Venture capital boost for developer

GetHomeSafe founder Boyd Peacock says 2021 is shaping up to be a busy year. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
GetHomeSafe founder Boyd Peacock says 2021 is shaping up to be a busy year. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Raising $775,000 in venture capital funding for a Dunedin tech company will open global opportunities, its founder says.

The past 12 months had been big for GetHomeSafe, securing funding and new partnerships, chief executive officer Boyd Peacock said.

"I’m pretty chuffed with it all," Mr Peacock said.

"It’s shaping up to be a busy year."

GetHomeSafe’s largest new investor by far is New Zealand venture capital firm Punakaiki Fund.

Punakaiki is putting $500,000 into the company that has developed a safety app that tracks lone workers.

The phone app tells employers where their remote workers are, if they consent.

If a worker fails to check in as planned, the app sends their location.

Part of the investment was focusing on partnerships with like-minded organisations, Mr Peacock said.

The company had made good progress, partnering with another Dunedin tech company, TracPlus, and fleet vehicle tracking organisation Eroad.

It had also secured a contract with the University of Otago.

GetHomeSafe has acquired three clients in the 500-plus licence category in 2020, he said.

New growth had remained steady, about doubling each year.

"We are working on some other stuff, which we can’t talk about just yet, in development," he said.

"We are making good progress in what we’re trying to achieve."

GetHomeSafe had about 10,000 users.

Of those, 9000 people were paying monthly subscriptions across about 250 clients, Mr Peacock said.

The team had grown from three full-time equivalent staff a year ago to eight.

Most were based in Dunedin and two developers were in Christchurch and Queenstown.

The capital deal gives Punakaiki a 17% stake in the startup, valued at $3million.

"We had a couple of years of good growth and we had some ambitious plans that we needed capital for," Mr Peacock said.

"We went out pitching last year through Mainland Angels [Investors] network."

Punakaiki responded and came on board as an investor after a few months of processes.

Mr Peacock had talked previously to Punakaiki Fund manager Lance Wiggs in 2018, but it was too soon then, he said.

"We came back on their radar three years later and they were interested to see the progress we have made."

He described the capital-raising as quite a big project to get through last year.

The investment would open opportunities for further development and also promotion, he said.

Up until now, GetHomeSafe’s marketing had been limited to word-of-mouth and a website.

Punakaiki Fund investment manager Nadine Hill said Mr Peacock was the sort of founder that Punakaiki loved to work with: "quiet, hardworking and focused and with strong values and a good way with people".

"We back companies with global potential —– and GetHomeSafe already has overseas customers and that will only grow," Ms Hill said.

bruce.quirey@odt.co.nz


 

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