Capital Raising

You are currently browsing the archive for the Capital Raising category.

How is it that a blog post can be delayed so long when so much is going on?

The question answers itself. Since pivoting our GoPC Rainmaker technology into BankVault 20 months ago everything has been on steroids. The team have:

  • evolved out Raspberry Pi model through several generations into a miniature USB thumb drive. We released a massive version 2.0 of that today with another cool development which we’re lodging another patent application on.
  • we’ve built out our team with top level senior managers
  • we’ve released BankVault-Web and BankVault-App which are now rebranded as BankVault-Professional
  • we’ve introduced temporary storage, virtual keyboard, and other features making the technology even more secure.
  • we’ve re-architected the back end systems and refining this further to create an Enterprise version.
  • we won the Fintech category of the World Cup Tech Challenge in Silicon Valley on 1st June 2016. With the media interest etc I lost at least a couple of weeks of emails that I’ll never get back to.
  • we’ve set up a Sydney office and I’ve moved to live on the east coast.
  • we’ve taken further investment and chasing a new round again now.

Each one of these bullet points deserve a blog post in their own right.  There’s just not enough time to do it.   So with space for only one picture here is winning the Top Fintech Startup (pre-global stage) at Micrsoft’s campus Silicon Valley.

[Silicon Valley Microsoft Campus]

I’m still on this incredible ride. If I distill it into a single point reason – we worked out how to narrow our focus on one specific acute pain point. There’s still dozens of other things we can be doing but the game now is go narrow and deep to allow us to then expand exponentially.

And the near term future is all about providing:

  • Safe Environment where no ransomware can run.
  • Bundle insurance with BankVault.
  • Channel Partnerships

My team amazed me recently by pitching a new cyber security angle for GoPC. It was under our nose the whole time but it took Corrado Fiore our Solutions Architect talking to Peter McCredie our new head of Marketing for the lights to come on.

After days of grueling debate we tested our hypothesis in the market and over the last 2 months every single business we’ve pitched to has bought it asked for an evaluation.  We even have a government department and one of Australia’s largest banks now evaluating it.

BankVault was born. It’s literally 10x easier to sell, it’s 10x higher margin, and spearheads everything else we do. We’ve lodged a new patent application and now investing behind success to grow this derivative product that runs on the Rainmaker platform.




Tags: , , , ,

Andreesson and other Silicon Valley VCs have chimed in warning on the growth of vacuumous business models built on hype and hope.

My own lesson from surviving the GFC in Silicon Valley was the sooner you work on the hardest issue of all, what it takes to get a customer to pull out their credit card, the better off you and your investors will be. The day investment sentiment turns is the day you need to be viable. For most SMB entrepreneurs revenue is fundamental but Startup entrepreneurs think they can out smart that fundamental. Some do but for every one that does thousands vaporize. A proportion of those could have done it better and become viable businesses.

GoPC moved away from a Freemium model straight after the GFC. I remember meeting the CEO of in 2009 when they had some 700,000 subscribers. I asked him how they were monetizing and he told me they had ideas but being funded by Sequoia Capital this wasn’t urgent. The following year they ran out of funds and were shutdown.

We actually tried a Freemium model again in 2013 with Rainmaker. Consumers were able to get a complete virtual machine free and simply pay for add-on applications and storage. We finally accepted that Rainmaker should just target SMEs, not consumers. They have much deeper pockets and real IT problems that need to be solved. I’m happy to say its working.

And this month we just starting trialing another consumer play with a new technology product called Raindrop, but it’s monetizing from day one. have asked me to present the background war stories behind  It’s very much a personal story of an entrepreneur’s awakening which I hope will be interesting and useful.

GoPC was recognised at Silicom Ventures Summit at Stanford University in 2009 as one of the leading Cloud Computing startups in Silicon Valley.  When the GFC hit we elected to self fund and keep control but the last 4 years have been as tough as a long dark winter. This month however I am returning to Silicon Valley to launch a truly ground breaking new technology code-named “Rainmaker”. invited us to present Rainmaker and have recommended further investation be done.  Robert Scoble, a prolific technology evangelist followed by 4,000,000 influential early-adopters, has arranged a video interview with me next month that will launch GoPC like nothing else could.

