Having graduated from kids’ parties to wine tours, experience startup AmazingCo is already a business on the move, but having raised $2.3 million in seed funding, co-founder Silvia Hope says it’s ready to go global.
AmazingCo was founded in 2012 by Hope, Jeremy Cox, Nick Brozovic and Daniel Cox. It started out as a children’s party provider, but now offers date nights and social experiences throughout Australia, New Zealand and eight states in the US.
This first round of funding is led by Australian venture capital fund Rampersand, and also includes Richmond AFL captain Trent Cotchin, Luxury Escapes co-founder Adam Schwab, Macdoch Ventures, and co-founders of construction management software company Acenox, Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot.
According to Hope, the funds will be channelled into “expansion, growth, the technology platform, and growing to scale”.
“We want to build a big business here,” she says.
“We can see the opportunity of going quite far.”
Although AmazingCo is already international, Hope says its technology and distribution network means it could go much further.
The platform uses customers’ data to create ongoing relationships, Hope says. Rather than just connecting them with suppliers, AmazingCo is “more focused on getting groups of people together for a more meaningful experience”.
“We’re managing that entire customer journey as a seamless experience, and have been able to scale that across different cities and geographies,” she says.
For other startups thinking about entering their first funding rounds, Hope stresses: “You’ve got to be passionate about what you’re doing”.
“Some people are going to love your story,” she says. “But it’s not going to be for everyone.”
Just going through the process of meeting potential investors offers a good opportunity to talk about your business, she says. The AmazingCo founders spread the startup’s message through networking, getting their contacts to introduce them to others, until they got themselves in front of the right people.
“Just stick at it,” Hope adds.
“You’re not going to be a good fit for everyone. Don’t take it personally.”