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Pre-launch start-up supporter360 lands multimillion dollar clients

Thursday, 5 January 2012 | By Michelle Hammond
A new Australian cloud-based platform called supporter360 has already been snapped up by organisations with a combined income of $500 million, despite still being in its pre-launch phase.

 

The platform has been created by the Australian arm of appiChar, founded in 2001 by Ian Ryder. The business designs, implements and supports technology for the not-for-profit sector, working with organisations such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

 

The company initially began operating in the United Kingdom before expanding to Australia three years ago, employing staff in Sydney and Melbourne to work on a new project.

 

“Australian not-for-profit organisations account for nearly 14.5% of the workforce so it’s a hugely significant part of all our lives,” Ryder says.

 

“One area you might not have thought about is how charities and not-for-profit organisations raise funds and find supporters.”

 

“Traditionally, organisations have had to rely on slow, expensive software that sat on expensive computers locked away from the world in their offices.”

 

“A medium-sized organisation would need to spend a considerable amount on servers, software, training, people to put the stuff together, and then lots of people to keep it all running.”

 

“The good news is that the changes in technology are about to make all that a thing of the past.”

 

Over the last 18 months, appiChar’s Australia-based staff have been working on a new cloud-based relationship management platform known as supporter360.

 

Ryder is confident the platform will “revolutionise how software is delivered and used in the sector we operate."

 

“The potential change in the way organisations work is huge, and it means that far less money needs to go into just getting going in the first place,” he says.

 

Designed and developed between Sydney and Melbourne, Ryder says the system has already received orders from organisations with a combined income of around $500 million.

 

“We’re just about to install the first customers here in Australia and New Zealand, and the UK... We’ve been asked to bring supporter360 to Japan, Canada and most likely the US,” he says.

 

“We’re very excited about where we’re at right now. The product is fantastic and we have some great ideas for the coming months and years.”

 

“Because the system is cloud-based, it means it can scale as quickly as it needs to – we don’t need to buy servers or post out CDs.”

 

“We operate very differently from our competitors... Our biggest is a $1 billion US company and they tried to buy us recently, but it would have only been to stop us in our tracks.”

 

“Some billion dollar-plus companies are desperate to keep the status quo. They’re making good money out of charities and fundraisers, and would like to keep the flow coming.”

 

“A measure of our success will be if they have to change or they just become irrelevant.”