This article was published on 22 August 2017
Genoapay, a new way of paying for services that gives consumers what they need immediately while paying over ten weeks without extra cost, has just attracted record investment after demonstrating its wares following the Flux Accelerator Programme co-funded by Callaghan Innovation.
Hēmi Rolleston, Callaghan Innovation’s General Manager Sectors, said it was a great outcome for the company, and a compelling example of the value accelerator programmes can add to startups.
“Our accelerator programmes are key to our work helping liberate innovators, connecting them to the networks, capability and funding they need to make their ideas happen,” Mr Rolleston said.
Genoapay founder Shaun Quincey said he pitched his product to investors at Demo Day after the six-month Flux Accelerator Programme delivered by The Icehouse. He raised $1 million – a record for a New Zealand Demo Day pitch, and considerably more than he thought would be possible.
He said he always had faith in his product and team, “a solution for consumers who can afford to pay, but just not all at once. Essentially it allows ten weekly payments at no cost for the services like automotive, dental and vets which people need. We think is a very good alternative to high-interest short-term loans. And there’s no risk to merchants because we pay them every week less our commission.”
“It’s no surprise Genoapay attracted the support they did,” Robbie Paul, Head of Startup at The Icehouse, said. “They have many of the features that our investors and our funds are looking for in startups: they’re targeting a market that needs disrupting and they’ve attracted support and interest from key users and supporters in the ecosystem. Superseding all of that, we put our own money in based on our experience of observing Shaun over nine months. He driven, passionate, very knowledgeable about the ecosystem he’s targeting, and just generally a great guy to be around.”
The Icehouse invests in and add value to high potential New Zealand startups. Through its Flux Accelerator Programme, The Icehouse invests capital, time, technical support and mentorship into six to eight startups each year, and works closely with them over six months as they scale their companies and raise capital.
Mr Quincey said the Flux Accelerator enabled him to take Genoapay to the next level. “Working as a solo founder can be lonely and unproductive, which leads to the failure of hundreds of great prospective companies. You can go for it by yourself – and some do, and succeed - but I found it a much more fulfilling process going through the accelerator.”
“It put us in an accountable, competitive and highly-focused ecosystem to get the best out of us and help us build a top-performing organisation. Generally these aren’t things you get working on your ideas in isolation.”
Mr Rolleston said Genoapay’s success was not only exciting for the company but a great indicator of the health of New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem. “Smart ambitious tech companies are key to New Zealand succeeding as the world faces unprecedented technological change. We need them to succeed at innovation so we can grow and diversify our economy, and give New Zealand the future it deserves.