Timely lands $7m investment

Timely's Rowan Simpson (director), Andrew Schofield (CTO), Kirstin Baker (general manager) Ryan Baker (CEO) at the Deloitte Fast 50 event, where Timely was named the survey's 15th fastest-growing company

RELATED AUDIO: Related audio: Timely chief executive Ryan Baker on making an unfashionable profit (Aug, 2016)

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Dunedin-based appointment-booking software startup Timely has landed a $7 million investment from Movac — the local fund recently in the news for making a big score from the sale of PowerbyProxi (in which it held a 20% stake) to Apple.

Founder and chief executive Ryan Baker tells NBR that Movac got a 16% stake for its money, implying a pre-money valuation of $36.75 million and post-money valuation of $43.75 million.

Ahead of the deal, the largest shareholders were Mr Baker and other Timely managers with a combined 69.56% stake, ahead of N7 Ltd (aka Timely director Rowan Simpson and Sacha Judd) with a 13.96% holding and Punakaiki Fund (4.66%). 

The five-year-old company's only major previous public raise was a $1.3 million round led by Punakaiki in 2014.

While Mr Baker won't detail any financials, he says Timely has been in profit since June last year.

At that point, it had 1000 subscribers. Today, it has 8300 paying customers. Timely's cloud-based software costs between $20 and $30 month per user, with some customers taking multiple subscriptions. "We have customers from solos all the way up to 48 branches and more than 100 staff," Mr Baker says. He sees no reason it won't sail past 80,000 customers and beyond.

Timely operates a unique style of remote working with most of its 47 staff working from home. They call it #timelylife and it celebrates staff bringing their “whole self” to work, giving them autonomy to wrap their work around their family and personal lives, Mr Baker says (read NBR's earlier report on its "bathrobe culture" here).

The funding will be used to fund product development and rapidly grow market presence. A number of new roles will be advertised by Timely as the company heads into this new phase of growth. Movac Partner David Beard will join the Timely board. 

NBR Rich Lister and Movac managing partner Phil McCaw says, “We’ve been investing in NZ tech companies for almost 20 years, and over that time, the quality of investment opportunities has improved dramatically. We’re delighted to have Timely as our fourth investment in our latest Fund.” 

There's recently been debate over whether the rash of startups sold offshore is a good thing. Boosters argue that investors like Movac typically recycle money back into the local ecosystem. In this case, that point definitely holds up.

Could an IPO be next?

"We have a funded business plan for two to three years now, so that’s our focus," Mr Baker says.


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Amazing how you can succeed in this space if you work hard, manage your costs and actually make sales. Looks a great company and no doubt will be a great return for Movac

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Timely is a great company. The integration back to accounting for their products is solid.

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Couldn't Xero easily replicate their offering?

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In the same way that anyone could replicate search and disrupt Google? Or accounting and disrupt Xero, you mean?

Funny story, I was once dubious about Timely because of the very generic nature of what they're doing. Ryan and team have proved that you can actually differentiate in ways beyond just the product - service, support, whatever. Timely is very much the real deal (disclosure and funny story, I once got turned down by Ryan on an investment in Timely - super early on, and I also passed on investing in the company in its second round. By extension, via a small investment in Punakaiki, I guess I'm now an investor in Ryan and crew.)

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Timely integrates with Xero. It wouldn't be much of an example to other companies in the Xero ecosystem if Rod replicated it and squished it.

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I suspect that if Xero really and truly wanted a Timely style offering in their product lineup, then they would probably buy Timely instead of being distracted and burning cash with no certainty of success.

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My haircutter in Darlinghurst -- Razorhurst, has Timely for his bookings. Like Xero they should consider being in the bigger pond +

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