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Wipster eyes $1.5 million-plus funding round, wins ticket to Tel Aviv

Cloud-based video collaboration venture Wipster will be immersed in Israel’s hotbed of startup innovation after winning a trip laid on by the Israeli government and promoted by Wellington City Council, Grow Wellington, Creative HQ, ATEED and Callaghan Innovation.

Wipster launched globally at SXSW in March and has already secured $600,000 in seed funding from investors including the ICE Angels, AngelHQ, tech investor Ben Kepes and Xero chairman Sam Knowles after participating in Wellington accelerator Lightning Lab.

Existing investors have added at least another $200,000 and Wipster plans another funding round next year to raise at least $1.5 million to scale its growth.

“I believe startups need to extend their runways as long as possible to prove everything, not just spend on growth without knowing what that means,” says CEO Rollo Wenlock.

Since its seed round Wipster has been proving the cost of acquiring a customer and retaining them during the customer lifecycle, Wenlock says.

“We’re still prototyping what the round needs to be. A company similar to us in collaboration software just raised $11 million. It could be $1.5 million or it could be $10 million.”

?Wenlock wants to use the trip to Tel Aviv to bring learnings back to the Wellington startup community. “Tel Aviv is one of the top five startup capitals in the world. The culture of innovation is massive,” he says.

Startup Tel Aviv is held during September’s DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference involving hundreds of startups, VCs, angel investors and multinationals.

It will bring together several companies whose personnel Wenlock wants to meet in person. “It’s like when we went to South by Southwest, you can find people on social media then say, ‘we’ll meet in 10 minutes’. When conversations happen in person you get to see if you can add value to each other really fast, compared to email or Skype.”

Wipster has 6500 users in 95 countries.

It’s also been chosen for Microsoft’s BizSpark startup programme ahead of more than 50,000 startups around the world. That means it gets three years of free resources, software and support.

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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