Start-up that helps SMEs with export documentation gets Maersk's funding
INCODOCS, a year-old Brisbane start-up that sells software to help small businesses with export documentation, has received AUD1
INCODOCS, a year-old Brisbane start-up that sells software to help small businesses with export documentation, has received AUD1.2 million (US$844,440) in seed investment from the venture capital arm of the Danish shipping conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk, with local VC BlackBird Ventures and Steve Baxter's Transition Level Investments also climbing aboard.
IncoDocs' co-founder and chief executive Brandon Boor said being approached by Maersk caught the company by surprise, but represented a big opportunity for the company to target rapid growth, reported The Australian Financial Review.
'In our industry of global logistics, Maersk is the leader. They're the largest shipping company in the world,' Mr Boor said. 'It was unusual for us to get that contact come to us out of HQ in Denmark.'
IncoDocs' software helps small to medium-sized businesses that import and export goods with the administrative processes involved with shipping their products to customers around the world.
Mr Boor said it could be a complex process, with any general international trade transaction involving up to 30 parties.
'Large companies have enterprise [software] solutions to do the tasks we are doing but for businesses that are priced out of those, the administrative process is resource intensive,' he said.
Betty Yan Liu, the Danish-based professional who led the investment for Maersk, said the company liked IncoDocs' product because it was aware that the existing processes were very fragmented and often cobbled together in Excel spreadsheets.
'We did a really, really thorough research in the market. Through 5,000 companies we actually found IncoDocs,' Ms Yan Liu said.
Mr Boor and his co-founder, Ben Thompson, met 10 years ago while working for an import-export company. The two then went on to start a trading company of their own, importing goods from Asia to sell through the North Queensland.
It was while running that trading company that the pair identified the problem that IncoDocs seeks to solve.
They set up shop in Brisbane's River City Labs, which is where they met IncoDoc's third co-founder, David Hooper, who had the technology needed to round the team out.
Since the launch of IncoDocs in February 2018, the company's client-base has grown to 4,000 customers around world, which can be attributed in part to the product's success in developing markets.
'Africa, India and southeast Asia have been really strong markets for us, because we help to get their goods out and export them. Our whole goal is to help small to medium-sized businesses to participate and thrive in global trade, which is where Ben and I come from,' Mr Boor added.