Lightning Lab accelerates Kiwi start ups to success with $2.2m funding

Teams from the 2014 class of Lightning Lab, New Zealand’s leading digital accelerator programme, have secured $2.2 million in total seed investment capital from top Kiwi investors.

This year’s investment matches last year’s inaugural Demo Day, which also resulted in four companies confirming $2.2 million in seed funding.

“We couldn’t be happier with what these teams have managed to secure,” says Stefan Korn, CEO, Creative HQ CEO.

“It’s a true testament to the entrepreneurs who go through the programme and the team of mentors and partners that prepare them for the investment pitches and process.”

As a founding investor in Lighting Lab 2013, Trevor Dickinson admits he had his doubts whether this year’s intake would maintain the high standards set by the participating teams in the inaugural year.

“However, I was delighted to see that all the teams who pitched on Demo Day 2014 matched the best of what last year had to offer,” he adds.

“It was therefore no surprise that the 2014 graduates have attracted serious interest from experienced angel and venture capital investors, proving once again that Lightning Lab is able to successfully identify and fast track promising startups which the New Zealand investment community is willing to back with cold hard cash. Long may it continue.”

The five teams to secure investment are:

Glassjar - a software platform for managing shared expenses and making group payments. In the next few months, Glassjar will expand to the US market to end the current cheque based method of paying rent and forever change the payment landscape.

Twingl - builds tools that accelerate the evolution of human intelligence. Their first product, Trailblazer, is a web browser that helps you research, reflect, and learn. Twingl has recently begun a pilot programme in New Zealand schools and plan to expand to the US by the end of the year.

Cloud Cannon - the easiest way for web designers to deploy, host and maintain websites for clients. Cloud Cannon is looking to the US market to build relationships with customers, investors and partners who align with their mission of disrupting the web design industry.

CommonLedger - a universal translator of accounting data, making accountants’ software and compliance easy. CommonLedger is heads down building the product as they prepare for a launch later this year.

CoachSeek – online software that helps sports coaches manage all the scheduling, billing, messaging and client management so they can do more of what they love. In the next few months, CoachSeek will refine their management tool, add international partnerships and expand its user base that reaches 34 countries.

Glassjar and Twingl are both set to join Creative HQ’s incubation programme in the coming weeks.

Founded by Creative HQ in Wellington, Lightning Lab will travel to Auckland and Christchurch in 2015 in partnership with The Icehouse and Canterbury Development Corporation.

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