Mobile Disruption . Entrepreneur . Digital Commerce
Based: Cape Town
ANDRE DE WET is no overnight success. In fact, he sold his first business at the young age of 27, and lost everything again by 28. More than 25 years and 10 000 days in the making, ANDRE DE WET has a passion for everything digital and how it can, does and will change our lives. Working closely with a wide range of businesses while serving as mentor on a range of boards, his life’s purpose is simple: To leave people with a vision, a dream and the tools to achieve it.
Growing up in Johannesburg and matriculating at Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool in Pretoria, ANDRE went on to study medicine at the University Of The Free State. He soon realised that instead of curing the sick, his ambition was focused on growth; he wanted to work with people with a lust for life and an outlook that wants to change the world. Abandoning his studies, he set his sights on the world of digital commerce and started a range of businesses and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Believing that anything is possible, this university dropout took his one shot at life and jumped head and shoulders into the world of the entrepreneur. His startup businesses included, amongst others, an internet domain business, time-share sales, door-to-door encyclopedia sales, a venture in education, outdoor advertising and many more.
With the arrival of the first mobile phones in 1994, his thirst and desire for knowledge recognised the dawn of a brand-new world; a new space where things are and do happen. This included everything in this new genre; payments, commerce and communication. The era of connection, communication, data and information anywhere and everywhere making the world smaller; combined with ANDRE’s inherent excitement of creating something new, took him and his ventures all the way through the first .com-boom and now into the 21st century.
After nearly a decade abroad living in London and a few years in Asia, he returned back in SA and from 2011 onward grew the website and mobile app, PriceCheck to be one of the top e-commerce website in Africa. Under ANDRE’s leadership as CEO, the PriceCheck App was voted ‘The Best Mobile App Internationally’, beating 150 000 other entrants from across the world. In South Africa, the app went on to be voted the MTN ‘Business App of The Year’ and had more than a million downloads in its first year. In December 2015, PriceCheck was selected as one of South Africa’s Top 25 companies to work for by Fast Company Magazine. After 4 years at the helm, ANDRE exited the venture to a VC investment firm and set his sights on new undertakings.
In 2016 ANDRE is appointed as Head of Africa for iflix, the largest OTT streaming service in emerging markets. He went on to grow the company across Africa with 5 different country offices, 80 staff and more than 5000 hours of content, all while raising $20 million for the business in their first year.
ANDRE has been the keynote speaker at, amongst others, AfricaCom (2013 & 2014); Consumer Goods Council of SA (2013); eCommerce Africa Confex (2012, 2014 & 2015); Retail World Africa (2015); he headlined at Google’s Start-Up Grind (2015) and is well remembered for his ‘It Takes 15 Years To Become An Overnight Success‘ at NetProphet (2013).
In 2017 he headlined the nationwide launch of the online legal solution DriveRevenue.com across 5 cities. In 2019, he was awarded the ‘Most Innovative Business Leader In South Africa’ Award by Global Brands – an international body seeking to commemorate innovative individuals. Later that year, he was contracted by Vodacom to write the strategy for their SuperApp, which now forms part of their business growth plans. In 2020 he al so formed part of Cape Talk Radio’s ‘Inspiring CEOs’ series.
As CEO of UBU, he led a highly skilled and diverse team to create an internationally accepted mobile discovery, payments and rewards platform for digital and physical commerce. Currently he serves as Director: Head of International Funding for the larger group of UBU.
When he is not aggressively growing businesses, ANDRE calls the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town home where he resides with his wife and three daughters. Besides a passion for art collecting, he manifests an enjoyment for extreme sports and bucket list items which also saw him setting up a Guinness World Record in KiteBoarding in Cape Town in 2016 and crossing the Himalayas on a motorbike in 2017.
Living by the principles of do no harm to others, taking chances and keep on hustling, there truly is only one word to describe ANDRE DE WET: Visionary.
- “Reclaiming the market: What SA lost and the rest of the world won” – the scope of opportunity we have in SA and how to use the rest of the world as our market place.
- “Blended Business: Digital-Commerce opportunities in a retail world” – how mobile commerce changes everything for a traditional retailer.
- “Predator thinking”: a masterclass in how to outwit the competition, in ordinary life as well as in business.
- “It takes 15 years to become an overnight success” – why the first million takes so long to make and why the second doesn’t.
- “Follow your passion’ – why this is terrible advice, yet how to build a career that addresses this.