Smart50 award winner Viocorp gets $5 million investment from former Fairfax chief David Kirk

An investment fund run by former Fairfax Media chief executive David Kirk has invested $5 million in online video and digital media company Viocorp International.

Viocorp ranked ninth on the 2010 Smart50 list, with revenue of $6.5 million. Revenue has grown at an average annual rate of 96% over the last three years. The company was also named the top exporter on the list.

Kirk, who famously captained New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby union team before launching his business career, is reported to have amassed $20 million in his new private equity firm called Bailador.

The fund was set up in conjunction with private equity veteran Paul Wilson and according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald it has attracted investment from a number of high net worth individuals.

Kirk said in a statement that Bailodor had followed Viocorp for some time and the company is the industry-leader in the Asia Pacific region.

“This is Bailador’s first investment and it was important for us to get it right,” Kirk said.

“We are very pleased to be investing alongside entrepreneurs who have created a great business. We are investing into a high growth market and with a company that has demonstrated product leadership and the ability to deliver world-class video content management and broadcast solutions.”

Viocorp’s chief Ian Gardiner was unavailable for comment this morning, but said in a statement the funds will be used to invest in research and development and to consolidate the company’s position in the marketplace.

“We are delighted to have an investor that understands and supports the opportunity we have to grow our business as multi-platform video content management and broadcasting takes off. David and Paul’s industry insights and extensive networks will strengthen our company.”

Other investors in Viocorp include entrepreneur Peter Holmes a Court.

While Viocorp is growing strongly, it is not that many years since the company faced a huge cashflow crunch when an investor who had promised $1 million in capital suddenly pulled out.

As Gardiner told SmartCompany in October, he and co-founder Ron McCulloch had to act quickly.

“I did nothing for four weeks, except sell. At one point I had 14 meetings in one week at one point, and we accelerated a product launch that was set to be released a little later. We were very focused and wanted to make sure that we were going to be okay.

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