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Kiwi firm MyWave attracts Deutsche Bank global heavyweight

Kiwi firm MyWave attracts Deutsche's global equity trading chief in latest capital raising

By Jonathan Underhill

Oct. 1 (BusinessDesk) - MyWave Holdings, the New Zealand company whose software attempts to personalise the relationship between consumers and businesses, has attracted Deutsche Bank's departing global head of equities trading Andre Crawford-Brunt to its second round capital-raising, which it expects to hit its oversubscription limit.

Crawford-Brunt, a Deutsche Bank veteran of more than 20 years, made a $2.9 million personal investment in MyWave, pushing the total raised in the round to $4.5 million at a pre-money valuation of $50 million, or $3.45 per share, the company said in a statement. Most of the balance came from existing shareholders.

The company had sought $4 million with oversubscriptions taking it to $5 million and MyWave said today it had extended the closing date until the end of October to "allow due diligence and other details required by prospective investors". It expects to get to, or close to, $5 million.

MyWave founder Geraldine McBride said the stock valuation showed the progress the company has made "in building a world-class intelligent personal assistant platform" since its first round of capital-raising in May 2014, which raised $2.5 million at 50 cents a share.

The funds raised are to be used to support the company's overseas growth. Market research firm Gartner Group estimates that by 2016 more than US$2 billion of online shopping will be done by mobile personal assistants.

McBride said last year that 99 percent of the five trillion display ads served annually were wasted investments because consumers treated online advertising as spam and what was needed was a way of creating personalised, interactive relationships between consumers and trusted brands.

McBride is the company's biggest shareholder with 48.5 percent of the shares, according to the Companies Office. Chairman Philip Norman, the former chair of Xero, owns about 6.1 percent.

McBride said its personal assistant, called Frank, will offer its first service early next year, New Zealand’s Saveawatt, designed to help households find the best power prices by constantly checking deals offered by retailers and switch plans without the need for paperwork. Retailers, real estate firms and banks are expected to join.

MyWave's first wave of enterprise customers would start deploying new services to their customers over the next six months, she said.

Users control and store their personal data on MyWave’s cloud platform.

Bloomberg News reported this month, citing people it didn't name, that Crawford-Brunt was leaving Deutsche Bank for personal reasons.

(BusinessDesk)

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