Footfalls & Heartbeats closes successful investment round

Footfalls & Heartbeats Limited (FHL) has closed oversubscribed – at $1.5 million – with investors from New Zealand, Australia and the United States for what has become one of the most successful capital raising rounds of 2013 for early stage New Zealand technology companies.

The initial target of $1 million was extended to cater for strong interest in the company’s share offer.

FHL is riding a wave of global interest in its process for designing and manufacturing smart textiles. (‘Smart’ textiles means the textile itself can perform a sensory function without need for wires or miniature electronics).  Its first product – a compression sock for wound care management is planned to be commercialised in January, 2014.

FHL is also in discussion with a number of promising potential partners, including Sony, Adidas, Under Armour, SKINS, ResMed and defence organisations in the United States and United Kingdom.

In addition to raising funds which will help FHL to secure new patents and carry out new product development, capital raising has brought on board more than 20 new investors, including market experts who hold senior roles in leading Australian and American medical technology companies.

This includes Dig Howitt, Senior Vice-President Manufacturing and Logistics for Australian medical technology company Cochlear and Dr Gary Pace, founder and director of speciality pharmaceutical company QRxPharma and a director of ResMed. Dr Pace also joins the board of FHL.

A number of factors contributed to the success of FHL’s investment round, including the comprehensive information provided to investors says technology entrepreneur and FHL director Jeremy Collins. This ranged from comprehensive investment summaries and an offer document through to a detailed electronic due diligence file.

“All of that meant investors were better informed about the risks and potential rewards of backing FHL than is usually the case even with much larger investment offers.”

Collins says Pacific Channel’s experience in building robust and innovative business models, and in raising funds for early stage technology start-ups, was an additional advantage.

“Pacific Channel was able to lead a syndicate of multiple investment groups, individual investors and family investors across New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

“In addition, having founder Simon McMaster and managing director Brent Ogilvie go on the road and make themselves available to talk to investors in the US, Australia and throughout NZ brought people in that may not have otherwise made the commitment.”