Earlier this month we announced that investors backed our paperless site app to the tune of $2 million, with access to more funds as we grow.
I thought I’d share some of the ‘behind the scenes’ experience of that process by answering some of the questions I’ve been asked since…
Q1) What clinched the deal for the investors?
There was just over 2 months of Due Diligence – a process somewhat akin to having a rusty fork stuck in your eye – during which 2 of our investors met with 10 APE Mobile customers.
It was this that clinched it, after the first day one of the investors commented:
“This must be a ‘put up job’ I’ve never heard such positive feedback”
And although a tempting offer had been made by one of our customers: “I’ll tell them anything you want” I had simply asked customers to be honest. It turns out the feedback was even better than I’d hoped for, with some choice comments:
“APE Mobile was the smallest investment we’ve ever made with the biggest return”
When asked about feedback from site users:
“I asked our supervisors if they want to go back to paper, 100% said absolutely not, even the older fellas”
When asked for specifics:
“We’ve saved 1 or 2 hours each day for site users, and even more with the export feature which saves 3 or 4 days per week”
And finally, when asked why APE Mobile:
“It was easy to set up, we could use our existing forms, so there’s no disruption to the business, and it does everything we need on site – And the cost was nothing”
I can’t speak for the investors but from my perspective things shifted from interest to excitement. So you can imagine, we’re incredibly grateful to those customers who took time out of their businesses to talk about ours.
Q2) How did you get their interest in the first place?
There’s a short and a long answer to this, I’ll give you the short (buy me a beer and I’ll give you the long version).
Put simply, we had to prove the concept. There’s a lot of talk about mobile applications for business and a lot of failed attempts, both for business deploying technology and investments in business apps.
For us proving the concept meant being able to show our stats rather than make promises.
Once we could show 12 months of 20% month on month growth, we found it a lot easier to get investor attention.
But stats alone wouldn’t do it, so we decided to enter the ‘Oz App’ awards, a prestigious pitching event backed by Silicon Valley heavy weights and the Australian venture community. Being finalists certainly helped raise our profile, and just like finalists on X Factor, coming 2nd worked in our favour 🙂
Q3) What are you doing with the money?
I’d like to say I’ve been swimming in a pool of cash, Scrooge McDuck style, but apparently we have to do something more constructive with it.
We haven’t hung around, APE is already growing rapidly with new team members joining almost weekly, and unlike a slight miss quote in the press, the investment is going heavily into product development and user experience.
From the outset we’ve concentrated our efforts on building a great product, and that lead to the amazing growth stats, in fact
55% of our growth has come directly from customers recommending APE Mobile to others.
And now we’re funded, I’d better start saying things like ‘double down’, so that’s what we’re going to do, we’ll double down on the things that made us successful in the first place.
If you’d like to know more about APE Mobile and our journey feel free to contact me here on linkedIn or get started with a free 14 day trial.