After raising $4 million in a pre-initial public offering capital raise, Robert Bromage — managing director of data-driven people management software company intelliHR — says the next step is “telling the world we exist”.
IntelliHR, which launched in 2013, was founded by Bromage in an effort to bring data analytics and collection to the world of HR, with the software being able to gauge things such as employee sentiment as well as offer HR and people management automation.
“Before starting intelliHR I had built predictive data analytics models for performance and retention in companies over time, but most companies didn’t actually have the data I needed to analyse this performance,” Bromage told StartupSmart.
“So I started to turn it into a client-facing system which became intelliHR. It’s an analysis-first platform with people and performance management tools built in.”
IntelliHR plans to list on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) over the next few months and has received $4 million in pre-IPO funding from institutional and sophisticated investors to help the company prepare for the float. The raise is the first since its $2.1 million seed round and was oversubscribed as the company initially sought to raise just $2.2 million.
The raise means the company can take some “massive steps” towards the wider goal of becoming a global force in the HR and employee management space, says Bromage. The $4 million will mostly go towards an “aggressive strategy” around customer base expansion and development for the tech side of the business.
Most of this development will be customer-led, says Bromage, as the company works closely with its clients to make sure the platform fills their needs.
The company has had around $10 million in external investment so far, but the raise was the first non-seed Bromage has done, which he said would have been “on the edge of fun” if it weren’t such hard work.
“As a founder of a company I want to see it grow and be successful, and that means a lot of really hard work,” he says.
“That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been absolutely daunting, and there’s been a lot of work in educating people about what we do and then finding people who are actually interested in our success and share our passion.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of the company, but it’s also been fast-paced and at times overwhelming.”
The decision to list was fuelled by the desire to be a global company, which Bromage thinks will be a more attainable goal with the significance of a public listing under the company’s belt.
“I see a listed company as having great people and being sure around governance and it’s stability as an organisation, compared to a startup controlled by VCs,” he says.
“That being said, listing takes a lot of work. I’ve written two memorandums and two prospectuses already, not to mention the work around due diligence.”
With intelliHR having a number of clients using the software already and with Bromage’s goals for the company firmly outlined, he says a listing made sense. But the founder warns it can easily be a trap for young players, and being a public company is a “different world”.
“It’s taken a lot of work to find the right people to take with us into this listing, and we’ve really had to find people with the right skills to build the company foundations from the top down,” he says.
“Being in a listed environment is adviser and board critical, and one of the things I’m most proud of is the board we have here at intelliHR.”