The pet sitter who now owns South Africa’s top independent ISP

26 April 2018


The Afrihost story reads like a Hollywood script: two friends decide to dabble in domain names, and two decades later they own the largest independent ISP in South Africa.

This is not fiction, however, but rather what happened in the case of Gian Visser.

Visser has been Afrihost CEO since the company was started in the late nineties.

Visser recalls how Brendan Armstrong, his best friend and Afrihost cofounder, told him in 1997 “about these things called domain names which were unique addresses on this thing called the Internet”.

“So we registered about 20 generic domain names which was all we could afford at the time, as we thought we could sell them for a profit at some point in the future,” said Visser.

Armstrong then put up a Linux hosting box and they hosted a free bed-and-breakfast website, which Visser had designed after skim-reading “Frontpage in 24 Hours”.

“From there we started offering domain and web hosting to clients for R150 per month,” said Visser.

At the time, MWEB and IS were offering virtual web hosting at R550 per month – and so Afrihost was born. Read the full article on My Broadband here.