So what are the lessons learned over the last 9 years that increase our likelihood of success?  Where are the risks?  Should we raise more capital and lose control after having conquered all the hurdles? This will be an interactive presentation where I’ll be happy to share my own insights and answer questions.

Registration beforehand is needed for catering:

I apologise the event isn’t free.  eGroup charge $25 to non-members to cover costs which includes finger food and drinks.  The venue is at Wray and Associates Patent Attorneys in West Perth.

I’m personally inviting those who have in some direct way helped or inspired me along this journey.  I really look forward to sharing Tuesday evening with you.

Stoked to see do an article on our Pitch night and help build the publicity around this event.

Seats are almost sold out now. The line-up has been condensed to a top 10 and we’ll be refining this further over the next few days with some dry runs and coaching to help the entrepreneurs sharpen their pitches. It’s now getting very hard to pick between them. Definitely some billion dollar ideas amongst the line-up. Can’t wait for Wednesday night.

Tags: , ,

I’m running another LESANZ “Innovators Pitch Night” at IBM on 31st July. This is to showcasing 7 investor-ready entrepreneurs to the investment, startup and commercialisation networks in Perth.

Please help me get the word out.  I am filtering and coaching pitches this week so still open for submissions from investor-ready startups.

With the event oversubscribed last year we will be limiting numbers and there is a cost to cover catering so please register early to ensure a place.

Venue: IBM West Perth, 31st July from 5:15pm – 8:30pm
Judging Panel: Larry Lopez, Ray Hart, Dr Marcus Tan
Moderator: Graeme Speak
Full Details Here:

Tags: , ,

A quick acknowledgement to everyone who helped run this evening.

It was an amazing success. We told the VC’s to be gentle and I think next time we should just let them be themselves.

It was jammed to the rafters, standing room only and with many people having to watch from outside the doors. Well over 100 attendees plus judges, pitching teams and organisors.

Special thanks to Kris Borgraeve for volunteering to MC the event. To Barry Winwood for helping manage the flow and ensuring everyone’s pitch deck was ready to go. To IBM for agreeing to host the event within their offices.

I’ll look at doing another one of these for LESANZ in 12 months time.


I have been on the committee and looking at how we can build the profile of the organisation in Perth. I came up with the idea of holding a pitch event because it would introduce innovators with the corporate advisors, IP lawyers, and Patent Attorney’s tha make up most of the LESANZ organisation.

It was just an idea until my friend Kris Borgraeve agreed to help by agreeing to be the Master of Ceremonies, something he has had a lot of experience running for Belgian TV. It has taken about 10 days fulltime effort to pull this together and we now have a brilliant line up of innovators across the full specrum from engineering, chemical engineering, bio-technology and of course IT. It’s amazing to see the diversity of top quality ideas that are ready for investment.

We now have over 100 attendees registered and hosting it in the IBM building will be perfect but its going to be jammed to the rafters. It goes to show that Perth is brimming with innovation and entreprenuership. There were a lot of people who would like to have registered but could not with the short notice. Clearly there is a strong market for doing more of this. It was only a one off event but perhaps we will run it again.

Given the amount of work I’ve put in to creating this I have decided in the end that I will be pitching tonight.




Join us for an entertaining night of high-energy, nail-biting, quick-fire pitches from some of our most promising innovators and entrepreneurs as they battle it out to raise an eye brow from our panel of judges, a den of seasoned Angel and Venture Capitalists.

Hosted by IBM at their West Perth conference facility and moderated by Belgian TV News Anchor Kris Borgraeve, we have assembled a lineup of technology businesses ready to pitch their opportunity at the judges. Contestants have just 5-minutes to cover the highlights and
convince the panel of their viability and market opportunity before the judges are let loose with scalpels to critique each pitch.

This is going to be a night at the intersection between entrepreneurs, executives, investors and thought-leaders. A cross-networking event designed to help you meet the new faces on the brink of commercialising innovations which may be flying well under your radar.

