Village News – February 2022

February has been a crazy start to our year! With two investments announced in this edition of our Village News, events that are coming up and activity that we are seeing in the market, here is a recap of February 2022.

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February has been a crazy start to our year! With two investments announced in this edition of our Village News, events that are coming up and activity that we are seeing in the market, here is a recap of February 2022.

Portfolio company updates

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Bolster Co-founders, Steffen Merten (Left) & Guy Phillips (Right)

Bolster is bridging the gap between people, data and an AI future. We are thrilled to be leading their Pre-seed capital raise to accelerate product development and growth!

Guy & Steffen are the perfect duo to be tackling the problem of disparate data, having had vast experience in the data intelligence and data science space through Palantir, AWS, Xero and others. As a couple of military veterans, it is a pleasure to be on this canoe with them and support them through this next phase of their journey.

If you are an organisation that is looking to get faster actionable insights for your employees who need it the most, you can book a demo with Bolster at

Lastly, off the back of this $1 million capital raise, they are looking to hire some exceptional people. Specifically:

  • A Senior Platform Engineer;

  • A Senior Software Engineer; and

  • A Senior Product Manager

If you have experience with AWS, Product Management, and/or Full-stack engineering, and are keen on a new adventure, see the open roles here.

Read why we invested in Bolster here

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We are incredibly excited to announce our investment in Space Rock Games! Rob and Alex are avid gamers and the thought of investing in games brought delight to our hearts. In early February of 2021, we were introduced to Zsombor Pirok, a Hungarian turned Kiwi, through a chance encounter during our 2021 Startup Capital Roadshow where he laid out his founding team's ambitions to create a gaming studio that was built off the philosophy of ethical game development, social gaming and creating games that bring people together. Fast forward a year and we have now led their first round of outside capital and are thrilled to play the first IP that they are creating right now, "Criminals Within". You can learn a little bit more about their new game here.

Read why we invested in Space Rock Games here

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Using a combination of cutting-edge and proprietary technology that's unavailable anywhere else on the market, Hey Yabble Count creates themes and sub-themes from their customer's unstructured text data, applying sentiment at both the individual comment and overall dataset levels.

It's fully automated, works on any source of unstructured data — including product reviews, survey responses, social media comments, and call centre data — and the insights it creates enable you to immediately identify the key things you can do to drive business growth.

Count joins Hey Yabble Query (their original summarization product) as the cornerstone of Hey Yabble, their world-leading AI-powered insights generator. You can use Count and Query separately — or for the most powerful results, run a Query after you've reviewed your Count results and identified areas worth further exploration.

You can book a demo of this revolutionary product here

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Off the back of their capital raise, Mobli has really ramped up their hiring. With this comes a need to build culture and collaboration between the new team members. So what did Mobli do? They held a week-long team session to go through Mobli's mission as a team!

Energising, fun, learning and passion - just a few words to describe their Mobli team session. It was great to spend the week focussing on Mobli, their why around making mobility accessible, sustainable and fun and their values. They even managed to get in a few games of FIFA and Starcraft along with some Go-karting 🏎

Also, in other news, James Datson, Mobli's CRO has recently published a blog post that looks at the role of government (and Mobli!) can play to democratise access to game-changing transit software, improving transport outcomes for all and getting us moving again.

You can read the blog here

Partly is the gold standard of autoparts and fitment data.

Recently, Co-founder & CEO, Levi Fawcett, hopped onto a podcast with Lucas Monk to discuss all things first principles. They had a discussion about:

  • His learnings from his previous role as one of the first engineers at Rocket Lab

  • His first few ventures at University and starting AllGoods

  • Growth hacks + viral loops strategies

  • Transitioning from engineer to leader

  • Identifying the huge problem that led to Partly

Additionally, they recently published an article about adding vehicle fitment data into your existing online car parts store. With Partly working with the likes of eBay in integrating with their auto parts marketplace, they are adding significant value to connecting the world's parts for anyone who sells vehicle parts digitally.

Read their recent blogpost here

If you or anyone you know sells auto parts online or knows anyone who does, please get in touch with the Partly team down below and book a demo!

Book a demo with Partly here

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Off the back of their $1 million capital raise, Scannable has brought one some amazing team members to help fulfil their mission of connecting safety equipment data to all parts of the equipment supply chain, from the manufacturers all the way to the end-user.

Most recently, they have brought on two new awesome developers to join Gene in building Scannable's product, Wendy Davis who will be heading up Customer Success, and Nick, who is a savant in the safety equipment sales space, having worked and sold for huge organisations such as Cirque du Soleil.

Scannable is at a steadfast pace and are in the thick of product development and sales. If you or anyone you know is in the safety equipment space and needs to digitise their equipment to create traceability and transparency throughout your entire supply chain, please get in touch with the Scannable team at

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A big congratulations to Compostic who have been selected as a finalist for the Nexty Award for the second year in a row, but have also won the award for the Clean Choice Awards 2022 Home Goods Category!

Creating the next generation's home compostable kitchen commodities requires a lot of work and dedication and we are simply thrilled that they have received such recognitions.

Portfolio company job openings


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Mentors guide, advise, support and act as sounding boards for you. The value of a mentor can be significant if you find the right one. But how do you know what a great one looks like and how do you actually get them to mentor you?

In this article, we write about what are the attributes of a great mentor, what to look for in one and how you can go about finding and getting one to mentor you!

