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New investment fund targets Australian app developers

Newly launched investment fund KidderApp plans to provide a combination of financial backing and mentoring to mobile app developers, who could receive anything from $5,000 to $5 million in investment.

KidderApp, created by Melbourne-based advisory business Kidder Williams, will help "Australians with great ideas" take their apps to market.

According to Kidder Williams managing director David Williams, there was an unmet demand for a "centralised place for money".

"What we mainly do is advise companies buying companies, selling companies and raising money. We do IPOs on the stock exchange and that sort of thing," Williams told StartupSmart.

"One of the companies we advise is a company called Wellcom... It's a pre-press digital asset management company.

"They were being asked by their clients to get into the app space... So they purchased [mobile app development company] DreamWalk."

"In addition to that, we were being approached by people looking for [an app developer]. We realised there was an unmet service for a centralised place for money."

Because of Kidder Williams' broad client list – which has included companies such as Bega, Tassal and Nufarm – Williams believes KidderApp is well placed to make its mark in mobile.

"If someone comes to use with an app in [a particular area], we can put them into a meeting with clients in those various disciplines... If you come in with a medical app, we can bring in 10 different medical companies," he says.

"People who have got good ideas [will receive] good mentoring as well as financial assistance."

Williams says KidderApp will take an ad hoc approach – developers could raise $5,000 or they could raise $5 million – while the timeframe for each investment will be "completely open".

"We've been working with one developer for more than six months. They have a pretty refined product now compared to what it came in as. We'll help people package these things up for investors," he says.

"We're trying to think two steps ahead [to ensure] these things get funded for the next stage... It's cheap to do a proof-of-concept... It's slightly more expensive to do a MVP.

"We want to bring in people who can really help develop or market it."

As for the app developers, Williams insists there's no real criteria.

"We're not looking for a particular interest or industry. The one we're working on at the moment is human resources, but we're also working on one in the music industry," he says.

"We have invested in food, pharmaceuticals and medical, so we think in those areas there's a crying need.

"[However,] these things are going to come out of the blue. People are going to come up with apps that reflect their own personal ideas. It's sometimes pretty hard to guess."

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

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