The capital raised will be used to launch and commercialise its patent-pending bCODE TM mobile ticketing and mobile identification technology.
Start’s revolutionary bCODE TM technology enables consumers to get tickets delivered in real-time to their mobile phones. The purchaser of the “mobile ticket” simply needs to be able to open an ordinary text message on his/her mobile phone or handheld device. This text message, which will contain description of the ticket “Cinema bTicket” and the actual ticket code is then scanned by a bCODE TM scanner to authorise admission into a cinema, sporting venue, or train station.
In terms of ticket purchase, a consumer can purchase a bCODE TM ticket on his/her mobile phone, a fixed-line phone or from an Internet website.
Start was launched to the VC community at the March BSI Investor Forum, and interest was expressed by a number of High Net Worth Individuals and Venture Capital Funds. ADI recognized the opportunity and seeded Start, which enabled them to focus on raising Series A Funding.
“We are thrilled to be part of the growth of “START” says Ivan Kaye Director of BSI and ADI . “There was much interest expressed by a number of High Net Worth Individuals and Venture Capital Funds, and a number of term sheets were presented. “The level of interest shown is an indication of the interest by the investment community in investing in Venture Capital and a strong Management Team and CEO” says Kaye
“We are excited to have invested in Start and its bCODE TM technology. Market research across multiple global markets have shown strong consumer propensity to adopt mobile ticketing services in areas such as movie ticketing, event ticketing and mass transit. We believe bCODE TM technology overcomes a number of technology and usability hurdles, which will enable mass adoption and yield compelling commercial and strategic value for ticketing industries worldwide. That is the foundation of a robust and sustainable business and that’s why we’ve invested,” said Fiona Pak-Poy, Investment Manager at Innovation Capital.
The power of bCODE TM technology lies in its mass support for mobile devices. Its text-based nature means that it works on all phones. bCODE TM technology supports more than 99% of the 2 billion mobile devices currently in the market.
bCODE TM technology overcomes the interoperability problems faced by technologies such as 1D/2D barcodes and RFID-chip-based technologies.
Accordingly to a report by Juniper Research, mobile ticketing will generate USD $39 Billion in revenues by 2009, in areas such as movie ticketing and mass transit. bCODE TM technology is the only technology in the world today that allows automatic validation of those tickets and tokens from nearly all of the 2 billion devices in the market.
Michael Begun, Managing Partner of CM Capital said "Our research has shown that there is a pent up demand to use mobile phones as the vehicle to fulfil electronic transactions. Mobile phones have become the ubiquitous ‘wearable computer’. Start's technology will shortcut the current industry trend by handset vendors and standards bodies to invent new technologies which will take years to penetrate the huge current deployment of mobile phones.”
“Our decision to invest was based on the strong Intellectual Property and know how used in the development of the bCODE TM scanner, the device used to read ‘bCodes’ on virtually any existing mobile phone reliably. ‘bCodes’ are secure electronic tickets sent via SMS. This is a classic Venture investment into a small but fast growing opportunity which has a very large market," said Begun.
Beyond ticketing, bCODE TM technology can be applied to a diverse number of electronic token applications, from airline check-in to mobile vouchers, payment cards to access keys. The possibilities are endless.
“We believe bCODE TM technology can become the universal data format for mobile commerce transactions, as it is the lowest common denominator for transparent analog and digital transfer of digital data. We are very pleased to have secured the investment and look forward to launching the technology globally,” said Michael Mak, Chief Executive Officer of Start Corporation.
The company is expected to launch the service in Australia, along with its re-branding program, later this month.
About START Corporation
Start Corporation is a leading provider of mobile commerce applications in the Asia Pacific Region. Its technology platform serves more than 70 industry customers across Aviation,
Banking, Ticketing, Call-Centres, Retail & Government, including Jetstar Airways, St George Bank, Suncorp Metway, Village Roadshow, Procter & Gamble, Australia Post, Sensis, TABCorp, SAP & UTI Bank. Its highly scalable messaging platform has delivered more than 300 million messages globally. For more information, visit www.startcorp.com. Start is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. bCODE TM is Start’s patent-pending mobile phone identification technology. Information about bCODE TM can be found at www.bcode.com
About CM Capital
CM Capital Investments, manages two Venture Capital Funds and has $110m under management. It invests in early stage Australian companies in the areas of:
• information technology
• biotechnology, and
• life sciences.
CM Capital is staffed by experienced entrepreneurs who work closely with their portfolio companies to build successful businesses for the global stage. CM Capital has built a strong network of US based advisors and investors to help these Australian companies compete successfully in global markets.
About Innovation Capital
Innovation Capital is a venture fund with offices in the United States and Australia. Innovation Capital's team comprises entrepreneurs and executives with track records in founding and building technology driven businesses which have become leaders in their fields, including: Memtec, ResMed, Australmin and Lifescan. The fund invests in ICT and life science companies that have outstanding global potential. Innovation Capital brings its decades of real-world entrepreneurial experience to the active, hands-on management of its investee companies that nurtures the growth of its investments by applying the experience of its seasoned team. Its investment in Start Corporation was provided by Innovation Capital fund I and Innovation Capital Fund II which is expected to complete its fund raising in early 2006.
About Business Strategies International (BSI) and Australian Distributed Incubator (ADI)
Established in 1989, BSI is a leader in providing innovative and integrated business services for small to medium businesses through to large corporate enterprises. As an organisation, BSI have grown through their vision of "helping you grow" through business strategy, accessing government assistance and raising capital. BSI's wholly owned subsidiary, ADI is a BITs Incubator Fund helping talented entrepreneurs build leading technology companies. For further information, please visit www.bsi.com.au and www.adinc.com.au