PRESS RELEASE: Christchurch start-up raises $600,000 to expand
Christchurch start-up company OrbViz is oversubscribing its first capital round this week with local and offshore investors buying into its ambition to make data-heavy reports digestible for the masses.
OrbViz CEO Vanessa O’Brien said the $600,000 pre-seed investment would be deployed to grow its base of paying customers and was a vote of confidence in the company’s scalability and global goals.
“Every large organisation world-wide has data and creates reports. Most of these reports go unread. When we started to ask why, it became obvious that there’s a disconnect between the way they are communicated and how everyday people consume and understand information. We decided to change that.”
OrbViz is a Software as a Service product that helps its customers exchange lengthy and complex PDF reports for an interactive, compelling, digital experience that even data newbies can quickly absorb. It improves engagement, comprehension and feedback. Current customers include local governments, electricity distributors, investment advisors, not-for-profits and transport companies.
“A big play for OrbViz, and where we are headed,” Vanessa said, “is sustainability reporting. It’s so important that data is paired with the story in a way that helps organisations demonstrate progress in a meaningful way that is easy to understand. We know that the majority of consumers and businesses today consider sustainability when they buy, so being able to communicate this story in layman’s terms is imperative for growth.”
The investment round was led by Canterbury Angels member David Oliver, an entrepreneur and serial investor within New Zealand and offshore. The round was closed with private investors from the United Kingdom and Germany.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” Vanessa said. “With David, we’ve got local supporting local. And it’s super exciting to have investors who can open doors for us in offshore markets.”
OrbViz was founded in June 2021. It was formally a product incubated within Christchurch company Orbica. Orbica founder Kurt Janssen is also a co-founder in OrbViz, along with Karim Sabet, who joined the team in July 2021.
Between them, the OrbViz founding team has global experience working for U.S. big tech, oil and gas industries in Dubai and global media outlets such as DeutscheWelle and USA Today. Karim said that meant the team’s default setting was global.
“Helping everyday people to consume, understand and have access to complex data is a universal issue, so it’s a “no brainer”to think global in terms of growth. Our investors certainly have the same mindset. The cool thing is that Christchurch’s tech scene is booming so it’s becoming more common for young companies to have global ambition.”
Vanessa said that next steps for OrbViz included researching and testing offshore markets as well as product and technical growth.
“Every start-up founder knows it’s a hard grind to get to this point, so it’s a very rewarding moment. Growth is an intense time, but we’re definitely going to try to find a moment to celebrate the win.”
Photo: OrbViz team
Front (left to right): OrbViz co-founder Kurt Janssen, CEO and co-founder Vanessa O’Brien, David Oliver
Back (left to right): OrbViz Board chair Mads Moller, co-founder Karim Sabet