Brisbane-based media management startup Advvy will be battling it out against the top 100 startups in Asia at the Echelon Asia Summit in Singapore next week.
Advvy is the only Australian startup selected for the Top100 Fight Club pitch competition, and will be pitching to the likes of Sequoia Capital, 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures, Vertex Ventures and other prominent venture capital firms to raise its $500,000 goal.
Created as a media workflow platform, Advvy was founded by Chris Macaulay and Tristan Ozinga after they became tired of the manual, clunky systems they were using in their day jobs in the media industry. The platform solves this problem by streamlining the media campaign planning processes so employees can work smarter, while giving management real-time visibility into performance.
Co-founder and chief executive Chris Macaulay has targeted Asia as a top market for expansion, but says Australian startup founders often eschew Asian investment in favour of US venture capital funds.
“There’s so much focus on companies from Australia going to Silicon Valley, but there’s such a huge opportunity in Asia,” Macaulay says.
“If you look at the Asian market it’s the fastest growing economy at the moment — you’ve got the rise of the middle class happening at a rate we’ve never seen, and with that comes the demand for consumer products,” he says.
“I think there are a lot of missed opportunities for Australian startups who are only focused on the US.”
Advvy previously raised $700,000 in October 2015 in a seed funding round from an Asian-based venture capital fund, as an “alternative to raising in Australia”.
Macaulay says it was easier to raise funding from Asian venture capital firms than look for investment at home, but he believes the landscape for investment in Australian startups is changing.
“We did that raise almost two years ago, and the whole [Australian] ecosystem has evolved since then,” he says.
If Advvy come out on top in the Top100 Fight Club pitches, the startup plans to use the funding to become a US entity, grow its product development team and monetise its current client engagements. According to Macaulay, the startup is currently running “pilot programs with the biggest media agencies in the world.”
The Echelon Asia summit will be held on June 28 and 29 and will see more than 5,000 attendees across the investment, tech, innovation, business and government sectors in the Asia-Pacific region.