Tradify raises $10m – three reasons behind its sudden boom

Auckland company Tradify – a maker of cloud-based software for tradies to manage their jobs – has raised $10 million at a pre-money valuation of $55m.

The Series A round was led by local Venture capital outfit Movac, with support from existing investors Sir Stephen Tindall (through his K1W1 vehicle) and Icehouse Ventures.

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That makes it Exhibit A for the theory that money from the endless parade of tech companies sold offshore is recycled back into the NZ tech ecosystem. Movac is fresh off its big score from the $US350m sale of retail software maker Vend, in which it had a 9 per cent stake. Movac’s earlier wins include Trade Me and PowerbyProxi.

Tradify chief executive Michael Steckler told the Herald the startup had grown 50 per cent over the past year.

He would not put a figure on revenue, but said the average tradie paid $39 per month for Tradify, and that it had 18,000 tradies on its books – implying annual revenue around the $8.5m mark.

Tradify was not profitable, but could be if it did not choose to focus on growth, Steckler said.

The CEO said Tradify’s 50 per cent growth over the past year was in part due to a marketing push, it had benefited from three underlying trends: Pandemic prohibitions on travel that had seen a boom for tradies as people reprioritised spending to home renovation; the Government’s free training for apprentices scheme; and, in the UK market, a “stamp duty holiday” or suspension of a tax on property transactions (or at least those below £500,000) as a stimulus measure.

Steckler said the $10m would be used, in part, to boost staff numbers from around 50 to around 75, with a focus on R&D and sales roles. Most Tradify staff are in Auckland, with a satellite office in the UK.

The CEO said most of Tradify’s revenue is now coming from offshore, with NZ accounting for around 8 per cent of the platform’s subscribers.

While the job management software field is crowded, Steckler said Tradify had carved a reputation for being quick and easy – which he put down to it being “designed by tradies for tradies”.

Founder Curtis Bailey – who still serves as a director – was an electrician before starting Tradify in 2010. The software was born out his frustration that too much of his time was taken up by the admin side of his sparkie business.

Movac partner Jason Graham, who will join Tradify’s board, said “Michael and the Tradify team have demonstrated the strong ability to clearly identify a market opportunity, provide an industry-leading solution, and scale a team to match the opportunity. Its rapidly-growing international client base is proof of that.

“Like many capital raises, Tradify had a number of options, and the Movac team is fortunate, and delighted, to get the chance to work with Michael and his team. It’s a great opportunity for us to deploy our capital, experience and international networks.”

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