Don't let Vaughan Rowsell's devilishly good looking mustache fool you, the man knows how to close a deal. Today his Auckland-based cloud point of sale company has announced it's raised NZ$8 million and it's planning to put it to good use growing the team overseas.
In May last year the company raised $2 million from German venture capital firm Point Nine, which has once again invested into the company. Rowsell, who founded Vend in 2010, says around half of the latest figure is from existing investors in New Zealand and overseas – whilst a third has come from Australian investors including MYOB founder Craig Winkler, and the co-founders of Seek.com.au Paul Bassett and Matt Rockman. Meanwhile in New Zealand, Brian Gaynor has gotten behind the software company through the Milford KiwiSaver Active Growth Fund and Milford Active Growth Fund.
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"It's a real compliment having so many of our existing investors fund us again, it shows that we're onto something here," says Rowsell.
Vend currently has 6500 customers in over 100 countries and Rowsell says the company is achieving almost $3 million in revenues annually.
The $8 million will be used towards expanding Vend's operations in its "tier one" markets in Australia, North America and the UK. Rowsell says the company intends to hire 100 new staff "as soon as practically possible" to support growth in these markets and other regions of interest in Asia and Africa.
Vend is currently in the midst of moving out of the office it shares in with Xero in Melbourne to its own space, which will eventually accommodate between 20-30 staff.
With several Kiwi tech companies floating on the New Zealand Stock Exchange this year, such as Snakk Media, SLI Systems and perhaps shortly Wynyard Group – there seems to be a trend towards growth through listing. Rowsell says he's not considering listing Vend on the stock exchange at this stage, but that doesn't mean the company might not appear on stock tickers in a few years time.
"There's something pretty exciting about listing, but we've raised enough cash to use over the next few years ... Perhaps 18 months down the track there might be something to be said about going out to the public and raising more cash ... Right now it's not something we're letting distract us," he says.
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