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t might be tempting to think that rapidly-growing Kiwi intelligent textile business Footfalls & Heartbeats would rest on its laurels after signing its first major commercial deal. Well, don’t: think again. Medi, the Germany-based multinational market leader in medical compression therapy, has secured the licence for the Footfalls patent and the potential to license more IP in the future – which is providing the springboard for the next phase of the company’s expansion.

l’ve been blown away by the vital and vibrant investment landscape here for businesses in the start-up phase.

Backbone caught up with Roland Toder, Footfalls’ Managing Director, to learn about how capital raisings and commercial partnerships are fuelling the company’s continued growth – and to offer some tips for other companies looking to tread a similar path.

A vibrant investment landscape To backtrack a bit in order to set the scene, Footfalls secured early stage funding through the seed investment arm of Sparkbox, Global From Day One (GD1), and venture capital fund Pacific Channel. Toder says GD1 was a natural fit for Footfalls, and the early capital of a few hundred thousand dollars was a great way to get started. “New Zealand offers a fantastic environment to get you up on


your feet,” says Toder. “I’ve been blown away by the vital and vibrant investment landscape here for businesses in the start-up phase.” Toder says GD1 backer Sparkbox provided a clear road map for investment, as well as elements that laid the ground work for further investment. “Early questions about the capital raising process were answered swiftly by Pacific Channel, and Minter Ellison Rudd Watts was on hand to provide legal counsel. GD1 helped us with seed capital, proof of concept and patent applications. This was invaluable as it allowed us to get several letters of intent from potential investors, which signals to the market that we have something of real value to offer.” “Now, signing the deal with Medi has provided a considerable boost for our funding efforts. Closing a six figure deal with a global player shows we can produce revenue and also proves the validity of our business model. As a relatively young company, our first deal marks a turning point for the investor community, providing credibility that propels us to the next level of growth.”

No investment, no deal So, what did the initial early investment do for Footfalls? In simple terms, without investment the Medi deal would not have been signed.

Backbone Issue Six  

This issue is dedicated to the issue of capital raising for privately owned companies. Experts give you their perspective on all the angles,...