is available here, but due to audio and video syncing issues that couldn’t be fixed in the edit, we recommend the audio version.)
Listen the the interview
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