Two serial tech entrepreneurs have teamed up with crowd-funder Snowball Effect to launch a new business aimed at allowing private companies to better manage and communicate with their investors.
Orchestra started as a back-office online platform for Snowball Effect allowing companies that raised money to have a share registry.
But with the backing of Casey Eden and Shane Bradley, the founders of online platforms Neighbourly and GrabOne, Orchestra plans to expand beyond those raising new capital.
Eden, co-founder and managing director of Orchestra, said there were more than 630,000 companies - all of which were required to meet certain compliance requirements including having a share registry.
"There are thousands of Kiwi business owners that aren't aware of, or know how to manage company compliance requirements and investor correspondence efficiently."
Orchestra will link up with the Companies Office to provide an integrated registry as well as giving companies the ability to post regular investor updates allowing for digital document storage.
"There are a lot of legal documents a company has to make available to a shareholder. At best it might come in via drop-box but at worst this information could be spread across numerous emails."
In addition to companies and investors, business advisors such as accountants and lawyers can use Orchestra to manage their clients' equity and Companies Office obligations, via the platform's built-in compliance checks.
Simeon Burnett, co-founder and CEO of Snowball Effect, said it hoped to tap into a global trend of more companies staying private for longer.
"if you invest in a public company you can have something set up to trade and monitor your investments.
"Private investors don't have a one-stop portal."
It was also hoping to tap into a growing number of companies offering employee stock ownership plans to their staff.
So far it has 60 clients on board.
Burnett said it could expand the business in the future to cover ownership of other assets like property, art and antiques.
He said most privately owned assets had some sort of paperwork or legal documents attached to them.
"It all tends to sit in a box somewhere. In our road map of the future, I would like to think we will include all assets."
Eden said it planned to expand the business internationally from next year moving into Australia first and then the United Kingdom where there were similar legal structures, although he admits that has been made tougher by Covid.
"On one level it forces you to look at how to do things remotely. In some ways it has fast-tracked our thinking on how to build the platform."
"I think we can still launch in countries if we can't get there, but it is harder if we don't have boots on the ground."
Eden said it was looking to raise around $1 million to help with those expansion plans but to also get investors on board who can support it through strategic benefits.