New Zealand Investors Backing Blockchain Start-Ups
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – 28 February 2019 – A who’s who of the investment industry gathered on Wednesday night to hear six new companies pitch for funding for their blockchain based start-ups. Demonstrating growing confidence in the New Zealand tech industry and a renewed enthusiasm for distributed applications (dApps), investors were asked to leave their pre-conceived ideas at the door.
At the event, funded by the Centrality Accelerator powered by Lightning Lab, six teams of entrepreneurs presented ideas to the top investors and investment funds in New Zealand Investors like Flying Kiwi Angels and the Tindall foundation were present at a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event.
Yabble – a ‘gig your data’ company that uses blockchain to return data ownership to consumers secured the most investor interest. It allows people to directly engage with brands to exchange feedback for instant cash rewards. Yabble sought $3 million from the New Zealand investment community to take its platform worldwide in late 2019 and received several expressions of interest.
Yabble’s Kathryn Topp, CEO & Co-founder, says “Consumers are sick of unethical, giant technology companies profiting from private data without users’ permission.”
Yabble has already built an impressive community of ‘Yabblers’ to disrupt the Kiwi market. Investors commented positively to the sentiment of a disruptive data play that puts data back into the hands of the people who generate it.
CinemaLogic presented to the investors as they continue their dApp development. The team will travel to CinemaCon in Los Angeles in April to raise investment in the home of the film industry. The company uses blockchain to collapse the logistics supply chain between studios which distribute films and cinemas which show them. CinemaLogic’s business case is to streamline the archaic and dysfunctional contract management between cinema companies and studios using smart contracts.
Āhau (Maori for ‘I am’) presented and has already secured funding, through the merits of its business case. Its fit for purpose dApp administrates the needs of iwi across the country. Āhau is creating technology likened to Salesforce meets Ancestry.com for indigenous people. Ben Tairea, co-founder of Āhau, described the social impact that comes with whanau knowing and being actively linked to their whakapapa.
Three other companies illustrated their use cases for blockchain technology:
• Pocketful – A dApp that shares and automatically pays household bills
• CarbonClick – A dApp for businesses to implement carbon offsetting with a simple, trustworthy solution
• Centrapass – A dApp that enables tourists and visitors to securely share their data to enhance their destination experience.
Following the evening, start-ups and their investors will embark upon due diligence and contract negotiations over the terms of investment.
A showreel and collection of photos will be posted to https://centrality.ai/accelerator/