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Tapit Media looks to global stage after raising $2.3 million

Monday, 24 December 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Sydney-based tech start-up Tapit Media plans to take its near field communications technology (NFC) to the global stage, after completing a $2.3 million Series A round led by MPC Ventures.

 

Tapit, founded in March 2011, aims to simplify the way people access information on their mobile phone.

 

Tapit-encoded NFC chips are placed in or on physical objects such as outdoor advertising, retail shelves, product packaging, transport timetables, shop windows and food court tables.

 

Once tapped by an NFC-enabled phone, they direct the phone to the Tapit cloud-based infrastructure, which then delivers the content, coupons or information via mobile data networks.

 

The system then profiles engagement, delivering clients detailed reports on people’s physical interactions with the “tapified” objects.

 

In August last year, Tapit received $400,000 via the Sydney Angels network in return for a 20% stake in the business.

 

Now the start-up has completed a $2.3 million Series A round led by MPC Ventures, a subsidiary of Sydney-based Monash Private Capital.

 

Other investors include IT entrepreneurs David Shein and David Thrum, as well as global venture capitalist Jon Medved’s ourcrowd.com.

 

The transaction marks one of the first NFC content delivery-related Series A rounds in the world and one of only a handful of Series A transactions in Australia.

 

The funds will be used to continue Tapit’s traction in the area of NFC marketing, with an international focus.

 

Tapit co-founder and chief executive Jamie Conyngham says the expansion capital will “propel Tapit onto the global stage”, describing the Monash team as “the definition of ‘smart money’”.

 

“As lead investor they are bringing a wealth of high-level contacts, associated companies, financial and M&A experience. This will assist in accelerating Tapit’s growth,” he says.

 

Similarly, Andrew Davis, Tapit co-founder and head of operations, says he is “thrilled” with the Series A result.

 

“We’re looking forward to scaling our existing relationships with global clients and bringing the magic of Tapit to our new international markets of operation,” he says.

 

Monash co-founders Geoff Levy and Joey Fridman said in a joint statement they have been impressed with the Tapit product offering and management team, and the traction Tapit has already established with its blue chip customer base.

 

“We look forward to working with Jamie, Andrew and team, and assisting them achieve their global expansion strategy,” they said.

 

Tapit has been used by the likes of Microsoft, Samsung, Vodafone, Telstra, Universal McCann, Johnston & Johnston, Unilever, Prudential, Clear Channel, Coca Cola and Virgin Mobile.

 

Via the Monash network, 2013 will see Tapit gain a footprint in South Africa, Israel, India and Mexico.

 

Additionally, the company will expand its sales and marketing operations, giving it a local presence in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and potentially China.

 

According to ABI Research, 102 million NFC handsets were shipped in 2012, and a further 285 million will be shipped in 2013.

 

Juniper estimates global NFC retail transaction values are expected to reach US$110 billion in 2017.