New Investment: Populate
One of our core motivations at Punakaiki Fund is being able to help and watch companies create a large number of sustainable new jobs. And one of the best people around at hiring new people is Kirsti Grant, who was in charge of the rapid ramp-up of Vend’s team, and who is a director with me, Lance, on the board of Weirdly.
So when Kirsti and her partner Lance Hodges told us they were developing a new product that would make it easier for companies to manage hiring, we knew this was a real problem that she had felt. She and Lance backed up that experience with over 100 interviews and tests with prospective clients, and only started coding when they were sure their product had both end users who were demanding it now, and paying customers who would be willing to buy.
The company is called Populate, and while it is pre-launch, we decided that Kirsti and Lance deserved our early support.
We made a relatively small investment into Populate and own 9% of the company. The product will help companies collaboratively plan and track their hiring plans – a task done these days mainly on spreadsheets and email, or with very large and cumbersome ERP systems. Each manager will be able to track their team, plan for growth and run basic statistics on team composition. The information scales up to the company level, allowing heads of HR and CFOs the ability to forecast and manage. Populate is especially useful for companies that are growing very quickly, often much faster than an annual planning cycle can handle, and it will allow rapid and informed decisions about hiring.
We are looking forward to tracking Populate’s progress, especially their recurring revenue growth, and are delighted to welcome Kirsti and Lance to the fold.