Hadleigh Ford shares how SwipedOn got bought by an international company

Going global

Hadleigh Ford shares how SwipedOn got bought by an international company

What a difference a year can make. Just ask SwipedOn founder and CEO Hadleigh Ford. Founded in 2013, the Tauranga-based SwipedOn produces a slick, iPad-powered visitor sign-in platform for business reception areas, a well-overdue replacement to archaic paper-based systems. On the strength of that product, the company raised $1 million in 2017 from such investors as Enterprise Angels, Quayside Holdings, the NZVIFund and Stephen Tindall. So far, so good. Then, just a year later the company dramatically sold to UK investor SmartSpace for a cool $11 million – quite the return on its earlier six-figure raise. That’s good enough for us, so we spoke to Ford, a former harbour pilot, about growing companies, burning the midnight oil and the similarities between working at sea and working in the C-suite.

Done deals

SwipedOn is a visitor management software company that was founded by former master mariner Hadleigh Ford, who wanted a sophisticated tech-based solution to visitors checking into the superyacht he worked on. Now, the Tauranga-based company has just been bought by UK-based Smartspace software for $11 million. The company will keep its staff and operations in New Zealand, but will use the leverage of being owned by a public company to continue its growth globally. We chat with Ford about the acquisition and Smartspace’s unlikely origin story.