Greentree Game On winners announced
Last month, we wrote about a unique contest put on by software company Greentree: two businesses, one from Australia and one from New Zealand, were competing to win a business management software package valued at $250,000, custom-designed to cure the daily headaches for which they became competition finalists.
Asked to describe the ‘pain points’ and day-to-day issues encountered at work that are hindering the company’s growth, dozens of businesses around Oceania entered the competition with the hope that their case was strong enough to land them a quarter-million dollar makeover.
The winners of this valuable prize have been announced:
In Australia, Kimberley Accommodation took home the grand prize.
"I fell in love with Kimberley's story because it showed a pioneering spirit and a challenge to make the most out of a fairly difficult set of circumstances," said Chris Alp, one of the Greentree Game On judges.
The family-owned business operates three hotels, a cafe and a brewery in the Western Australian mining region, and according to Financial Controller Garry Herbert, compiling profits & losses summaries with the current system is an accounting nightmare. The group is currently building a resort near the Berkeley River and has plans to expand into Broome and Wyndham, but before this could be made possible, Herbert said, a central purchasing system would need to be implemented.
“All that stuff is only made possible when we know how our finances are going and whether the business has got the cash to support it. Greentree would give us the confidence moving forward," said Herbert in his bid for Greentree's software package.
Upon learning that Kimberley Accommodation had been declared the competition winner, Herbert rejoiced for saved time.
“I was told we’d won Game On as I was heading into a board meeting to present our quarterly financial results,” he said. “That report took me over 40 man-hours to produce. With Greentree I’ll be able to run that consolidated report straight from the system at the push of a button – that’s a week a month given back to me, straight away.”
In New Zealand, Smail & Co. beat out nine other competitors.
"People in Christchurch are going to want to rebuild quickly. The residential market is very demanding, so they're going to want that information there, then and now, and so managing that flow of information to the customers and communicating to them clearly will be crucial," said Annabel Smail, Director and Marketing Manager of NZ's Game On winning business Smail & Co.
The 50-year-old father/daughter-run company produces and imports bathroom furniture and cabinetry to Christchurch, but throughout their good-hearted efforts to help rebuild homes and offices post-earthquake, they've run into a series of headaches caused by their outdated accounting system.
Using a humourous approach to explain their dire IT situation, Smail won the hearts of the judges and the ultimate software package.
“With Greentree, we could get rid of Dad, and the long drop!," Annabel said in her presentation. Now, "there is a light at the end of the tunnel."
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.