Pollenizer’s Pygg raises $600k while Wooboard heads to US – StartupSmart

Pollenizer-backed start-up Pygg has raised $600,000 in six months from a host of investors, including Yahoo!7 chief Rohan Lund and Tim Howard of Seven Network’s Vividwireless.


Pygg – which enables one-to-one payments via Twitter and email – only went public with its app in October, but already rivals similar apps launched by the Commonwealth Bank and ANZ.


Pygg gets its name from the old English term for clay jars, which villages used to share and protect valuables. The “pygg jar” later turned into the “piggy bank”.


It is built around the idea that consumers will use social networks to make small payments, such as paying back a friend for a coffee.


The company makes its money by charging a small transaction fee when a user deposits funds into their account.


It has raised $600,000 from Lund, Howard and Pollenizer itself. While Lund heads up Yahoo!7, Howard is the chief financial officer of Vividwireless, a division of Seven Group Holdings.


Pollenizer co-founder Mick Liubinskas is now turning his attention to Wooboard – another start-up from Pollenizer’s portfolio. It recently received funds from angel investment group Elevation Capital.


Wooboard is a collaborative online human resource tool designed to boost workplace morale and improve productivity. This month, Liubinskas will travel to the United States to promote it.


“I’m arriving in San Francisco on the 16th of February. I’ll be looking to drive sales in the US by looking at distribution opportunities for Wooboard,” Liubinskas says.


The news comes after Pollenizer announced in November it has closed a $1.1 million funding round after raising $500,000 in December 2010.


That round of capital came from investors including Lend Lease chief Anthony Pascoe, Hitwise founder Adrian Giles, and Adrian Stone of Melbourne-based start-up incubator Angel Cube.


A number of previous investors have also allocated funds to Pollenizer, including the founders of software firm Atlassian.


According to Pollenizer co-founder Phil Morle, investor enthusiasm has been high for Pygg “in a way we have not seen before”, claiming Pygg “has great things ahead of it”.


“The demand we have seen from an impressive array of investors… signals a renewed energy in the local start-up investment community,” Morle says.


The funds will enable Pygg to grow and develop its operations to support other social networking platforms such as Facebook.


Pygg is also partnering with organisations such as UNICEF Australia to encourage charitable donations.


Howard, a founding investor in Pygg, says it is in a unique position to adapt and respond to the market because it is “delivering a product that is people-focused, bank-agnostic and fun to use”.

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