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Kiwi Landing Pad loves to pass on information from other successful entrepreneurs to nurture startups, and late last year they started the Kiwi Founder Series, bringing awesome people who are out there doing the work into the spotlight.
The Kiwi Founder series is made up of “crowd casts” that give business go-getters direct access to a targeted knowledge base full of helpful information for growing and scaling. In the first of these crowd casts, Cameron Priest, Co-founder and CEO of TradeGecko, speaks about his experience moving their SaaS startup to the wild world of Singapore and raising funds for further growth.
One of Trade Gecko’s goals in moving to Singapore was to launch their business in the JDFI incubator. They were looking for an area with great government support, large markets, and fewer distractions for their 90+ employees. They also had a sneaking suspicion that raising funds in Singapore would be substantially easier, and Cameron notes that Singapore is similar to Silicon Valley in that venture capitalists actually want to invest with you, making fundraising relatively painless.
Surprisingly, they received $815,000 (Singaporean dollars) during their initial seed round, back when they only had 10 customers.
But before they could start a Series A, they needed roughly $1m in revenue; a goal which TradeGecko thankfully reached at end of 2014. So far, they’ve raised all the funds they need to support thousands of customers in more than 100 countries around the world. And they expect to raise even more funds through 2016 to expand that reach.
While it’s not always easy to find businesses that have done what TradeGecko has done – as in, not many people have built a SaaS business that brings in $100 million a year outside of the Silicon valley – but Cameron says that their success hasn’t come without mistakes.
His advice to budding entrepreneurs looking to do what they did:
While Silicon Valley is usually the dream locale for startups, Singapore has done a great job of helping TradeGecko become the success story they are today. According to Cameron, it’s an excellent place for Kiwi entrepreneurs to launch a global business and it shouldn’t be ignored – especially for businesses who want to take advantage of the booming middle class market.
Catch the recap here:
An event series and online resource dedicated to supporting the New Zealand ecosystems development in Sales, Marketing and Product Management.