In 2008, shortly after Apple released the first iPhone, a group of engineers saw an opportunity in the mobile app market. At that time, App development was still relatively new and one of the Polymorph founders, Herman Lintvelt, started developing mobile iOS apps in his loft in Worcester, South Africa. Co-founder, Colin Payne, later joined him as chief of design. Colin has an absolute passion for great user experience. Shortly thereafter, two engineers from Stellenbosch, Richard Barry and Wim Morris, joined the team and brought with them a wealth of experience in Android development and business skills.
The small but talented Polymorph team quickly showed that they have the ability and the vision to create innovative and reliable mobile experiences. In 2012, they created Capitec banking app, one of the leading banks in South Africa’s first mobile app, and shortly thereafter built Absa’s international foreign exchange app. Over the past 13 years, the company has developed various successful mobile apps for large enterprises such as Old Mutual, STBB and Energy Partners, and worked with start-ups such as Linebooker that has grown to become a multi-million rand company within only 3 years.
The majority of Polymorph’s new contracts originate in referrals from satisfied clients which speaks volumes of Polymorph’s high quality service and development expertise.
Complex problems often not only consist of the technology element. It is easy to haphazardly jump in and start coding from a specification list but more often than not it takes thorough research to understand the real problem or the specific customer need. This is another key factor that differentiates Polymorph.
“I think the reason why our clients enjoy working with us is because of the way we collaborate to find solutions which in the end deliver real business value. We are very transparent in the way we engage with our clients. This builds a strong trust relationship and is more of a partnership resulting in long term collaboration unlike software developers who deliver based on a list of requirements that may or may not deliver business value,” says Lize Monametsi, CEO at Polymorph
The ideal Polymorph clients are those with a comprehensive understanding of their industry who identified a specific problem or need that can be solved with software and/or IoT. It is therefore a mutually beneficial partnership between Polymorph as the software development, technology and user experience expert and the client who has the domain knowledge – they won’t find a working solution without each other.
Many clients contact Polymorph after their project(s) fail the first time. Software development has inherent risks that many companies fail to mitigate. Although failure could be due to various reasons, one thing that Polymorph never does is overpromise and underdeliver. “We always prefer transparency and will rather tell our clients that they won’t necessarily get everything right the first time, but that we will be with them every step of the journey until they get everything right. We encourage clients to release early, learn quickly and not waste a lot of money by focusing development efforts and resources on building the wrong solution. In the end, the client will have a great solution after taking minimal business risk,” says Richard Barry, co-founder and head of innovation at Polymorph.
In 2018, Stellenbosch-based engineering company Alphawave, made a sizable investment in Polymorph who then became part of the Alphawave Group of companies. Alphawave at the time had decades of software development and engineering product experience and they saw a great opportunity in learning from Polymorph’s unique approach to user-centric software development. Being a product-focused company, Alphawave also saw an opportunity to learn and apply some of Polymorph’s success in following a predictable pipeline and predictable service delivery model.