Townsville tech company SafetyCulture has announced that it has secured $6.1 million in its oversubscribed Series A round of funding – most of the investors in this round are existing shareholders. In November last year, the software development company, which offers a low cost checklist inspection app iAuditor, had raised $2 million, led by Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar. SafetyCulture had also raised $3 million in the previous year, which included a just under $1.8 million grant from Commercialisation Australia. The latest round brings the total amount of funds raised by the startup to a little under $11 million, with investors including Bill Tai, Blackbird Ventures and Farquhar, who is also a backer of Blackbird.
In 2011, SafetyCulture’s founder and CEO Luke Anear began the journey of transforming his business from a workplace health and safety consultancy into a fast-growing technology company. Safety Culture, which became a software development company with a number of workplace safety and management apps in its portfolio, is most well-known for its smartphone app called iAuditor, which allows workers and employers to complete mobile safety audits.
The app, which is basically a virtual library of over 55,000 safety inspection checklists that’s been obtained from companies across the world, allows employees that encounter a new problem – such as needing to remove asbestos from a construction site – to search the app for a checklist that will make sure they are working safely.
The growth of the iAuditor, SafetyCulture’s flagship app, has been organic, with limited investment in marketing and zero salespeople. The company boasts clients like Qantas, Woolworths, Coles, Myer, Disney, eBay, Hilton, Emirates, and many more.
Currently, iAuditor is used 32,000 times a day in over 209 countries and has conducted over 14 million audits since its launch.
If such is the result with limited investment in marketing, then we’re about to witness some serious hyper growth with Anear announcing that the new funds will be used to invest properly in sales and marketing, as well as growing SafetyCulture’s engineering teams in Sydney and Townsville. At the moment, SafetyCulture is looking to hire mobile developers, backend developers and a head of marketing to assist the company as it moves through its next stage of growth.
“We desperately need mobile and backend engineers, as we are now approaching one million users in a fairly short time period and, we need more talented people to continue to innovate our way forward,” Anear said in a media release. “There is an Australia wide shortage of software engineers, particularly for mobile app development.”
As such, Anear is hoping that, with Malcolm Turnbull’s newfound Prime Ministership and his widely-cited love for innovation, that the government will start investing in the future computer science – and maybe the abandoned NBN.
“Communicating across distributed teams on video just isn’t consistent on ADSL. We have the NBN to the premises in Townsville and it is excellent, but in Sydney we can barely run a team meeting without connectivity,” said Anear.
SafetyCulture has recently appointed COO, Gillian Findlay, who previously worked at Car Next Door and is now leading the Sydney team.
A new product manager Anna Alves, who previously worked at dating site RSVP, has also joined the team.
“[W]e are drawing talented people from anywhere we can, we just need more of them,” said Anear.
Last year, the company, which employs almost 50 people now, hired former Atlassian senior engineer Anton Mazkovoi, as well as a number of other ex-Atlassian employees. SafetyCulture’s close relationship with Farquhar has enabled this.
Since its late-2014 capital raise, SafetyCulture has switched on its revenue model, offering multi-tiered subscriptions including standard ($9 per user per month), premium ($12 per user per month) and enterprise ($48 per user per month). The free version gives users access to SafetyCulture’s 55,000 templates in its public library, and the paid versions allow users to work in teams in varying capacities.