Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Notable attracts angel investment from US for first time

Notable attracts angel investment from US for first time

By Fiona Rotherham

March 9 (BusinessDesk) - Kiwi start-up Notable has attracted funding from US investors YCombinator, a start-up accelerator, and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund in its latest round of capital raising.

The Auckland-based company has just closed its third fundraising round for an undisclosed amount with a range of angel investors including the two US investors, Flying Kiwi Angels, the NZ Venture Investment Fund, Sparkbox Ventures Group and EFU, the NZ investment company of Japanese billionaire Soichiro Fukutake.

Notable has built a cloud-based PDF viewer with tools that helps users annotate and collaborate on files. The company says the SaaS (software as a service) platform works on all browsers and integrates with Google Drive.

A new testimonial on Notable’s website from Founders Fund partner Scott Nolan said Notable PDF had “solved one of the cloud’s most stubborn pain points: collaboration through PDFs”, while Altman said “we are still in the early days of online collaboration and Notable PDF is one of the most exciting leaps forward I have seen.”

Notable was founded by three 20-something Auckland University students, Hengji Wang, Alliv Samson and Jordan Thoms, who remain the major shareholders. They were finalists in the university’s annual Spark Challenge in 2012 and set up the company the following year.

Growth has accelerated in the past year since the company pivoted the app from just being aimed at students taking notes to all users. It has had over 500,000 users and 1 million downloads since March 2014 and is now the leading PDF viewer app on the Google web store.

The start-up is chasing both the education and professional sectors and will use the additional funds to build more business partnerships, particularly in North America, and on product development and hiring more staff.

Some 80 per cent of users are US-based and chairman Bob Drummond said that follows a decision last year in the US for K12 schools to use Google Chromebooks, for which there are a limited range of apps, as the standard technology.

“There’s enormous potential for growth in the US with a lot of schools and enterprises that have not been involved yet. Both market segments are growing at a parallel quantum rate,” he said.

The start-up's focus is on growth rather than profitability at this stage, Drummond said.

Users can download the app for free or pay for premium versions that add on more tools, and there is special pricing for school users. Drummond said no sales have been made to schools in New Zealand yet.

The founders have been attending a number of education conferences in the US including one in Orlando, Florida, in January where Notable's freebie handouts included Whittaker's chocolate.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Energy Resources Aotearoa: Doubling Of Coal Use Shows Need For Local Natural Gas

New figures showing a near doubling of coal-fired electricity generation highlight New Zealand’s energy shortage and the need for natural gas as a lower carbon alternative, according to Energy Resources Aotearoa... More>>

E Tu: ‘Sense Of Mourning’ As Norske Skog Mill Set To Close

Workers at Norske Skog’s Tasman Mill now know they’ll be losing their jobs in little over a month’s time.
On Wednesday afternoon, workers were told the mill will be stopping production from the end of June... More>>

Stats NZ: Card Spending Sees Strong Growth In May

Seasonally adjusted card spending rose by $189 million (2.3 percent) between April 2021 and May 2021, Stats NZ said today.
Spending rose across all industries for the first time since New Zealand moved to level 1 in June 2020... More>>

Catalist: NZ’s New SME Stock Exchange, Gets Licence To Go Public

New Zealand has a new stock exchange – designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to raise up to $20 million a year from the public.
Called Catalist, the exchange has already been successfully working the private investment sector.... More>>

E-Commerce: Over 40% Of Those Engaged In The Bitcoin Community Are Millennials

Bitcoin has emerged to be a popular topic among millennials with digital currency increasingly being viewed as a potential source of creating wealth through investments. The interest in bitcoin by millennials signals the role this age group plays in the possible realization of the digital currency’s mass adoption... More>>

Stats NZ: New Zealand Is Getting Drier

While there is natural variation in precipitation due to seasons and cycles, New Zealand appears to be getting drier, Stats NZ said today... More>>