Ask any startup what their short term goals are and they’ll probably tell you about securing funding from venture capitalists. That funding is often the key to moving beyond a small operation to one that can begin scaling up to bigger and better things.
Luke Anear, founder of Australian tech startup, SafetyCulture, was never actively looking for funding, but it certainly came furiously knocking on his door. The workplace safety checklist app recently announced a massive $30 million in funding from US VC firm, Index Ventures, making it the second-largest Australian capital raise ever.
We caught up with Luke to get his thoughts on the funding and how he got started on this crazy ride to a potential billion-dollar business. Based in the least-known-for-their-tech-startups city of Townsville, he says he came up with the idea whilst working on the other side of the workplace accident fence.
“I was a private investigator, spying on people who had been injured at work. I wanted to be part of the solution and help people avoid workplace accidents instead of investigating what had happened after the incident had occurred,” he said.
From the humblest of beginnings in Luke’s Townsville garage, to Atlassian‘s Scott Farquhar being involved in the company, SafetyCulture have come a long way since its founding in February 2012. They now have huge contracts with clients like Coles, Qantas and Hilton and staff across Sydney, San Francisco, Kansas, and the UK. This mammoth funding will allow them to find more great staff to build the business.
“We can continue to build out our core product teams,” he said. We need to find more great people that want to change the world to fill roles across all areas of the business.
Luke says he has no plans to move away from Townsville and is keen to keep the business in Australia while expanding their presence and support staff where they’re needed overseas. The main goal over the next 12 months, he says, is to focus on their employer profile.
“We have kept a low profile until now and most people don’t know what SafetyCulture does. We are now raising our employer brand, and continuing to solve the core problem of safety and quality management for our customers.”
It’s another huge win for the Aussie startup scene and we wish SafetyCulture and their team all the bloody best in conquering the world of workplace safety checklists.