AngelCube graduate Goodfil.ms has raised $150,000 from a host of investors sourced through Aurelius Digital and AngelCube itself, but hasn’t ruled out looking overseas for further funding.
Founded by Glen Maddern and John Barton, Goodfil.ms is of the first start-ups to graduate from AngelCube’s six-month program, which offers participants $20,000 and access to mentors.
Goodfil.ms is a film rating and review site that collates recommendations from users’ friends, rather than film critics. It is based on the successful site GoodReads.com.
“We raised $150,000, some of which came from people we knew – mentors in the AngelCube program… [and from] contacts we made through an Aurelius Digital event,” Maddern says.
Aurelius Digital is an invitation-only angel investment network.
“By the time we pitched to investors, there were not a lot questions they could ask us that we hadn’t already asked ourselves and had come up with answers for,” Maddern says.
“Investors often need to feel comfortable with you more so than the idea, but Goodfil.ms is playing in a large market and has the potential to have a very large return.”
Maddern says it took four months from speaking at the Aurelius event – which was the first time Goodfil.ms had presented to a large group of investors – to closing the $150,000 funding round.
“At the moment, we’ve got a nine to 12-month runway. Basically, it’s not enough funding to extend the team dramatically – it will be John and I plus some consultants,” he says.
“Part of the biggest variable cost is marketing… [The funding] is enough to get us to a stage where we can make an impact in the market.”
“In Melbourne, it’s not possible to raise a lot more than that. [Raising funds from overseas investors is] something we’ve discussed.”
Maddern says while he’s saddened by the prospect of having to look outside of Australia for additional funding, he knows it’s inevitable.
“At the beginning, everyone involved in AngelCube had a desire to see things happen in Melbourne… [However,] there’s not enough of a deal pipeline,” he says.
“We will always favour Australia investors but if the opportunity isn’t here then we will have to go looking overseas and of course Silicon Valley is the hub, although places like Los Angeles might make more sense for us.”
“Right now, it’s nice that we’ve got the time not to think about that.”
Maddern encourages other start-ups to apply for a spot in the AngelCube program, issuing some advice.
“The biggest thing that helped me [in the application process] was that I was honest about my shortcomings and realistic about what the program might be able to teach me,” he says.
“I understood the fact that AngelCube could provide business knowledge. Without that, I had nothing. I had an idea for a site and realised that together, we could make something good.”