An Aussie startup founded by former Atlassian and Campaign Monitor employees has raised $10.6 million for its startup helping yet more startups get off the ground — proving the Aussie tech flywheel is in full swing.
Kinde was founded last year by chief executive and former Atlassian employee Ross Chaldecott, alongside co-founders David Berner and Evgeny Komarevtsev.
The trio had also previously worked together at Aussie email marketing platform Campaign Monitor.
Their startup is designed to democratise software engineering, Chaldecott tells SmartCompany, building dev acceleration platforms for software-as-a-service startups.
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Any new SaaS company starts out by building the exact same four things, he explains: user management and authentication; feature flagging; an experimentation layer; and a billing and commerce function.
“We saw that as a total waste of time,” Chaldecott says.
“We wanted to change that and make it so that there was an accessible infrastructure platform that companies could use to get up and running really, really quickly.”
Connection to the startup community
The $10.6 million seed round was led by Blackbird Ventures, and also included backing from Felicis Ventures.
That funding will firstly be used to build out the “substantial” product, Chaldecott explains, and to hire the team required to do so.
He expects to increase Kinde’s headcount from seven people to 57 within the next 18 months.
However, securing funding from Blackbird, in particular, goes beyond the value of cash in the bank.
As one of Australia’s most established and most successful VC firms, Blackbird also brings insight into the local startup community, and access to founders through Startmate and other programs.
“The real thing we were looking for was that connection into the community,” Chaldecott says.
The flywheel effect of Aussie tech
Chaldecott is not the first Atlassian alumni to launch his own startup. In fact, in recent years we are seeing more and more instances of former employees of Australia’s startup success stories branching out on their own.
We are also seeing more successful founders backing new businesses as angel investors, or joining syndicates.
Kinde is arguably taking this trend one step further. Not only did the founders hone their tech skills at some of Australia’s most successful tech companies, they’re now striving to make things easier for the next generation.
One of the goals of the company is to “create a world with more founders”, Chaldecott says.
“We really deeply believe a world with more founders is generally a better place for everybody,” he adds.
“They advance humanity; they bring about the future of human achievement.”
Chaldecott believes creating more opportunities for those founders could make a big difference to the tech ecosystem in Australia.
He hopes to see Kinde following the the footsteps of the likes of Atlassian, Canva and Campaign Monitor — businesses that have forged a path for other tech businesses. And the founders are not hanging around.
“We want to grow this thing fast.
“We think it’s important and we think the impact that we can have on the world will be substantial, so we really want to get there as fast as we can.”
“I hope we can be one of those companies … that can really create a stronger and more powerful tech sector.”