RIVO MHLARI (24)
Co-founder and CEO: Rikatec, Johannesburg
When co-founders Mhlari and
Jesse Matheri were shopping Rikatec around – a system that uses big data and machine learning to predict and detect vehicle breakdowns, predict maintenance, measure vehicle wear and tear, calculate vehicle resale value and rate driving – they faced rejection at every turn, not because their product wasn’t viable, but because the major motor manufacturers and insurers believed what they were proposing was impossible.
Today, they have 17 500 Rikatec units out in the market and are making international waves. “Because it’s technology that’s highly interconnected and has never been done before, we didn’t have a blueprint to create it – instead, we needed to create the blueprint and learn how to create the technology,” says Mhlari. “It was extremely difficult doing that while studying finance and accounting!”
The applications for the Rikatec technology are near-endless and could come to play a pivotal role in predicting failures and monitoring performance in all manner of industries. “Because we use firmware, rather than hardware, we’re an Internet of Things company, so we’re able to provide a service and create software for nearly any system that outputs data,” says Mhlari.