Read full article here


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Globally, women only represent one in every five startup founders - we want to change that.

We’re aiming for a more diverse, high performing sector. Through Electrify Accelerator we can start to build a startup and innovation community that better represents the population of our country.

We know that - as a woman founder - a key challenge can often be accessing the right network of supporters, mentors, key influencers, and funders. That is why we’ve gathered the who’s who of New Zealand’s startup and innovation ecosystem together to connect you with this ultimate investor and mentor network. This is a network that can truly pathway your venture to the best opportunity for success.

If you are a woman founder with huge ambition and your venture is globally scalable, then you are EXACTLY who we are looking for and we can’t wait to meet you!

Why Apply?

You will be taking part in a 12-week accelerator that will run on a hybrid in-person and virtual set-up so you can participate from anywhere in New Zealand.

  • Tailored + Expert Support - You will be personally matched with our country’s most influential and successful investors, founders, and mentors who will guide you with tailored work plans towards becoming investment-ready.

  • Methodology + Focus - The programme will focus on venture and personal development using first-class startup methodologies. You will also level up personal skills across team building and leadership and resilience.

  • Network + Profile - Being a startup founder is hard. Doing it in isolation is impossible. This is your opportunity to meet your peers, share the journey, the challenges, and grow your personal and professional capability along the way.

  • Demo Day Event- At the end of the programme, every participating startup team will have the opportunity to pitch to New Zealand’s most prolific startup investors and startup community leadership. If you want your startup venture to get in front of any crowd, this is it.

Register now

Read of the month

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The Book of Why

"Correlation is not causation." This mantra, chanted by scientists for more than a century, has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. Today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, instigated by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and established causality -- the study of cause and effect -- on a firm scientific basis. Why are we interested in this read? Because it is directly related to building true Artificial Intelligence!

Podcast of the month

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The Bootstrapped VC

This podcast was founded and hosted by Arlan Hamilton, Founder & Managing Partner of Backstage Capital. Backstage Capital is a venture capital fund that invests in exceptional women, people of colour, and LGBT tech founders. Starting from scratch in the Fall of 2015, they have now invested nearly $5M across 100 companies in the U.S. This podcast dives into building a VC fund from scratch and understanding what EXACTLY investors are looking for.

Startup News & Trends

"Product Led Growth or PLG, is a strategy through which your end-user product experience is the primary driver of growth at every stage of the funnel." This blog by Accel explains PLG very clearly and concisely and gives you five methods to build strong foundations to achieve sustainable PLG. These are to:

  1. Minimise effort required for new users to receive value

  2. Leverage existing users to attract new ones

  3. Optimise purchasing experiences for self-service

  4. Define success and informed decisions based on product data

  5. Establish company-wide culture and practices early

With how uncertain the microenvironment is right now with interest rate hikes and foreign conflicts, we found that this was quite an interesting and relevant read for current founders and founders-to-be when building their startup this year. Here are some of the lessons within this article:

  • Become default alive: Coined by Y Combinator's founder, Paul Graham, being default alive means that a company can continue indefinitely without the need for additional capital injection. This is especially important in a bear market when capital availability may diminish.

  • Lower your burn multiple: Burn multiple was coined by David Sacks of Craft Ventures and simply is a representation of your startup's burn relative to the revenue it's generating. Lowering the multiple indicates you closing in on product-market fit.

  • Do not overpromise: Be candid, be realistic, deliver.

  • Watch your burnout and mental health: Now more than ever, this is one of the largest reasons for startup death. Be wary. Take breaks, look out for your teams' well-being and your well-being.

  • Seize the opportunity: Down markets present the perfect time to seize new opportunities for next-generation startups to be built!

Maia Bittner is a successful founder turned investor. Recently, she posted a Twitter thread about successful seed-stage pitches which we think is a very interesting take. Firstly, she talks about the 3 types of pitches that are successful in garnering investment from investors at this stage:

  1. Traction

  2. Team

  3. Vision

Secondly, she explains why investors pass on these seed-stage startups:

  1. There is not enough traction

  2. They are not the right team to tackle this problem (skills, execution, background, experience, etc.)

  3. They are not good enough at storytelling to illustrate a compelling vision

The interesting take she has is that IT ONLY TAKES ONE of these to secure investment from an investor. If you do not have all 3, have one but knock it out of the park.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are everywhere in startups and organisations now. Having a multitude of use-cases in different industries, ML can have significant performance upgrades to your existing business through automation and prediction when done right. In this article, Elliot Turner, CEO and Co-founder of Hyperia talks about the brief history of ML commercialisation, how it has changed and scaled over the years, and tips to harness this in your own startup. To summarise the key points:

  1. Pre-trained neural networks give smaller teams an edge

  2. There are benefits to using foundational models, specifically size and cost, whoever, be aware of the inherent risks of outsourced innovation

  3. Cloud APIs are easier but are costly

  4. Be strategic and keep an eye out for the large AI labs out there

Firstly, war is never good. We condemn the blood that needs to be shed for this cause and our hearts go out to all that have been affected by this.

This article on TechCrunch talks about how numerous startups have responded to this invasion. With some supporting employees and operations financially throughout the chaos, to other startups discontinuing or "Switching off" services in Russia, this is an interesting read to how the tech world has responded to this from a Macro environmental point of view.

Notable start-up exits

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Want to get in touch about your startup? Reach out to us at