Story image

Digital guestbook startup raises $1mil in capital after hitting $1mil revenue mark

31 Jan 18

Tauranga-based software company SwipedOn is in a position for accelerated growth after this week achieving $1million revenue, with a further $1million in capital raised.

SwipedOn, which was founded in 2014, is a software-as-a-service company that replaces paper visitor books with an iPad application.

Its founders grew the business with no financial backing or sales team, to being used in over 2,000 cities worldwide.  

SwipedOn founder and CEO Hadleigh Ford says the two recent milestones would position the company for a high-growth phase of aggressive development.

“SwipedOn has been used by more than five million visitors around the world and we’re set to record millions more during 2018 alone,” Ford says.

“We’re pleased to see the business experiencing dramatic revenue and user growth, and we’re braced for an impressive business trajectory.

“Last year, we circulated our November update with the latest client numbers and revenue details, and as a result a number of investors were keen to take a larger stake. Because of this we extended the commitment period by 24 hours and raised a further $150,000 – an eventual oversubscription of $300,000.”

The bulk of the funds were committed by Enterprise Angels, K1W1 and NZVIF, which, like SwipedOn, are based in Tauranga.

Enterprise Angels manager Nina Le Lievre says the company was an attractive prospect with such an impressive growth story.

“Software-as-a-service model companies are very appealing to investors,” Le Lievre says.

“The recurring revenue provides many benefits, the most appealing being the increasing sales and profit margins, plus revenue and customer retention is typically higher.”

From the beginning of 2016, SwipedOn has focused on one core product: an elegant iPad-based visitor management system that replaces outdated visitor books with a sleek, simple and modern solution.

“We’re focused on SME businesses with employee counts between 20 and 500, but interest in SwipedOn comes from all directions,” Ford says.

“SwipedOn is very economical, starting at just USD$19 per month which gives us the edge over most of our competitors, as they’re pursuing enterprise customers.

Ford adds that the product is deliberately lower-cost and simpler, targeting the bigger market opportunity that is small and mid-sized businesses.

“We started in the regions in New Zealand and we’ve moved the business to Tauranga, where we have more than 20 employees, but 90% of our customers are international. Since we raised capital, we’ve been able to employ five new full-time staff.

"I’ve been impressed with the talent we have seen applying for the roles and we’re really happy with the team we are building in Tauranga.”

Entrepreneur, investor and tech commentator Ben Kepes has come on board as Chair and Colin Groves as investor director (Chair of Oriens Capital and Waikato Rugby, former head of mergers and acquisitions for Tetra Laval and an active NZ and UK company director).

Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
SingleSource scores R&D grant to explore digital identity over blockchain
Callaghan Innovation has awarded a $318,000 R&D grant to Auckland-based firm SingleSource, a company that applies risk scoring to digital identity.