Cricketers invest in Pingar
UPDATE APRIL 26: Sir Richard Hadlee, Scott Styris and Daniel Vettori have invested in Pingar and will assist with business development, particularly in India, the company said today.
Pingar would not disclose terms.
The New Zealand search and analytics software company has recently been seeking $4 million from private investors (to top up around $6 million invested so far) and has brought a number onboard, Companies Office records show.
The cricketers' investment is at the modest end of the scale, to put it charitably.
Sir Richard Hadlee's CricPro has taken a 0.1% stake.
Mr Vettori's Battista Ltd has taked a 0.05% holding, with Mr Styris Little Bit Pepper Ltd investing at the same token level.
Nevertheless, Pingar does seem to have raised some serious capital as well. The major new holder is Kaimai Holdings (owned by Tauranga's Megan Morton), which has took a 12.8% stake during February.
The largest shareholder remains founder and CEO Peter Wren-Hilton with a 29.95% stake.
Pingar, which already has outposts in the US and Hong Kong, opened a Bangalore office today. Chennai Super Kings’ veteran all-rounder Scott Styris. “As a group and individually we are looking forward to helping enterprises understand the potential Pingar has to unlock their business intelligence.”
Mr Vettori captains local team the Royal Challengers Bangalore in India's professional 20/20 league, whiile Mr Styris plays for the Chennai Super Kings.
Sir Richard has also been brought on to schmooze IT leaders in Banaglore, India's tech capital.
Pingar seeks $4m from private investors; details wins
NOV 3, 2011: Pingar says it has inked two major distribution deals, with a third on the way, and is seeking $4 million in a new funding round to fund further expansion.
The company, originally based Tauranga, has commercialised search and analytics software developed by the University of Waikato.
So far the four-year-old company has raised $6 million, founder and chief executive Peter Wren-Hilton told NBR yesterday.
Almost all of the money has come from “high net worth individuals” ($350,000 has come from government grants). Mr Wren-Hilton said he would follow the same path for the $4 million now being sought, rather than consider a listing, or a private equity company investment.
Pingar currently has 51 private investors, the largest of which is Mr Wren-Hilton’s Lytham with a 37.5% stake. Second is Pingar’s UK based co-founder John Beer with a 17.3% stake, followed by a clutch of Tauranga and Mt Maunganui residents.
The company continues to draw on research carried out by the University of Waikato, but Mr Wren-Hilton said Pingar pays on a contract basis and owns 100% of the intellectual property.
Pingar currently has 30 staff sprinkled around New Zealand, India, Hong Kong and the US (Mr Wren-Hilton has temporarily relocated to Silicon Valley for a push on the North American market).
It’s looking to expand head-count to 45 by March.
Pingar originally sprung to tech industry fame for its software that can automatically summarise umpteen pages of Google (or Bing or Yahoo search) results into a single PDF. The product was mooted as boon for corporates seeking sensible search results fast.
What Mr Wren-Hilton calls a “pivot” has seen the company pursue a new strategy this year - a move prompted in part by Google (with Analytics) and Microsoft (with its “Fast” corporate search product) moving in on its turf.
The company is now seeking to bundle its software with hardware scanners from the likes of Canon, Fujitsu and Kodak.
Pingar’s software can pull key details or keyword "tags" from an unstructured document. For example, a person’s name, address and credit card number, if billing information is being sought. While scanning software is two-a-penny, Mr Wren-Hilton said Pingar had unique smarts in terms of being able to recognise the context in which words and other information appeared.
So far the new strategy has been a success, Mr Wren-Hilton said.
He would not reveal any financials, but did say Pingar has signed a deal for its software to be bundled with scanners distributed by Dicom International.
Mr Wren-Hilton said Dicom distributed 40% of the scanners sold in Europe, as well as having operations in Africa and the Middle East.
A second major scanner distribution deal (due to be announced Friday week) has been inked with GSL Technology, Kodak’s official agent for Hong Kong and China.
The scanner move follows another fresh Pingar tack, which saw the company open its application programming interface to work with other corporate software, and work closely with Microsoft on its Sharepoint information-sharing product.