Village News – April 2022

Alex Dam

In this edition of our Village News, we are thrilled to announce NZGCP’s $15 million investment into Hillfarrance Fund I! Alex also celebrates his one year anniversary as part of the Hillfarrance Village! As we crack on into Q2, we have some exciting updates from our portfolio companies, resources we’ve created, and share some of recent news/trends that’s in our peripherals.



Elevate NZ Fund Commits $15 million to Hillfarrance Fund I

We are both thrilled and privileged that NZ Growth Capital Partners Elevate NZ Venture Fund has entrusted us with a $15 million commitment! This allows us to continue investing in the best founders that are coming out of this country we call Aotearoa.

James PinnerJason Roche, CFA and Rob Everett‘s support throughout this process has been nothing short of invaluable. We thank you all for believing in us as a fund and the Mahi you put in to make this happen. Welcome to our Village! We would also like to say a big shoutout to our founders and friends within our Village. Without you, we cannot do what we do.

You can check out the full NBR article here.

You can read NZGCP’s official announcement here.

With this commitment from NZGCP, we will also be closing our fund shortly this year. If you are interested in joining our LP community before this close, you can reach us at alex@hillfarrance.com


Portfolio company updates

Mobli 🚎

The underpinning cloud infrastructure for Transport and Mobility

Mobli has had a pretty eventful April, to say the least. Most recently, they have been selected as a delegate for the UK Government’s first Australian and New Zealand physical mission to #LondonTechWeek since 2019! Only a handful of companies from NZ and Australia have been selected to take part in the delegation, which aims to showcase all the amazing technology and companies we have here in this region.

Mobli is also part of tech week in Aotearoa too! Mobli will be taking its audience through the journey of how Mobli has supported Super Shuttle (New Zealand’s leading on-demand shared transport service synonymous with door to door airport transfers) in positioning for the future and lifting the overall employee and customer experience by transitioning to the Mobli platform. Duncan Chae, Head of Product Delivery at Mobli will be hosting this session. You can read more about this particular event here.

Lastly, below is a prime example of Mobli in action. Barney and Ray struggle to get from A to B without fronting a giant Uber fee or having multiple rideshare services cancelled on them because they are disabled. They decided to do something about it and will be using Mobli as the underpinning cloud infrastructure to build their transport service on – catering to people with all types of disabilities.


Scannable 🧗‍♂️

Scannable removes paperwork and data entry from compliance and safety inspections for your safety equipment.

Recently, the whole Scannable team had a blast the other day just hanging out and having a climb at one of the local crags. They’re an adventurous bunch (beneath the tech-geek exterior).

When they are not “testing” out their trusted equipment using Scannable tech, they have been making significant headwinds onboarding existing customers from the MVP and signing on new ones.


Bolster ⛓

Bolster is the event-driven knowledge management platform of the future, bridging the gap between operators, analysts, and decision-makers.

Bolster has recently made two new main hires for their technical team:

Conor comes on as Bolster’s first Senior Platform Engineer. Conor is an excellent fit with Bolster’s values and vision. A seasoned professional with extensive enterprise IT experience. Conor brings a wealth of technical knowledge and cloud mastery. Prior to joining the Bolster waka, Conor was one of the best technical consultants and senior engineers within Datacom.

Robert joins Bolster from the other side of the world in the U.S. Robert is a recently retired US Navy Commander with twenty-four years of experience as an operator, data analyst, and maritime staff officer on regional theatre fleets. He has executed, planned, and augmented riverine, deep water, and littoral maritime missions across the globe. Balancing experiences gained from a career that included two wars, multiple regional deployments on six continents, two master’s degrees, four languages and three successive milestone command tours, Rob identified the importance of improving the flow of correctly evaluated and timely data to decision-makers and remote distributed operators as vital to enhancing maritime domain awareness. 


Yabble 🧠

Revolutionizing the world of insights with game-changing AI products

Recently, Co-Founder Rachel O’Shea recently sat down with NORA ~ National Online Retailers Association to chat all things Yabble and retail, including why getting rich, accurate insights at speed is the number one thing you can do to drive quick decision-making and business success. Head to the link below to watch the interview — and to learn how you can make your insights dollars work as hard as possible.

