Tech23 alumni StageBitz has raised $890,000 in funding from investors including ANU Connect Ventures and the Sydney Angels Sidecard Fund, as it seeks to revolutionise the arts industry.
StageBitz, founded in 2010 by Catherine Prosser and Mat Lawrence, creates online project and inventory management tools for anyone who uses props, costumes and scenery.
It aims to solve a constant problem faced by professionals in theatre, film and TV, and events – the lack of suitable collaboration and inventory systems for the industry.
According to StageBitz, more than 25 million props are created every year, but most of these items are only used once.
StageBitz provides a central tool that allows directors, designers, makers, buyers and production and stage managers to collaborate online.
Together, they can create all the necessary design, technical and usage information to complete these items, as well as task and budget information.
StageBitz then automatically collates the items into a central company inventory, allowing customers to share, hire or sell their items online.
Earlier this year, StageBitz travelled to the United States after winning the $25,000 Catalyst Award and the ATP Innovations Silicon Valley Explorer Prize at Tech23.
The start-up has now secured an $890,000 co-investment from ANU Connect Ventures, the Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund and a number of private investors.
ANU Connect Ventures is a pre-seed venture capital fund associated with the Australian National University, while the Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund counts Jayride and Bubble Gum Interactive among its investment projects.
“We are really pleased to be working with organisations like ANU Connect Ventures and the Sydney Angels to help grow StageBitz globally,” Prosser says.
“It is wonderful to see innovation in the creative industries being recognised and having such an impact.”
First and foremost, the funds will allow Prosser and Lawrence to work on StageBitz full-time.
“Mat is just wrapping up his current position as head of props manufacture at Opera Australia and will join me as director of product development,” Prosser says.
“It will be fantastic to have a second brain on this full-time. Secondly, that will free me up to really focus on customer development and sales.”
“I will be focusing on companies here in Australia initially, but Mat and I have trips planned to the US and the UK next year, which will give us a great chance to establish those important overseas customers. Those are really the main things.”
“As much as anything, it will just be so good to focus on the business instead of on the funding for the business.”