CriticalArc, a Wollongong iAccelerate startup has just secured a total $1m in investment from Commercialization Australia, Hunter Angels Trust and Sydney Angles.
Glenn Farrant, co-founder of CriticalArc said: "This investment will allow us to take advantage of a huge international opportunity for our SafeZone Security and Safety System. Without this kind of investment we would not have been able to consider international expansion for at least a few more years."
It will enable CriticalArc to scale the product quickly and be first to market in countries around the globe. It also provides the company with the opportunity to create six more jobs in the Illawarra in the near term, with plans to expand to 14 over the next two-year period.
This is a testament to the opportunity that startups offer not only to the Illawarra community, which suffers from high unemployment rates, but also to Australian startups in general. Startups bring investment to regions and create new jobs. They also grow the market for skilled jobs, particularly in industries such as Information Communications Technology ( ICT), that are not in plentiful supply in places like the Illawarra despite the University of Wollongong graduating the most IT graduates in NSW.
Glenn, a UOW Alumnus, is also keen to point out, that while this is good news for CriticalArc, he sees potential local benefits. "I believe we're a good example of the opportunity that exists here in the Illawarra. I hope that the next few companies aiming to raise capital can gain local support and that we start to see a lot more early-stage investing in new product companies with an international focus."
Elizabeth Eastland, Director, Innovation and Commercial Research at the University of Wollongong and lead for the iAccelerate initiative said: "Critical Arc was a founding resident of iAccelerate StartPad in February 2012. Since then they have launched a product, secured funding, grown a customer base, won Australia's largest pitch competition, employed new staff and are now ready to scale internationally. CriticalArc has been provided with strong support from iAccelerate and the local community who are actively invested in the Illawarra ecosystem."