Peter Thiel


Vend’s founder reveals how he scored $22 million from Valar Ventures and Square Peg Capital

3:07AM | Wednesday, 26 March

Point-of-sale software provider Vend today announced an additional $22 million in capital funding led by PayPal co-founder and the first outside investor in Facebook, Peter Thiel of Valar Ventures, and Square Peg Capital.   Vaughan Rowsell, founder and chief executive of Vend, told SmartCompany the software provider will use the new funds to expand its presence in the North American market through new partnerships, resellers, staff and customers across the continent.   “We are in high growth mode and now is the time to really put the foot on the accelerator and continue our growth,” Rowsell says.   “It really enables us to grow our channel, working with point-of-sale retailers in Australia and through channels like Apple, Zero and PayPal.”   Launched in late 2010 in New Zealand, Vend now has offices in Australia and the United States and turned over $5 million last year.   The operating system is used in over 10,000 stores in more than 100 countries but Rowsell has his sights set for further growth using the investment.   “It also allows us to grow our headcount to 20 or so people on the ground in Australia, which allows us to work with much larger accounts,” he says.   Rowsell says Vend was able to secure the funding from Valar Ventures and Square Peg Capital after establishing a relationship with Thiel.   “We’ve been a part of the San Francisco scene for the last three years, we’ve had an office there and I’ve spent a lot of time in the Valley and it is one of the amazing things about that place that everyone is so connected,” he says.   “We’ve been looking for the opportunity to work closely with [Valar Ventures] as they bring a whole lot of expertise in terms of understanding the payments space and helping us unlock the US market.”   Rowsell says the size of Vend’s private capital raising “really validates the big shift in businesses moving to the cloud”.   He claims there is a “resurgence” of independent retailers who have become more competitive against big chain stores by adopting cloud-based point-of-sale software.   “Cloud-based retail in Australia is now going much more mainstream,” Rowsell says.   Vend raised $NZ8 million ($A7.5m) in May 2013, and $NZ3 million between its  first two capital rounds in 2011 and 2012.   This article first appeared on SmartCompany.

PayPal co-founder launches Affirm, aims for one-click mobile payments

2:29PM | Thursday, 28 February

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin is launching a new mobile payments start-up called Affirm, the first project to come out of Levchin’s San Francisco tech incubator.

US VC funds raised $20.6 billion in 2012 – but what slice did Aussie start-ups take?

3:11AM | Monday, 11 March

Venture capital firms in the United States raised $20.6 billion from 182 funds in 2012, new figures show, with Australian start-ups among those that benefited from the surge in investment cash.

Why VC firms now take start-ups seriously

12:33AM | Tuesday, 4 December

It appears that the ‘lean’ spirit of modern entrepreneurship has finally inspired the Australian venture capital industry to invest in early stage start-ups – a trend is set to increase due to the accelerator boom.

Peter Thiel-backed fund pours further investment into Xero

3:06AM | Monday, 11 March

A venture capital firm backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has teamed up with another investor to pour US$49 million into New Zealand-founded start-up Xero, increasing the total amount raised to date by the cloud-based venture to US$67 million.

Five Aussie-led start-ups making their mark overseas

10:31PM | Thursday, 11 October

One of the big advantages of the increasing ubiquity of technology in start-up businesses is that national borders have become less of a barrier for them.

Seek co-founder Paul Bassat sets up new private equity venture

3:02AM | Tuesday, 12 March

Seek co-founder Paul Bassat has flagged his intention to do private equity deals in the media and technology sectors, having already set up an early stage investment fund earlier this year.

How we raised $1.2 million from Peter Thiel: ScriptRock

7:25AM | Wednesday, 25 July

Honesty is a virtue often underrated by start-ups seeking investment, according to local start-up ScriptRock, after it raised $1.2 million in a round led by vaunted US serial entrepreneur Peter Thiel.

Facebook investor Peter Thiel launches $402 million global VC firm

6:33PM | Thursday, 21 June

Early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has used the fortune he made from Facebook’s IPO to launch a new $402 million venture capital firm, which is looking globally for potential deals.

Facebook’s cashed-up backers turn their sights to start-ups

5:39AM | Monday, 21 May

Facebook’s much-hyped float saw its shares gain just 0.97% to end at $US38.37, but the IPO looks set to be a boon for start-ups, as the company’s cashed-up founders and early investors look to sink funds into ventures such as Quora and Crowdmob.

Start-up CEOs should pay themselves less than $150,000, PayPal founder says

4:14AM | Monday, 23 April

Start-up chief executives shouldn’t pay themselves more than $150,000, according to tech veteran Peter Thiel, prompting local businesses to highlight the benefits of being frugal.

PayPal founder launches $40 million fund for NZ start-ups

3:52AM | Saturday, 24 March

Peter Thiel has set up a $40 million venture capital fund in partnership with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, which could be open to Australian start-ups prepared to relocate.

Learning from Oink: Execution isn’t everything

3:30AM | Sunday, 18 March

Kevin Rose had everything going for him. A strong personal brand and network, $1.7 million in funding and a team of super smart people that could probably build any consumer web/mobile concept you threw at them – and build it well.

Xero acquires Max Solutions after raising $15m

3:54AM | Friday, 15 March

Accountancy software company Xero has raised $15 million to fund global growth and has made its first acquisition for the year, snapping up Max Solutions in a deal worth almost $5 million.

What took Branson so long?

11:46PM | Thursday, 10 November

This week’s news that Sir Richard Branson has invested in US start-up Square made headlines because, well, it’s Sir Richard Branson.

Zuckerberg downplays Silicon Valley’s start-up status

11:30PM | Tuesday, 1 November

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has downplayed Silicon Valley’s reputation as a destination for start-ups, describing the Californian region as “a little short-term focused”.

Booktrack music to readers’ ears

10:01AM | Monday, 10 October

So much for a quiet read – sound-tracked eBooks have arrived on the market. Publishers are releasing versions of classics with orchestral scores and sound effects, such as crunching gravel.

PayPal founder to pay budding entrepreneurs to avoid uni

5:08AM | Monday, 30 May

US venture capitalist Peter Thiel has offered $100,000 to 24 young entrepreneurs providing they stay out of college for two years to further their business ideas.

The top 10 start-up billionaires

3:53PM | Sunday, 13 March

The world’s major economies may have struggled to get back to pre-GFC growth levels last year, but the world’s wealthiest people appear to have been nicely insulated.