Hoping to blaze trail for other companies

Entrepreneur Derek Handley says Snakk Media is seeking to target India and Australia. Photo NZ...
Entrepreneur Derek Handley says Snakk Media is seeking to target India and Australia. Photo NZ Herald.

Kiwi tech entrepreneur Derek Handley hopes his latest start-up company will become a blueprint for companies seeking to raise up to $5 million of capital.

Mr Handley's firm, Snakk Media, which helps companies get their advertising to smartphone and tablet computer users, said it planned to list on New Zealand's alternative market.

Snakk is taking advantage of the rapid rise in the use of mobile devices and more than tripled its operating revenue to $1.99 million in the year to March 31.

The media start-up is Mr Handley's second foray into the mobile space.

His first effort, mobile marketing company the Hyperfactory, was scooped up by United States-based Meredith Corp in 2010 for a sum thought to be more than $US20 million ($NZ24.5 million).

The former Selwyn College student said listing on the NZAX would help Snakk raise capital quickly when needed.

Given the rise of angel investment groups such as Ice Angels, it was relatively easy for a New Zealand start-up to raise $1 million if it had some early success.

"But when you get beyond $1 million or $2 million it's very, very hard," he said.

"I think if Snakk works it should prove that gap - the $2 million to $5 million gap - can be filled if you can efficiently, cost-effectively do an [NZ]AX listing."

Mr Handley said the start-up would also seek to acquire other small firms in the mobile advertising space.

While Snakk intends to launch on the local stock exchange in the coming months, its growth has predominantly taken place across the Tasman where most of its 17 staff are based.

The company is not particularly focused on New Zealand, where the mobile advertising market is estimated to grow to $2.5 million by the end of this year.

Mr Handley said Snakk intended to target Australia and India where mobile advertising was forecast to be worth more than $100 million annually within the next three to five years.

- Hamish Fletcher


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