For innovators and entrepreneurs this is your opportunity to network with the entire eco-system of professionals and experts involved in nurturing the commercialisation process.

The Judging Panel: 

Liddy McCall – Yuuwa Capital

An experienced lawyer and fund manager, Liddy has been involved in technology commercialisation for over 10 years. As a Director at Macquarie Bank she was focused on mergers and acquisitions in Sydney and North America. Liddy co-founded a number of biotech companies including ICeutica Inc which was acquired last year by a US pharmaceutical company. Most recently, Liddy co-founded Yuuwa Capital which is a $40M early-stage
venture capital firm based in Perth.

Stephen Llanwarne – Tech Angel

After forging a career in IT technologies used by investment banks such as Nat West Capital Markets, Stephen moved to London where he ran the IT systems for Deutsche Bank, Bankers Trust and Merrill Lych. Stephen was a Founding Partner CIO at Zurich Capital Markets and in
2004 became an active business angel investing in start-ups. Stephen is a founding investor of, the worlds largest mobile social-network, a mobile web development platform and of, a local software house. In addition, Stephen advises on a number of other start-ups.

Rob Newman – Stone Ridge Ventures

Rob has a successful track record as a technology entrepreneur in both Australia and Silicon Valley. He has twice founded businesses based on technology from WA Universities with a combined market value of over $200M. As a Ph.D. student Rob invented and co-founded QPSX
Communications Pty Ltd which supplied technology to telecommunication carriers across the world. Rob also founded Atmosphere Networks to commercialise technology from Curtin University which securing US Venture Capital and was ultimately acquired by Ditech Communications. Rob is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Stone Ridge Ventures a leading WA technology venture capital firm.

The Moderator:

Kris Borgraeve holds a Master’s Degree in TV Journalism. He spent 10 years as a prime time TV news anchor, TV talk show host, radio host and news journalist in Belgium producing stories and live-reporting for VTM, RTL-TVI and Sky News. He co-founded MultiMedia Makers, a video production company which produces TV News quality video for the Internet enabling businesses to better communicate their message. Kris relocated the business to Australia in 2010 and is a Foreign Correspondent for European TV stations. He speaks fluent English, French, Spanish, German and Dutch.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday 8 August 2012
Time: 5:15 pm
Arrival and pre-drinks
5:45 pm Pitches and Judging
7:15 pm
Drinks, Food and Networking
8:30 pm Event concludes
Venue: IBM
Conference Facility, Level 1
1060 Hay Street, West Perth WA 6005
Parking: Street parking in surrounding Hay Street, Parliament Place,
Murray Street
Cost: LES members:
$  25; Non members: $  50; Students: $ 10   *incl GST
RSVP: Monday 6
August 2012
Book: Book
online here:
Visa or MasterCard accepted or advise EFT/ChequeThe tax receipt will be emailed to the recipient immediately upon

Due to catering, cancellations received after the RSVP
date will not be refunded. Dietary requirements to be advised to the
Secretariat when booking is made.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

We would like to announce the new system is now live!

And we are all going out now to celebrate. 🙂

It is exhilarating, having created a vision to actually build it and then, after struggling for so long with some really difficult issues, finally break through to release another brand new concept technology to the market.

Over the next few days we will be continually tweaking things and will then look to launch the next upgrade in about a fortnight.  This has been such a monolith upgrade but future changes will be released in very rapid succession on the new platform.  What is next is that we are bringing back the free trial account so anyone can try out AppStore and set up a trial virtual desktop.

Graeme Speak

Tags: , ,

Some clear direct advice to help me with pitching in Silicon Valley from Mr Walter Newman that are worth immortalising

Short is good.
Long is bad.
When long seems good, its bad.
When short seems bad, its good.

Walter is a highly decorated WWII veteran (including the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur), a leading San Francisco businessman and city councellor, philanthropist, community leader and friend.  I regularly walk with Walter through the Presideo on Sunday mornings along with his son John Newman, Ben Lyon, Edgar Stone, Dianne, cousin Geoff, and other family friends.

Tags: , ,

« Older entries