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Young Kiwi tech start-up scores US investors in seed round

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand creative tech start-up Narrative announced their seed round today led by Flux Accelerator with US firm Founders Fund Pathfinder and several Kiwi investors participating.

Narrative is building a suite of software tools which give photographers more time to do what they love: taking photos.

Internationally renowned photographer James Broadbent co-founded Narrative with software engineer Steffan Levet to help speed up the workflow of professional photographers.

Broadbent travels the world shooting weddings and believes photographers should have more time to be behind a camera instead of a computer.

"For each day I spend behind a camera, I have to spend three behind a computer in post-production, which is a crazy waste of time. So we started Narrative to change this, for myself, and the other five million professional photographers out there," he says.

Broadbent joined forces with Levet in late 2017 and together they built their first app, a blogging tool to save photographers hours each week. It launched in mid-2018 and now has thousands of paying users worldwide.

"Our first app helps users tell better stories online, faster. Since launching we’ve had people from around the globe tell us it has revolutionised their workflow," says Broadbent.

This fundraising round has seen Narrative take on over $700,000 in investment to build more time-saving software products for professional photographers.

The pair joined Flux Accelerator this year, which is part of the Icehouse Ventures family of funds and investor networks, closing this round with investment from Flux, as well as US based Founders Fund Pathfinder, Eden Ventures, First Cut Ventures, NZVIF and several angel investors.

Narrative is the third New Zealand business Founders Fund has invested in.

Founders Fund Partner Scott Nolan says great founders know their customers intimately and solve their worst pain points, and for vertical-focused tools that often means having a background in the same industry.

"James and Steffan are drawing on their experience in the professional photography world to create the next generation of workflow tools for photographers. We’re excited to back Narrative as they bring long overdue products to the space," says Nolan.

Flux Accelerator Partner Tom Furlong says Flux are very pleased to have Narrative on board and to invest in and work with the company as it grows and develops.

"We know this is a big market opportunity and are impressed with the strong customer engagement Narrative is already seeing," says Furlong.

Narrative's success to date has been driven by James, Steffan and a small team. The investment will see the company grow significantly as they hire React engineers, a product designer and a marketing team.

Going forward Narrative will tackle more post production issues photographers face through creative software products so photographers can spend more time behind a camera doing what they love.

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