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South Africa, Technology
Founded by serial entrepreneurs Murat and Kerem, Bizitek is an enterprise software solutions company with world-class products in CRM, BPM, and HRM. Recognized by Deloitte near the top of the “Turkey Fast 50” list, Bizitek is a rapidly growing young company with global potential. In May 2009, Bizitek was acquired by telecommunications firm Ericsson.
The story of Bizitek is one that at times sounds like it should be set in Silicon Valley rather than Istanbul. For born-techies Murat and Kerem, keeping up with the latest technology has always been their passion. Having studied Mechanical Engineering at Boğaziçi University, Murat, Bizitek’s General Manager, went on to receive a Master’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio University (USA). Murat started his career with Koç Holding upon graduation, and was selected for Koç Holding’s Management Trainee Program. He first met Kerem, Bizitek’s COO and also a Boğaziçi University graduate, with a degree in Computer Engineering, in the late 1990s while the two were both employed as young engineers at ATA Menkul Degerler, Turkey’s largest brokerage house at the time. Seeing potential in the two young engineers, ATA’s founder and CEO, Korhan Kurdoglu, himself an entrepreneurial icon of sorts within Turkey, encouraged Murat and Kerem to spin out the impressive software they were building at the time and sell it to other companies. With the support of Kurdoglu, Murat and Kerem launched Tradesoft, a software development and consulting company specializing in financial software applications. Customers were extremely impressed with the product, and Tradesoft grew quickly, catapulting Murat and Kerem into the spotlight as a duo of dynamic, young software pioneers in Istanbul.
Yet for Tradesoft, long-term success was not meant to be. First, Kerem was called to serve his obligatory military service. Murat continued leading the company, but was eager to expand its product offering outside of the financial sector. Hungry for more, he took the strategic decision in 2000 to leave Tradesoft and launch Bizitek. Once Kerem returned from his military service that year, he took a job working for Probil, a large IT Solutions provider in Turkey. The two entrepreneurs reunited in 2000 when Murat, still very much in the start-up phase of Bizitek, called Kerem. In search of quality leadership and capital, Murat got both with a single phone call! Not only did Kerem rejoin him, teaming up to run Bizitek, but he was able to convince Probil to provide the initial investment.
During the acquisition of Bizitek by Ericsson, Endeavor Turkey provided minor legal and financial guidance. Kerem and Murat have also participated in an Immersion Tour.
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