The appointment gives Yunus the opportunity to help guide the entire group’s growth plans and vision.
Towards the end of 2022, the acquisition of Silverbridge by ROX Equity Partners, a UK-based private equity company, was completed and the team began to construct a new organisation called Alula Technologies. Silverbridge always had the intention to go global and the acquisition aligns to that strategy.
ROX bought the majority stake in Silverbridge, which allowed it to delist from the JSE. This gave Silverbridge the freedom it needed to accelerate its globalisation plans, according to Yunus Scheepers, the company’s new group CIO.
“One of the main reasons ROX Equity Partners wanted to acquire us was because of our company culture; they want our culture to provide a strong foundation upon which the new organisation can build,” Yunus explains.
The newly formed entity, Alula Technologies, is still in its infancy with a small team. “There’s a lot on the go at the moment,” Yunus says. “For example, we’ve acquired the intellectual property of a product called Health Cloud, which consolidates personal health information from various public and private sources, and wearable devices.
“Health Cloud is data collection and consolidation exchange. It makes use of state-of-the-art technology called remote photoplethysmography (rPPG) which scans your face to detect blood pressure, and other health readings. This information, coupled with other health data obtained from various sources and financial health information that we obtain from our partner Astute FSE, can be used by life and health insurance companies to facilitate full, end-to-end automated life insurance underwriting and claims services,” he says.
As group CIO, Yunus will be reporting into the Alula Technologies and Silverbridge CEO. “We have various shared services, including HR, finance, go-to-market, and IT. I am accountable for the IT piece. I expect that as the group grows, so will the responsibilities of my role,” he explains.
Yunus has transitioned from Silverbridge’s CTO to Alula’s group CIO, but says there isn’t that much of a difference. “I’ve always pretty much been the SilverBridge CIO although I did, to a degree, get involved in some CTO-type activities (e.g., product development),” he says. “But now, due to changes in the organisation’s focus, structure and processes, I no longer have the capacity to do so. I now focus exclusively on the IT components (information management space) of the business.”
Yunus says his main focus now is providing continuity and the high level of service that the organisation requires, and is already accustomed to. In addition, a key activity will be the identification and implementation of technology to support, automate and digitise the evolving activities, processes and roles within the group.