​Queensland's SimPro Software raises AU$40m for international growth

Cloud technology company SimPro Software has raised AU$40m to fund its expansion into the US and the UK.

Australian cloud technology company SimPro Software has raised AU$40 million from New York-based growth equity firm Level Equity, representing the first time the company has accepted external investment since its founding in Brisbane in 2002.

SimPro creates job management software for service providers in the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and security industries, and integrates with a range of third-party software providers such as Intuit, Xero, and MYOB.

Co-founder Stephen Bradshaw, who is an electrical contractor by trade, said he founded the company to solve his own problem of managing a growing team of contractors. He joined co-founder Vaughan McKillop, a software engineer, to help develop the solution, starting with job lists and scheduling tools for allocating time and technicians.

"We only had three or four staff -- any bigger than that and you started to lose control," he said in a statement.

"I realised that what electrical and other trade businesses really needed was systemisation and automation. We needed software to help us keep visibility and manageability, and many, many other trade businesses were in the same position."

After 14 years of bootstrapping, the AU$40 million investment will help the company make product enhancements and increase customer support and marketing.

SimPro CEO Brad Couper said the company received offers from investors around the globe, but settled with Level Equity due to their "deep expertise in vertical market software".

"Level has a nuanced understanding of our business model and the end markets in which we operate. Their knowledge and capital will be an important asset for SimPro moving forward," Couper said in a statement.

The company is still headquartered in Australia with branches in New Zealand and the UK, and opened a small executive office in Boulder, Colorado in mid-2015 to analyse the local market and kick off its US expansion efforts.

To strengthen its presence in the US, SimPro will be opening US headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado, with plans to launch in up to three other states the US over the next 12 months.

The company, which currently employs about 170 staff, is looking to hire an additional 100 people over the next three years.

By the end of June this year, SimPro had more than 2,500 clients and 80,000 users worldwide, with clients ranging from small contracting operations through to corporate enterprises.

In 2014, SimPro won a contract to support the Telstra SNP monitoring joint venture.