Velpic secures AU$4m in funding round to grow business

Velpic has secured additional funding to boost its national presence as it finalises the reverse-takeover deal of International Coal.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Perth e-learning startup Velpic has managed to raise approximately AU$4 million as part of its latest funding round.

Baillieu Holst led the funding round, and was joined by retail and institutional investors including Sanlam and Alignment.

Tony Gandel -- son of billionaire property developer John Gandel, known as the owner of Melbourne's Chadstone Shopping Centre -- has also been named as one of the backers.

The AU$4 million comes under the AU$5 million the company had initially intended to raise in investment; however, CEO Russell Francis told ZDNet that the intention was really to raise anywhere between AU$3 million and AU$5 million.

"Three was the minimum we had to get for compliance, and with five we just had to put a ceiling on it somewhere and so it didn't look like we were gathering money for any old reason. We were doing cartwheels when we got AU$3 million, and when it continued to flow through closer to $4 million, we were extremely excited," he said.

Speaking about the company's next steps, Francis said: "We've already built a product; we've already got revenue coming through the door, so this is not R&D money, this money is to actually do marketing and get out there, and establish our east coast presence primarily."

He added that the company will also be using the funds to grow its employee headcount.

In July, Velpic announced the reverse takeover of International Coal, a deal valued at AU$5.2 million as a way to facilitate the growth of the company. Velpic expects to list on the Australian Securities Exchange by the end of October as a result of this.

In the last 12 months, the company has reported a revenue of AU$2 million at 30 percent growth rate, and has attributed this to serving customers such as Alcoa, AHG, Westrac, and Ausdrill.

As part of growing the company, former Xero executive Leanne Graham was also recently appointed to the company's board.

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