In 2003, Theunis de Klerk co-founded IT networking company, which by 2015 had evolved into what is now known as Noldor Technologies. Lord of the Rings fans will know that the Noldor were ‘those with knowledge’ and the greatest of the elves. Theunis’s mission: to build cool shit with friends.
Today, Noldor specialises in websites, mobile and desktop applications, server hosting, Wi-Fi and CCTV, with clients in Africa, Europe and North and South America.
The story begins after he completed high school in Witbank. Theunis came to Johannesburg and set out to learn everything he could about desktop computers. Following a stint as a self-taught web developer, he became a programming expert. In 2004, he joined e-billing and e-invoicing company Striata where he met industry stalwart Michael Wright, to whom Theunis refers as ‘the right person at the right time’.
Within 18 months, Theunis headed the Striata team and in 2008 he was sent to Singapore to oversee a key implementation for Citibank, the consumer division of financial services multinational Citigroup. From 2008 to 2012, he worked on a number of high-calibre projects, including the ground-breaking electronic tax return filing system, eFiling, for the South African Revenue Service (Sars).
Toward the end of 2012, Theunis began to dream about running his own company. In true start-up fashion, he left Striata and started working from his lounge. He called on friend and former colleague Brett Labuschagne, now chief technology officer at Noldor, to join him. Brett was only too keen. Shortly after that, Simon Gill, Noldor’s head of creative services, teamed up with the two; today they form the close-knit exco of the company.
Theunis has also run a part-time software development consultancy that ultimately failed in 2003 because of time pressures. This unpleasant experience taught him much about entrepreneurship and provided valuable lessons about how to run a business, many of which he applies in his current role as CEO of Noldor.
That early unsuccessful entrepreneurial endeavour did, however, have one extremely positive business outcome – it was during this time that Theunis was approached by Whitfields Property Management, a specialist residential and commercial property management agency, to build its property management software platform.
Although initially designed to simply be a website, more than a decade later, it has evolved into a complete solution incorporating an accounting system, complex management, billings, user management and a platform for more than 400 websites and mobile apps. All services have been entirely built, hosted, maintained and managed by Noldor. The system is being expanded further to allow complexes across South Africa to self-manage, and to enable financial institutions to take full advantage of the reporting and financing functionality on a stand-alone basis.
Now known as Amiti Solutions, Noldor’s platform provides secure, efficient and cost-effective online management tools for a range of community schemes in South Africa – including, property, education, and sports facilities management.
Theunis’s driving force – which now lies at the heart of Noldor – is to change the lives of those around him. This approach is accompanied by a deep-seated belief in the value of ongoing learning. His passion for new technology, new ideas and new ways of thinking have enabled Noldor to differentiate itself from other development companies in a highly competitive market, and to attract clients who are as excited by extraordinary new business solutions as are he and his team.