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Published 08 February 2012 13:38, Updated 09 February 2012 10:37
Notable achievement: Successfully raising three rounds of cash in its first year.
Alan Downie and Matt Milosavljevic have created software that aims to make communication between web developers and their clients, who are often not tech-savvy, simpler and more effective.
Their company, BugHerd, enrolled in the inaugural class at start-up incubator Startmate in early 2011. As part of Startmate’s standard terms, they received a $25,000 cash injection in return for 7.5 per cent of the company. However, Downie says Startmate is not about the money. “It was more about the mentors and the access to the network of people,” he says.
One of BugHerd’s key mentors at Startmate was Alan Jones, the founder of online strategy company Doing Words. Jones was the lead investor in an angel round that raised a further $240,000 for the company in return for 15 per cent.
When the company enrolled in Startmate, Downie says “we were probably undervalued but we were really keen to get into the program”.
Although BugHerd was still “pre-revenue” in July 2011 when the angel investment round closed, he reckons the six months of development work and enquiries from potential customers that had begun to flow in were two factors that contributed to the rise in the value of the company.
Finally, in January 2012, BugHerd announced a $500,000 investment from Australian venture capital fund Starfish Ventures. Downie would not disclose the total equity now held by investors but confirmed he and Milosavljevic still had a majority share.
“[BugHerd] is a brilliantly executed product that’s dead simple to use,” Startmate co-founder Niki Scevak says. “The initial customers are really happy and that’s enabled [Downie and Milosavljevic] to raise funding. They want to build a large company for the long term. It has the right ingredients.”