UK startup Wazoku, which offers a platform for companies to help them generate and manage ideas from within an organisation and external stakeholders, has raised £750,000 in new funding led by previous backer Cambridge Angels investment group, and New Model Venture Capital, the fund set up by the founders of Find Invest Grow. The new capital will be used for product development and growth in new markets, and brings the total raised by Wazoku to £1.5 million.
However, more interesting is that the company is announcing a new key hire to its management team. Former Huddle VP, Jon Landau, joins as Chief Operating Officer. Landau was actually Huddle’s first hire, helping the feisty Microsoft competitor in the online collaboration space grow from young startup to a SaaS used by more than 80 per cent of Fortune 500 companies. In that sense, this would appear to be somewhat of a coup for Wazoku. That said, the startup’s connection with Huddle goes way back as co-founder Simon Hill was formerly business development director at Huddle.
Launched in late 2011, Wazoku’s premise is that the best ideas can come from anywhere and from anybody, but companies don’t always have systems in place — or software — to capture and manage the idea/innovation process. Its core platform is Idea Spotlight, a web-based idea management tool that “captures, filters and prioritises” the ideas generated within a business or external community, which can include a company’s own staff, customers, partners and other stakeholders.
The startup boasts existing customers such as the UK’s NHS, Shop Direct, BBC, and Capita. Along with new funding, and a new COO, Wazoku is also announcing it’s signed an international partnership with innovation consultancy Innocentrix that will see Wazoku’s software sold in South Africa.