The Yabble team will also be hosting a masterclass on why AI is such a powerful and necessary tool for insights generation, as well as offer practical and actionable tips on how to effectively implement and leverage AI within your insights program.


Partly 🏎

Partly is the gold standard of auto parts and fitment data – connecting the world’s parts

Lastly, Partly have just released their April update where they talk about all the features and upgrades they have been building over the last few months. The key new features being released are:

  • Customers are now able to search by number plate;
  • A new and more intuitive interface; and
  • The ability to create more rich product listings

Portfolio company job openings

Bolster is on the hunt for:

Wellington, New Zealand (Remote options available)


Yabble is on the hunt for:

Auckland, New Zealand

  • Expression of interest for machine-learning engineers with experience in Natural Language Processing (please email ben@yabble.com)

Partly is on the hunt for:

Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand


Mobli is on the hunt for:

Auckland, New Zealand


Space Rock Games is on the hunt for:

Remote-based

  • A game marketer (please email zsombor@spacerockgames.com)

Hashbane Interactive is on the hunt for:

Auckland-based or Remote-based


Resources

Our no-frills Investor Update Template

Founders can get more out of their investors and also attract new ones through regular investor updates.

Investor updates do not have to be a mini-theses. In fact, it could just be bullet points. Sending these to your existing investors as well as prospective investors that you want on your cap table is incredibly beneficial. Here’s why:

👊 Investors are more likely to support you in addition to their capital if they know the current state of your business.
🤝 They are able to make intros to the right people or offer timely advice if you ask.
🤗 Support when things are not going so well. Empathy.
💰 For prospective investors, they are seeing you grow first-hand, and when the time comes for you to raise, they’ll be one of the first ones to come knocking.

If you’re a founder (or even investor) that wants a no-frills Investor Update Template then click down below to get our Hillfarrance version:


Read of the month

The Intelligent Investor

As the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting in Omaha wraps up, it would be prudent of us not to select the seminal book that resonates so deeply with Warren Buffet and value investors across the globe.


Podcast of the month

The Minimum Viable Podcast

We’d like to give a shoutout from across the ditch to Lucas Monk, who has started a great podcast series for operators and product builders. He’s already had on our very own Levi Fawcett, Co-founder and CEO of Partly, and many others as well!


Startup News & Trends

The great VC pullback and our thoughts on the current funding market

There’s been a whole bunch of discussions and thoughts on the topic of the global VC funding landscape right now. The data shows that funding has slowed down recently in th Growth stages (Series A/B beyond) but remains quite active in the Seed Stage. Here are our thoughts on what you as a founder should do to make sure you navigate this pullback properly:

The article below is a great read of ones opionion on the current landscape and what to be aware of as a founder.


Everyone has accelerators now?

Long gone are the days of only a few accelerators such as Y-Combinator and TechStars. The two mst notable beheboths of Venture Capital, Sequioa and Andreeson Horowitz, have both created their own accelerators. It will be interesting to see how th fundnig landscape changes with the addition of mroe acclerators built within existing VCs.

Both funds seem to have similar terms. These being:

  • $1 million up front investment for an equity stake
  • Promises of 1:1 mentorship
  • Much smaller batches/cohorts than their predecessors

Startup investment in Aotearoa

PwC has just released their magazine on investing in New Zealand companies. Here are the main points:

  • Early-stage investors invested almost $260 million into startups in 2021 (a 63% increase from the year before).
  • Median deal-size for follow-on rounds finally reached $1m
  • 41% of deals done were in the deep tech space
  • There is an inherent need for more investment into this space given local and global polical and socioeconomic trends and events.

We’re bullish on computing

As avid investors in bid data and frontier AI/ML, we love this stuff and see these technologies becoming adopted and implemented in all solutions in the future. AI/ML ill be used in everything. This article is a great read for startups and investors in the future of computing, specifically, quantum computing, AI/ML, cloud computing and 5G/6G & Satelitte tech.

Lastly, if you’re a startup operating and innnovating in this space, we’d love to chat: pitches@hillfarrance.com


Notable start-up exits


Funding

Global seed funding

Aotearoa funding

Want to get in touch about your startup? Reach out to us at pitches@hillfarrance.com