Exclusive: HR-tech startup WellteQ raises seed funding, to explore early listing

Scott Montgomery, CEO of Wellteq.

Singapore-based WellteQ, a digital wellness solution for employee health engagement and HR analytics, has closed a seed investment of A$1.2 million ($960,198) from investors that include Peak Asset Management.

The startup, with Australian roots, was founded by chief executive Scott Montgomery and COO Jeames Gillett,

To date, it has raised A$2 million in external investment, which has fuelled its team growth. Its headquarters are in Singapore but it also maintains a distributed team across Australia and Vietnam.

In the market since 2015, the venture – which offers B2B group wellness programmes – serves clients across the Asia Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Later this year, it plans to expand its business operations in the US market.

It offers the staff of large enterprises and corporates a health improvement service via its mobile app and uses engagement tools like rewards, virtual coaching and gamification to guide and motivate its users to improved health outcomes.

According to Montogomery, a key element of their software product is the engagement engine, which combined with the analytics allows for data capture by the firm. Beyond its enterprise subscription service, the firm also sees licensing of its software engine as an additional income.

Its client portfolio includes Credit Suisse, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citibank, Prudential, and Allianz apart from  aviation and telecom firms.

Also Read: Singapore: GIC backs $42m Series B in Federated Wireless

According to Montgomery, while the firm did possess a track record and was cash flow positive, WellteQ was not as well received as it could have been due to the startup not being in the fintech or e-commerce domain.  “It might be timing or an appetite element, but I am starting to consider other investment sources for non-organic growth, and that’s in the form of non-Singaporean VCs and non-private pathways as well,” he adds.

When asked about the possibility of raising funding via an early listing of his company, Montogomery explains: “We’re definitely exploring all opportunities.”

Recent quarters have seen a number of technology enterprises in Southeast Asia, Silicon Valley and Australia explore public listings in either Hong Kong or Australia.

“I have seen some success stories of late, in the form of growth-stage technology companies looking at a public path through RTO and IPO. And I think that’s got to be a consideration for all companies of our size and currently bigger.”

An early listing for a startup venture, despite the associated higher administrative and compliance costs, also comes with a more significant public profile and greater ease in raising funds from public capital markets.

Montgomery argues there’s “a benefit and a curse” when it comes to the public path, particularly for a B2B business that sells to large MNCs given that the reporting and compliance requirements impart credibility when dealing with corporate peers.

However, a stock exchange also represents “a far more liquid space to do that should you have a good investor base and track record in the listed space”.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.