Sydney fintech startup Avoka raises $12 million with plans to expand in Denver

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Sydney-based Avoka, a fintech company that streamlines online forms for desktop and mobile, announced a $12 million financing round Tuesday that will go toward expanding its operations back in Australia and at its American headquarters just outside Denver, Colorado.

“Denver’s good for a few reasons. One, there’s a lot of technical talent. It’s got a lot of young people with the technical skills that make a good human resources market,” Avoka CMO Don Bergal told Geektime. Plus, being in Broomfield right between the two cities, “we have access to both the Denver and Boulder pools of workers.”

The boast of big name customers like HSBC and Citibank. Their biggest pull is probably their mobile software, a platform that businesses are always looking to improve and make more adaptable as consumers switch between machines and screen sizes. The cash will focus on improving the company’s security, fraud detection, identity protection and funds protection, perhaps pointing to a couple dozen new cyber security hires.

While they don’t mind the simple descriptor “form” for the uninitiated, they prefer to emphasize they run the fall for the entire customer acquisition sequence.

“Banks are buying a way to acquire customers, and forms are a piece of it but you’re buying the whole solution. How do you get people to start an application, get halfway through and then finish it in a branch? How do you validate their identity, check their credit histories and get them to sign digitally?”

The Denver-Boulder startup ecosystem is not known as a fintech hub, rather as a software center. That, along with its geography, attracted Avoka to set up its U.S. shop there instead of on either coast.

What also factored into it is that the software could be easily focused on other verticals.

“We have a platform that works for a number of industries but we chose financial because there are more problems to solve, where our product has the highest deliverable value. A few years ago we were selling in a lot of different industries. Our value proposition became much more obvious and sales took off.”

Avoka currently employs 95 people worldwide, with the possibility of reaching 120 in the coming months. The company is run by CEO Philip Copeland and CTO Howard Treisman.

The round was led by private investors but managed by Moelis & Company out of Australia, an investment bank specializing in hi-tech financing.

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