No 8 Ventures has committed to invest NZ$2million in Surveylab, to enable the company to capitalise on significant interest in its product from the United States.
Surveylab’s Chairman, Rex Nicholls, commented, “No 8 Ventures’ equity enables us to pursue key customers in the United States. The funding will also enable us to complete development of the next generation of “ike” product.”
Surveylab is a small company set up three years ago by engineer Leon Toorenburg and Rex Nicholls to make “ike”, a handheld data capture device based on the Pocket PC platform, for use by the military and other organisations that need to survey assets in the field and store data about those assets within a GIS map database system. ike stands for “I know everything” (read our review).
For No 8 Ventures, Jenny Morel commented that, “We are very excited to be investing in this company. They have achieved a lot to date. We hope that this investment will allow them to develop the sales and marketing side of the company to realise the potential of the great product they have developed, and capitalise on the considerable interest they have already generated both within and outside New Zealand. This is the first Wellington based investment for No 8 Ventures, although we were founded in Wellington 6 years ago. Personally I am delighted to have an investment here.”
To date Surveylab has sold ikes for use in Canada, USA, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Africa, Europe, Asia, India, and Australia, as well as NZ.
A major sale to the NZ Defence Force is anticipated in the near future. The NZ Defence Force is considered by worldwide military forces as a leader in Geospatial mapping. The initial market focus for Surveylab is the military in both New Zealand and the USA, although utility companies are expected to seize on the advantages ike offers them with managing their assets. Surveylab has been undertaking joint development work with several military operators in the US.
Surveylab is now setting up a sales presence in USA. The next generation of ikes, due for launch later this year, will ensure ike is rugged enough to be deployed in the harsh conditions military personnel frequently find themselves.