Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

21-year-old raises $1.2m for Unfiltered before US debut

Unfiltered chief executive Jake Millar. Photo/Supplied
Unfiltered chief executive Jake Millar. Photo/Supplied

Kiwi entrepreneur Jake Millar has raised $1.2 million for his company Unfiltered ahead of its launch into the US.

The 21-year-old, who launched the business education platform in 2015, said the money would be used primarily to grow the start-up's leadership team and fund expansion into the States, with plans to unveil a $300,000 digital platform in May.

"I am really proud to have each and every one of these investors on board, and the team and I are humbled by their support and confidence," Miller said.

"Going into the US, being such a large market, it's very expensive to get traction so we thought it was a good time to raise some money to fuel growth in the next 12 months."

The latest investor group includes Rob Fyfe, Kevin Roberts, Sara Tetro, Diane Foreman and Tim Norton among others.

Millar said he was extremely proud to have so many of the people he had interviewed as investors in the company. According to Roberts, the company had "limitless" potential.

"Unfiltered is a company that can really go places," Roberts said.

"It's a great idea, with early traction and with limitless international potential. The world's mobile and desktop screens are hungry for content; content which is compelling, uplifting, fascinating, quick and optimistic," he said.

"Unfiltered is in a great position to deliver just that."

In the 15-months since it began, Unfiltered has released 110 Game Changer Series interviews, including with Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, Tesla co-founder Ian Wright and General Motors president Dan Ammann and has more than 140,000 users.

Millar said the plan for the next 12 months was to focus on the US market while continuing to grow the New Zealand business, before looking to opportunities in Asia and Europe.

The company would also be employing a general manager or chief executive to run the company and free up Millar's time to pursue creating global content.

Millar said although the US market was highly competitive, Unfiltered's business was an education-focused one, rather than news content like other companies, and broke the information and videos down into sections of business specific to different topics.

"More and more people are wanting to do something great with their lives, and have a desire to make a difference, but they lack the tools and know-how to create a valuable business," Millar said.

"The current education system does very little to support entrepreneurship, failing to provide the next generation with the tools they need to achieve their business dreams."

- NZ Herald

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