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We're going for it in the US!

At Collect we've been successful (mixed with a bit of luck and good timing...) in getting investment over the last two years in New Zealand having raised over $2m and having benefited from over $350k of Callaghan grants. However, this has taken a huge amount of my time to get across the line and at relatively low, in American terms, valuations.

I’ve spent bit of time in the US in the last twelve months and learnt a couple of things: San Francisco is still the centre of the technology startup universe and if you want a US sized valuation for your business you need to be in the US. 

Your job as a CEO, whether for a conglomerate or a startup, is to maximise shareholder return. Therefore in a business like ours, that generally means that you need to be relevant and visible in the US.

Advisors will always tell you to get on a plane and spend time there and VCs will ask you when you are moving there or at least setting up an office. If the latter, the person running the office needs to be someone senior with influence on your business and product strategy, not just a junior business development person.

So to do the right thing by our shareholders and to grow the valuation of Collect before a liquidity event (sale or listing), we’re going to go for it and set up a team in the US!

Fifty percent of our potential market is in the US so it makes sense to be running sales from there. I’ll spend more of my time there, but to be successful quickly we’ll hire a local with networks, knowledge of the market and gravitas. So we’ve begun the search for a VP of Sales based in the US.

We know we can be successful in the US as we already have major distribution partners there, which is why 30% of our existing customers are there, and we also have a wealth of experience within our management team and investment community (including early Xero executives) from people who have done this before. This coupled with a high quality local gives us the confidence that we’ll be successful.

To fund this US entry and grow valuation we’re going to be running a small capital raising round. We've partnered with Armillary Private Capital and Crowdcube, a growth business focused equity crowdfunding platform, currently operating in six countries (and growing) to do this. We’re planning post this to run another round later in the year in the US at a US sized valuation before driving to some form of liquidity event in 12-24 months…

So, if you’d like to take part in this investment opportunity check out the details here

P.S. Golden State Warriors, you beauty!