Kiwi Collect raises cash to go Stateside
A loyalty card software firm is raising cash to grab the retail market overseas, writes Jayne Atherton
A kiwi company which collects data from shopping loyalty cards, is launching a $1 million equity fundraising drive tomorrow (Monday) so that it can push further into the US market.
Wellington based Collect's software was launched only last year, but is already used by 800 retailers in 62 countries.
The software allows companies to collect information through loyalty cards used in stores, so that they can target customers with offers and other marketing information.
Its subscription model costs between $19 and $49 per month to target small busiensses as well as larger corporate firms.
Colelct said that currently, fifty per cent of its customers were in Australia, but 30 per cent of its business is now to be found in the US, which in the past has proved to be a hard market to crack for new Zealand firms.
But Collect's chief executive, Brent Spicer said he believed the firm could succeed where others had struggled.
Spicer said: "Market research and product testing has shown us that the US has a massive 50 per cent of the global retail market and is the largest single opportunity for us.
"Success there will not only drive revenue, but significantly increase the valuation of the company. This will allow us to raise additional capital overseas in the future and hopefully, will lead to future rises in the business's value."
Spicer said that to be successful in the US demanded a physical presence in the form of an office and people on the ground.. He sad the founders of the Collect company had spent an increasing amount of time in the US but its research had shown the benefits were enhanced with a full time operation there.
Collect is opening its offer tomorrow through Crowdcube and Armillary Private Capital.
Spicer added: "We will use the money raised in this round to build an American sales and marketing team.They will be responsible for sales globally driven from the US. We have already begun the search for staff. Once we are established and starting to scale the US business, we will have everything necessary to raise capital there too.
"We are already heading towards having around 40 per cent of our customers in North America. This is being driven by distribution agreements we have in place with well-funded US based partners such as Shopify, Big Commerce, Revel Systems, Lightspeed, Mail Chimp and Constant Contact.
"Once we complete our integrations with the three largest, our market will amount to around 70 per cent of the entire retail and hospitality market.
"We are also working on major partnership opportunities there with some well-known multi-billion dollar US brands which if secured will be game-changing."
The fundraising round will come to an end in two months, but Spicer said he hoped to have raised the target sum in a few weeks. He said Collect wiould have US operations up and running within 3-4 months of having closed the offer.
Collect's management team and board includes ex-Xero executives Paula Jackson and Paul Williams, ex-Google exec Kyle Enright who is based in San Francisco), and Peter Biggs, the chairman of Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.
Spicer said: "The service is a suite of tools which allow businesses to be more efficient when marketing its goods and services to customers. There are huge opportunities for us."
- Sunday Star Times