Christopher Adams

The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Funding jump for Kiwi software firm

Auckland company Triplejump eyes stock exchange listing, gets $1m Govt grant for research of cloud-based tool

Triplejump chief executive Ian Black and founder Cecilia Farrow plan to list the firm next year. Photo / Dean Purcell
Triplejump chief executive Ian Black and founder Cecilia Farrow plan to list the firm next year. Photo / Dean Purcell

Auckland-based software firm Triplejump, which is planning to make its stock exchange debut next year, has secured close to $1 million in research and development funding.

Chief executive Ian Black said the technology project grant from Callaghan Innovation, the Government's new high-tech research institute, was "very significant".

It would be used to develop new functions for the company's cloud-based online platform that automates the process through which institutions - such as banks and insurers - provide business protection advice and insurance to small and medium-sized companies.

The latest cash injection was the second round of Government funding the firm had received, following a $200,000 grant last year.

Triplejump's platform, provided as software in a service subscription model, was launched two months ago. Black said the grant would accelerate the company's entry into target overseas markets, such as Australia, Britain and South Africa.

"The global market opportunity is known to be in excess of US$650 billion ($719 billion) and Triplejump is creating significant interest among large overseas accounting firms and financial institutions that understand the needs of SMEs but have been frustrated in finding a comprehensive and compliant means of servicing that market."

Black said many small firms were exposed to "human capital" risks, such as the danger of a business owner becoming unwell and being unable to work.

"When something happens many of them can't actually retain the risk in their business, or survive the period when the business owner is out of action," he said. "What we provide is a tool that advisers can use to walk [clients] through a discovery process to understand what that risk looks like and work out how they can protect themselves against that risk."

The market for Triplejump's technology was "amazingly untapped" as many were still using spreadsheets and word documents when providing risk management advice.

Triplejump has raised around $4 million in four private capital raisings over four years. Its shareholders include former Air New Zealand chief executive Sir Ralph Norris, Sir Stephen Tindall's K1W1 fund, well-known US angel investor Bill Payne and founder Cecilia Farrow, who started the company in 2007.

Black said Triplejump was keeping an open mind about where it would carry out its initial public offering next year, but the NZX was the most likely.

"There is opportunity for us to list overseas, but there's a new board being introduced by the NZX called the Growth Market which is targeted at companies like us."

The meteoric rise of online accounting software provider Xero's shares, which have gained more than 350 per cent in the past 12 months, illustrates the level of investor appetite for cloud-based technology.

He said it was too early to say when the company might turn a profit - that kind of information will be in the company's IPO prospectus.

Much of the technical build of Triplejump's technology had been outsourced to Clearpoint, a New Zealand software development company. The platform is deployed via Rackspace USA, a US cloud-hosting provider.

- NZ Herald

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