Following our investment in Christchurch’s Couchdrop back in March, we are delighted to announce another investment: this time in Wellington-based Projectworks, a project management tool for small to medium-sized consulting businesses.
Follow Xero’s footsteps
Projectworks is barely two years old but it is already showing much promise with 170% annual revenue growth and customers in Australia, the UK and the USA. The project management software is aimed at mid-sized consulting firms in architecture, software and management consulting. It solves integration challenges faced when these firms have multiple CRM, finance, billing and time-management tools. Projectworks seamlessly integrates with Xero, and it’s no surprise to us that it’s able to leverage the Xero customer-base to grow its own following. In 2020, Projectworks won Xero Emerging App Partner of the Year, and the Microsoft Emerge X competition for start-ups. In 2021 it was a finalist for the highly coveted Xero App Partner of the Year award. It wonderful to see the Xero ecosystem continuing to open doors for other Kiwi SaaS firms.
Punakaiki Fund contributed $2 million to a $3.5 million funding round, with an additional $1.5 million brokered by Snowball Effect. The $1.5 million includes a significant contribution from the founders, staff, and high-net-worth individuals with experience in the SaaS space. The round values the company at over $15 million, with majority shareholder BridgeWest Group sitting the round out to allow for venture capital, staff and client funding.
Projectworks CEO Matt Hayter was interviewed by Chris Keall in the NZ Herald. It’s paywalled, but you can also read our press release below.
Punakaiki Fund invests in Wellington software success Projectworks
Punakaiki Fund is l
a cloud-based platform for managing professional services firms.
The Wellington startup, launched in 2019, has rocketed to success with 170% annual revenue growth, and over 100 customers, whose staff span 40 countries.
In 2020, Projectworks won Xero Emerging App Partner of the Year, and the Microsoft Emerge X competition for startups. In 2021 it was a finalist for the highly coveted Xero App Partner of the Year award.
Punakaiki Fund contributed $2 million to the funding round, with an additional $1.5 million brokered by Snowball Effect. The $1.5 million includes a significant contribution from the founders, staff, and high-net worth individuals with experience in the SaaS space. The round values the company at over $15 million, with majority shareholder BridgeWest Group sitting the round out to allow for VC, staff and client funding.
People, product, scale
Matt Hayter, Projectworks CEO, says the size of the investment is an endorsement of the team and its vision of building a global brand that is synonymous with professional services. He says Projectworks is ‘the expert behind the experts’, allowing specialist consulting organisations to continue scaling their offerings efficiently and exponentially.
“The core strength of our company is our team. All three founders have deep technical experience and a strong track record in professional services, which gives us a deep understanding of the challenges our customers face. This is further bolstered by a Head of Sales who helped global payment giant PayScale to a $300+ million exit in 2019, and a Head of Product who spent five years at Atlassian during its explosive growth phase.
“Our customers love Projectworks because it solves the problem of dealing with multiple platforms. Our products are designed to fully integrate with accounting systems like Xero and CRMs like Hubspot – much to the delight of our users,” says Hayter.
The investment reflects the scale of the opportunity. Projectworks targets the global market for mid-sized consultancies in management, software, engineering, and architecture. It has calculated the total addressable market to be more than US$100 billion, with a combined annual growth of 13.4% a year.
“I think investors see those three things – great team, great product and a big market – and have backed us to win,” says Hayter.
Punakaiki Fund’s Investment Director Nadine Hill welcomes Projectworks to the Punakaiki stable.
“Projectworks has everything we like in a company: global market, strong technical ability, founder-led, a SaaS product that’s core to customers success, and most importantly, a healthy culture.
“Matt and his team are hardworking and technically brilliant but they’re also humble and good-humoured. They’re creating the kind of workplace that attracts and retains great talent.
“We are excited to be part of the journey, and supporting a company that is a game-changer for scaling specialist skills.” says Hill.
Build and grow
Matt Hayter says the capital will be used to grow the technical capability and increase sales horsepower.
“We will be hiring more developers locally, especially in Wellington. There’s a large backlog of improvements and additions that our customers have asked for so we’re itching to get those done.
“We’ll also be investing in expanding our existing global sales team, including hiring staff in Australia, the UK and the US, along with an investment in content marketing and digital advertising.”
Hayter says Australia has been the most successful market so far, followed by the USA. The UK is also growing fast, thanks to the strong presence of Xero. “Building a strategic relationship with Xero is paying dividends as the Xero marketplace acts as a fantastic lead generator, and is a win-win for Xero users.”
“Ultimately, it’s our customers who are helping us grow so fast. We get the most incredible feedback from customers about how we have helped their business.
“Here’s just three testimonials from the many that I’ve received:
“Projectworks has been instrumental in improving our business processes by having our vital information in one place. The program is user friendly and a time saver with the smooth and live integration with Xero. The customer support team is fantastic, efficient and open to suggestions to further meet our business needs”
“Migrating our data to Projectworks was a breeze and the service from the Product Support team was second to none. Projectworks has all the project management, resourcing, budgeting and reporting features we need and these are nicely configured. I look forward to opening Projectworks every day.”
“We are saving so much time for the head of our PMO by having myself (PMO coordinator) and the project managers able to add resourcing to our projects and invoice. This is a huge time saving for us!”
“It’s incredibly satisfying to see our customers so delighted with what we offer, and really makes all the hard work worth it.”