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Friday, 09 December 2016 09:14

delvv.io concludes R6.5m in first-round funding

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Tech startup delvv.io has concluded first-round funding of R6.5 million to expand the business locally and internationally. Fundraising began in May with Cape Town-based HAVAIC and UK investor Kevin Gaskell.

Launched earlier this year, delvv.io crowdsources feedback on creatives, concepts and brands from a global community of creative professionals.

With these funds, delvv.io is planning to add more resources to putting a more repeatable and predictable channel for securing international revenue. “We've been piloting several sales distribution paths to test our product overseas,” says Trevor Wolfe, co-founder of delvv.io.

The Startup World Cup in San Francisco in March, in which delvv.io is competing, also presents the opportunity to debut their new software as a service (SaaS) platform. “The platform, with help from this round of funding, will put our business on a new trajectory of international growth and get us closer to the dream of revolutionising how feedback empowers organisations,” he adds.

Being an Endeavor entrepreneur, Wolfe has fortunately been in a better position to secure meetings with international Venture Capital (VC) fund managers and lawyers at the top firms to gut check the term sheet, which had some unfamiliar terms he thought could jeopardise potential fundraising in more developed markets. “This added confidence to our negotiation stance and gave us credibility with HAVAIC, as we now have a path to international scalability through the Endeavor network, and will have mentors and fellow entrepreneurs to tap into no matter the future business challenges we face.”

One of their Endeavor advisors challenged them to stop obsessing and start testing, he says. “His advice was meant to push us to validating or disproving our thinking through real world application – launch, test, then optimise or kill.”

Commenting on the fundraising process, Wolfe believes it’s unusual for emerging companies with global aspirations not to require a cash injection of sorts. “Technology moves at such a rapid pace and the barrier to market entry is comparatively low, so tech-based startups need investment to experiment, test new versions and refine their platforms."

“Entering the funding phase is exciting because it means we can go to market faster and start international expansion. It is also frustrating,” he adds, “as most venture capital funders in South Africa prefer mature and steady businesses while investing at an early-stage valuation.”

"HAVAIC showed a genuine interest in the team, vision and product. They advocated on our behalf, came to meet the team several times, called our customers and took a holistic approach to evaluating delvv.io’s potential, as well as their financial return potential,” he explained.