Kiwi product development insights platform Ideally lands $2 million Seed round

- January 8, 2024 2 MIN READ
Ideally cofounder James Donald
New Zealand customer insights innovation platform Ideally has raised $2 million in a Seed round as it looks to expand its presence in the Australian market.

Auckland VC Icehouse Ventures backed Ideally, which emerged from TRA Labs and Previously Unavailable – the partnership behind brand tracking phenomenon Tracksuit.

Ideally’s self-service platform tests product-market fit, delivering statistically valid responses and AI-generated summaries from 400-plus people in a target audience. It does that in days rather than weeks, so product development teams have actionable insights through the development process,

The Kiwi startup already has a blue chip client list in Australasia, including Asahi Beverages, Danone Nutricia and Goodman Fielder.

CEO and cofounder James Donald said the Icehouse Ventures investment speaks validates the company’s growth trajectory.

“Eight months ago Ideally was just a concept, today we’re helping grow the ideas of some of Australasia’s most innovative businesses. Icehouse Ventures investment will help us significantly dial up that growth even further, and lay strong foundations for big global ambitions,” he said.

As part of those ambitions he recruited two of New Zealand’s most experienced startup talents as Ideally’s cofounders, with Parkable’s former global sales manager, Joshua Nu’u-Steele signing on as chief revenue officer alongside Brendan Cervin as chief technical officer with specialist expertise in AI and Large Language Learning models.

Donald said they’ll help with Ideally’s rapid deployment of services across New Zealand, Australia, and further afield.

“With Josh and Brendan joining the fold we have two technology leaders with significant experience building important, global, Kiwi-headquartered businesses, with the ambition to go global,” he said.

“By bringing their expertise across innovation, marketing, and AI together, Ideally is in an incredibly strong position for capturing this market and scaling globally,”

Nu’u-Steele said this new project has all of the hallmarks of another meteoric startup.

“Firstly, could you imagine a world without ideas?! I love that Ideally helps to transform abstract thoughts into tangible insights, refining and elevating concepts with real-world feedback, and not to mention, the team behind the scenes – absolute rockstars!” he said.

Icehouse Ventures partner Barnaby Marshall also sees an enormous global opportunity of Ideally’s product.

“There’s an old saying that it’s not the big that eat the small but the fast that eat the slow,” he said.

“Many large organisations struggle with being confident in new products and decisions. Many small organisations struggle to get enough data to make high quality decisions. Ideally serves both customer groups and gives an element of objectivity to new marketing and product ideas. We believe the potential here is huge.”

Among those impressed is Clara Lee head of strategy, planning and insights ANZ, atl food manufacturer Danone Nutricia, who said Ideally has liberated the ideation process for the brand’s creative team.

“Ideally encourages teams to be bold and put ideas out there and see what comes back, then having a few goes at it. It allows our team the freedom to play a little bit more,” she said.

“Every marketer wants that get-out-of-jail clause to test their methodology, and Ideally provides that with its low cost of entry. The fact we can easily upload the testing material ourselves and get results back all within 24 hours is a game changer in the demanding business world in which we operate.”

Last year, Ideally pitched to more than 1,000 investors at the annual Icehouse Ventures showcase, which features Aotearoa’s most exciting startups before the startup crossed the ditch to be part of the inaugural SXSW Sydney Pitch competition.