New Zealand Startup Accelerator, Lightning Lab, Attracts $3 Million In Follow On Funding

Lightning Lab, New Zealand accelerator, Startup,Follow On Funding Lightning Lab, the only New Zealand based startup accelerator that is part of the Global Accelerator Network, held their demo day early this month  in Wellington. Now in it’s third year, Lightning Lab is a partnership between a group of private professional investors, the science and innovation arm of New Zealand’s Ministry of Business and Creative HQ a coworking and incubation hub in New Zealand.

The nine startups that participated in the 12 week program were:

Publons: a platform for crowd-sourced peer-review of academic articles, where academics build reputation for their contributions.  It provides an alternative to the extremely slow, expensive, and closed status quo that hasn’t changed in 300 years.

WIP: a beautifully simple video workflow platform that lets you watch, share and comment on your work-in-progress videos, so you get better feedback faster.

KidsGoMobile: a startup developing a software service to help parents teach their children to become responsible users of their first smartphone. This tool will notify parents if their child engages in potentially risky activity on their phone and gives them tips on how to resolve it.

Teamisto: a startup changing the way sports clubs raise money by generating new streams of sponsorship revenue.

Expander: A cloud-based tracking and analytics platform that gives manufacturers a weapon to fight back against counterfeits, while connecting them to consumers and procuring valuable data in emerging markets.

Adeez: a startup that provides a specialist mobile marketing solution which enables brands and marketing agencies to improve their ROI with mobile campaigns.

LearnKO delivers online learning programs to English language organisations in Asia. We do this by harnessing the talent of Australasian tutors and delivering this via an online classroom to English language organisations.

Promoki a social media gaming platform for photo and video contests

Questo: a startup using game mechanics in real world activities to increase family engagement for organizations.

Their demo day drew 140 investors from across the country and while they haven’t said which of the nine startups received follow on funding reports that $3 million dollars in follow on funding has been committed and details will be released shortly.

“Watching Lightning Lab in action was incredible. These results are what makes it worthwhile for the companies which grow out of weeks of hard work, for the investors and mentors who support them, and for the other entrepreneurs who see it and are inspired into action, turning their own ideas into great startup companies going global from downunder.”    Tui Te Hau the CEO of Creative HQ said.

You can find out more about Lightning Lab at

Now check out Startup America joins forces with Startup Weekend for UpGlobal

New Zealand Social Startup For Kids, MiniMonos, Announces Funding As They Approach 1M Members

The New Zealand based social network startup for kids MiniMonos is taking off like wild-fire. CEO and Founder, Melissa Clark-Reynolds, has reported that the company has just received $1.3 million dollars in funding and they are quickly approaching 1 million users.

MiniMonos allows kids to sign up for their social network using a monkey avatar. From there they can play free games and interact with other kids on the network. There is also a premium based subscription which opens up a world of virtual currency and other features. Clark-Reynolds has also teamed up with Buy1Give1 so that for every subscription membership purchased the company then purchases clean water for a child in India.

Currently MiniMonos is converting about 3% of their users from free membership to paid membership however Clark-Reynolds has reported that the 3% of paid memberships are driving 90% of their revenue. They are quickly approaching 1 million members, their current member tally is about 840,000 members with more than half being in the UK.

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Peter Thiel Looking To Bolster New Zealand’s Budding Tech Scene

VentureBeat is reporting today that Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel has invested $12.1 million dollars into the New Zealand technology scene.

Thiel’s Valar Ventures is teaming up with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund for a total offering of $40 million dollars. New Zealand’s Minister of Economic Development, Steven Joyce, welcomes the funding not just for the money but also the connections Thiel brings to the table.

“[This] is a very positive development for New Zealand technology companies wanting to expand into large offshore markets,” Joyce told the Wall Street Journal. “These companies require not only capital but also getting access to the right offshore networks in those markets and building their customer base.”

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