Fuel50 raises second investment round to take on US market
By Fiona Rotherham
Nov. 21 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland-based software startup Fuel50 raised $1 million in a second angel investment round to fund its push in the US, where it was named as one of five best new technologies at an international human resources industry conference.
Fuel50 has cloud-based career engagement software that was developed by the co-founders of the Career Engagement group, Anne Fulton and Jo Mills. Started in 2011, the company is dual headquartered in Auckland and New York, and has 18 staff spread across New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the US.
It raised $1.1 million in 2013 led by the Ice Angels network and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.
Fulton said most of the same investors supported the second round of fundraising, along with a couple of new names.
Fulton and Mills now hold almost 50 percent of the company while Ice Angels Nominees has 20.75 percent and NZVIF Investments has almost 10 percent.
Fulton said the successful round shows investor confidence in Fuel50’s growth potential and the money will be used to double the company’s sales team in the US from three to six people.
“This year we have achieved 300 percent growth in new business leads generated in the US market," she said. "The goal is to double Fuel50’s client base to 100 by the end of 2015 and 400 by the end of 2018. We are aiming to achieve total sales in 2015 of $5 million and want to achieve $30 million in 2018.”
Fuel50’s niche is career pathway technology and its software has been used by around 120,000 employees in 50 companies across 22 countries. Last month the company was named as one of the best new human resources technologies at the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas.
Fulton said the company won't change the strategy it has used in other countries as it pushes into the US - chasing vertical sectors rather than geographic spread.
The sectors it has had most success in have been financial services, education, and health.