A giant German VC has pumped $1.5 million into its first Australian investment

Qwilr’s Dylan Baskind and Mark Tanner. (Source: supplied)

Document transformation software startup Qwilr has become the first Australian investment for giant German venture capital firm Point Nine.

The $1.5 million fundraising round sees Point Nine co-founder and managing director Christoph Janz join the board of the Sydney startup.

Qwilr co-founder Mark Tanner told Business Insider that in the field of software-as-a-service Point Nine is “really and truly one of the best investors in the world”.

“Christoph Janz is a real thought leader in SaaS, he’s been working in SaaS, investing in SaaS and writing about SaaS for years and years. And to get a chance to pitch to him – we were just pumped for that,” Tanner said.

“Just to meet him, for us, was exciting.”

Qwilr makes traditionally static documents dynamic by making them behave as web pages, with analytics built in to monitor customer interaction. Documents can also have interactivity built into them, with features such as e-signatures and payments for a sales process.

The startup has developed integration partnerships with big names like Salesforce, Slack and Xero, and has gained a loyal small-to-medium business following. The recent cash injection will provide the means for pushing more into the larger enterprise market.

“The reason to raise capital is to invest and grow. It’s not to store it away for a rainy day. We’re definitely in a high-growth phase,” said Tanner. “We’ve grown dramatically over the last few years and this is money to keep putting towards that.”

Janz said that, similar to the shift from paper to Microsoft Office documents before, he was confident that the world was on the cusp of a transition to dynamic documents.

“I’m pretty sure that in the next 10 years there will be another paradigm shift. We’re confident that Qwilr can play a key role in building the document of the future and we’re thrilled to be partners on that journey,” he said.

The startup released its beta product in 2014, with $100,000 in seed funding coming from Sydney Seed Fund soon after. A larger $530,000 round came in 2015, again supported by Sydney Seed Fund.

The current head count is 15, but the latest cash will allow Tanner and co-founder and chief executive Dylan Baskind to expand in both the technical and creative sides of the business.

“Our company is tackling fascinating, complex problems in both engineering & design to stay ahead of the curve — and we are on the hunt for technically-minded, creative thinkers to join us.”

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