It's nearly a year since the Angel Summit in Wellington and about 18 months since Elliott Kernohan, chief executive of rehabilitation technology company IM-Able, embarked on a $1.25 million capital raising round.
Before the summit he'd had $640,000 pledged from Cure Kids Ventures, which is interested in the company's technology for children with cerebral palsy, so the end was in sight.
But no end came.
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The company managed to attract only another $200,000. Not enough to close the round, take the money and put it to work, says Kernohan. Kernohan wants at least another $200,000 before he'll close the round, but says he is confident this will happen in the next couple of months. "In the last few months we've moved away from the angel networks to focus on investors who have experience in the healthcare sector. So the conversations we've been having have been a lot more successful."
Kernohan echoes Polybatics head Tracy Thompson when he says capital raising is difficult in New Zealand for budding healthcare companies. He also suspects IM-Able (pronounced "I'm able") was a little too far down the track for angel investors, requiring perhaps a little too much money for their comfort.
The company has made progress, however, attracting former Software of Excellence co-founder Paul Weatherly to its board once the round closes; developing its intellectual property and discussing projects with development partners in the healthcare sector. The trouble is, to take these projects any further requires capital, says Kernohan. The grand scheme to translate its technology to the web, to give clinicians the ability to develop large-scale rehabilitation programmes for stroke victims and others who suffer from neurological problems, is also on hold until the round closes.