Auckland-based Flow Software, a provider of business-to-business system integration software, has won venture capital funding from a international IT investment group. The initial VC funding has enabled the company to invest more in research and development, and marketing, as well as expanding the local team, says Flow Software chief executive Steve Green. The business, with nine staff, is looking to take on more programmers and professional services staff. It is looking for “outstanding graduates” in particular, says Green. “We are very pleased with the graduates we have taken on in the last year or so,” he says. In addition, the group of investors, primarily based in Sydney, will directly fund the establishment of Flow Software Australia, says Green. The Australian arm of the business is expected to open in mid-October, he says. The company will then look to expand beyond Australia and New Zealand, he says. It took the company about a year to go through the VC funding process, but it was definitely worth it, says Green. The founder of the company, Cameron Hart, started the business out of his Takapuna garage. Hart sold two-thirds of the company to investors two years ago after an unprovoked street attack left him with severe injuries. The funding allowed the 28-year-old to continue building his business, while recovering from the attack. Flow Software started promoting itself to VC investors late last year, and the Sydney IT investment syndicate’s interest was established by March this year, says Green. The search for capital was underwritten by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise’s Escalator Fund, a programme that helps qualifying businesses get ready for investment. Strategic investment and advisory firm Howard & Company was the project manager, following an initial review undertaken by Deloitte, he says. August was a great month for the company, says Green. Not only was the capital-raising completed, but the company also had record sales and started taking on new staff. “We also got our first order from the US,” he says.
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