Lance Wiggs Capital Management was co-founded by myself and Chris Humphreys to be a premier NZ investment manager for growth funds. It is not associated with any of the companies below.
Current Personal Investments (updated Jun 2013)
Listed below are the companies where I have an investment or where I was a co-founder. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about any of them.
Vend is a point of sale, inventory and customer software that retailers love to use. They are growing quickly, collecting awards and recently close an $8m round. I was an investor in the last three rounds (of four). I really should write more about Vend, who exemplify how to build a business, so for now read what Vaughan Rowsell had to at the close of the last round.
Syft develops and markets machines that detect minute amounts of volatile organic compounds in air. The machines are used for occupational and environmental air quality monitoring, medical testing, oil and gas exploration and so forth. I wrote in 2013 about my small investment in Syft.
200Square is an online real estate agent founded by Grant Wakelin and several others. 200Square sells houses, and does so very efficiently, saving real estate agents’ time and removing expensive legacy industry costs. This is possible as 200Square has leapfrogged much of the traditional real estate practices while still retaining experienced agents who take care of the process of selling, negotiating and closing. I wrote about 200 Square earlier in 2013.
Pocketsmith is a cloud based personal financial manager that brings a new level of functionality to people who are no longer content with products like Mint.com. The program imports your data from a variety of banks and other financial institutions, and allows you to project forward using powerful forecasting tools. Pocketsmith is run by founders James Wigglesworth and Jason Leong, and I covered the company in this post earlier in 2013.
Define Instruments designs and manufactures a range of electronic devices that allow you to intelligently control your machines.It was founded and is led by Anthony and Anna Glucina.
The products range from meters and displays through to mini-PLCs, and provide a simple way to control things like flow, weight and temperature.
Define Instruments also designs electronic hardware and embedded software for a variety of OEM clients and industries and performs high quality contract manufacturing, including sourcing components, printing and assembling PCBs using SMT & wave soldering (non lead) technology, mechanical assembly, testing and packing. I wrote about the name change from Texmate NZ to Define Instruments and an update at the beginning of 2013.
Director, substantial minority shareholder.
Authentic Tours, trading as MyTours, allows museums and tourist authorities to create compelling iPhone, Android and Windows 7 Mobile apps from their own content. The apps are museum, walking and tour guides, and there are a host of them already.
We are steadily growing, and have never been funded, under the leadership of founder Glen Barnes. Check out the Welly Walks iPhone app.
LTW Wiggs is a joint venture between Lance Wiggs Consulting and Lee Ter Wal design, which in turn was founded by Baruch Ter Wal and Shaun Lee. We help emerging and medium sized New Zealand companies prepare, negotiate and complete major international commercial arrangements. We are helping Performance Labs (who were Highly Commended in the 2013 Hi Tech awards) and I wrote about PLTech and the Arda Engine earlier in 2012.
Lingopal developed mobile phone based translation applications with a difference. There are 44 languages, the normal phrases but also flirting and insults. It’s also a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time and money developing a J2ME application (and a mobile app), but we were too early, and it was not until we launched an iPhone app in 2009 that we saw success. At the moment we have 95 iPhone apps and almost the same number for Android. The main iPhone application is Lingopal 44, with 44 languages and over 900 phrases per language.
Lingopal was founded by my cousin in Perth, and attracted AU$700,000 in investment from VC firm Stoneridge Ventures and 2 substantial angels. Here’s the April 2009 post announcing the Lingopal iPhone app launch. And here’s a very short post visually showing the number of apps.
Director, minority shareholder.
PowerKiwi provides products through NZ’s online electricity store – Powershop. We have three products, the cheap and very cheerful FlowerPower, GreenPower – which buys carbon offsets to account for your share of thermal power generation, and Tree Power – where each 30 units plants a tree.
We’ve sold over 305,000,000 kWh (units) of electricity credits, representing just under a quarter of Powershop’s sales.
Powerkiwi was second in New Zealand’s 2012 Deloitte Fast 50, and 18th in the Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500. Here’s a post on the Fast50 and another on our size versus the market. Flowerpower is an extraordinarily low margin business, but is has educated me more about the industry. Here is a post responding to the Labour/Greens proposal made during the Mighty River Power pre-IPO period.
Co-Founder, Director, majority shareholder.
Taggle (formerly Widentifi) is a VC backed (Stoneridge amongst others) Sydney based company concentrating on city-based location services. Their first products are water meters that give readings every few minutes versus once a year in the old manual process. The batteries last for years and years.
Allaboutthestory.com was a site founded by Julie Starr that matched high quality writers with editors looking to fill the gap in their newspapers, magazines and other media. We closed the business (post) after failing to prove that we could create a market.
Valuecruncher was founded by Wellington investment banker Mark Clare, and aims to help you decide whether to buy or sell stocks. The front page of valuecruncher.com has suggested buys and sells, but the real power is that you can dig into the numbers for each company, play with the forecast assumptions and create your own valuations.
Groupy Deals Limited
Groupy, founded by Scott Kitney, was the first group buying deal site in New Zealand. We sold the company (post) after a few months to Yellow, who subsequently on-sold it to Daily Do. I also wrote a how-to post for launching Group-On clones.
Pacific Fibre was launched (post) in 2010 to connect Australia and New Zealand to the USA with a high capacity fibre optic submarine cable. In a well covered story in NZ we failed to get through the final hurdle of raising the US$300m required. I still believe in the opportunity and have written a post for aspiring new entrants.
SafePlus was founded to help companies improve safety results through well designed compliance testing. A key founder, Brian Wyness, passed away and we later decided to cease operations.