Sydney-based consulting firm Rimon Advisory has raised $1 million to invest in startups, most of which will be directed to businesses already working with the firm.
The Rimon Investments fund aimed at pre-launch startups is looking to invest between $30,000 and $200,000 in as many as 10 startups over the next 24 months.
Investors backing the fund include MYOB co-founder and Ingogo board member Brad Shofer, Global Capital Holdings co-founder Gary Burg, angel investor Michael Kadoury and international capital markets expert Neil Hessen.
Rimon Advisory, director Lior Stein says most of the investment will be in startups already working with the consulting firm.
“It’s built on the relationship and belief,” he says.
“We believe and trust our clients and they believe and trust us.”
The funds first investment is in Sydney-based logistics software startup Premonition.
As opposed to a usual elevator pitch in front of a panel of investors, Stein says Rimon Investments will work to build relationships with the clients before deciding whether to invest or not.
“Investing in a very early-stage startup should be based on a relationship and trust rather than a five-minute elevator pitch,” Stein says.
“We don’t believe in a five-minute pitch and then a yes or no stamp.
“Once a relationship is built we then assess if the team and idea should be put in front of our investment committee.”
Even so, Stein says he knew Premonition would be fund’s first investment from after his first meeting with co-founder Brad Lorge.
“When I met Brad for the first time I walked out of the meeting and said, ‘there’s out first investment’,” he says.
Premonition is a software startup making distribution and delivery in the logistics industry more efficient through technology. Founded earlier this year, it now has over 3000 users from some large players in the industry.
It provides real-time optimisation of logistics fleets using predictive big data technology, and was a Rimon client for over a year before taking on this funding.
The startup had several other funding opportunities, Lorge says, but went with Rimon because of this pre-established relationship.
“It’s a fund where every stage of the journey is genuine and you can completely rely on the people you’re talking to,” Lorge says.
“They’ve already invested in building your startup before putting the money in.”
Neither Rimon Advisory or Lorge would disclose the exact terms of the investment, but Stein says the fund will usually look for about 5% in equity from each deal.
Premonition was borne out of three University of NSW students’ attempts to improve the delivery of food to charities, Lorge says.
“We have more than enough food in Australia to completely solve our hunger problem,” he says.
“The problem is that food is stocked in excess capacity, and logistics is the overriding factor that stops the food being taken to the people.”
It was when the team looked to commercialise this product into a profitable business that Rimon came into the picture.
“We realised that for a very R&D-heavy project like this we needed a more sustainable model that worked in concert with industry to delivery long-term results.
“Rimon’s advisory was incredible in identifying key opportunities for commercialising of the product.”
Another key aspect of Rimon Investments is the opportunity for follow-on funding from the panel of investors.
Premonition is currently in the middle of a series A funding round, and Lorge says a large stake of this will be taken up by Rimon investors.
The final puzzle piece
“We have had lots of clients in the early, early stage and now they’re great companies,” Stein says.
“If we had been the ones to take them there then we’d still be with them at this last leg.
“They come to us at an early stage and we can be with them through the journey until they’re really successful. We don’t want to leave them at any point.”
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