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Atlassian’s Scott Farquhar leads $2M investment in SafetyCulture

Less than a month after dual-wins at the Tabby Awards, SafetyCulture has announced a $2.1M investment round lead by none other than Atlassian founder Scott Farquhar, as well as plans for a Sydney office.

SafetyCulture founder and CEO Luke Anear emphasised that, on top of the investment itself, Farquhar’s work in an advisory role has been invaluable.

“Funding is challenging in the sense that you want to take the right amount of money at the right time from the right people,” Anear says. “And the right people part can be as important as the actual money.”

“Scott is the type of person who’s gone and built a billion dollar tech company,” he says. “So to get the practical advice he gives us, from the experiences he’s had, really helps us shape our decisions as we go forward.”

Founder of the heavyweight software company Atlassian, Farquhar was introduced to the Townsville-based SafetyCulture through Blackbird Investments in 2013, and has witnessed the workplace health and safety company’s progress firsthand.

“From the moment I met Luke I was impressed with his vision and experience in both the safety industry and building apps,” Farquhar said. “I was incredibly impressed with their word of mouth traction and it reminded me of Atlassian in the early days and makes me incredibly excited to be part of the next Australian success story.”

CEO's Luke Anear and Scott Farquhar, of SafeCulture and Atlassian respectively. Photos courtesy of SafetyCuture.

CEO’s Luke Anear and Scott Farquhar, of SafetyCulture and Atlassian respectively. Photos courtesy of SafetyCuture.

SafetyCulture’s investment announcement also came with news of ex-Atlassian employee Anton Mazkovoi appointment as VP of Engineering. While the investment, employee overlap and Farquhar’s advisory role might indicate a closer relationship between the two companies, Anear says that Atlassian is on a seperate path and has, “now gotten to a point that some of the people who have been there since the beginning have started to move on, and [SafetyCulture] has been fortunate to take some of those people on board.”

The new Sydney-based office, to be opened in December and lead by Mazkovoi, will focus on engineering. This will include both an upgrade to iAuditor’s cloud, which Anear says will be released in a few weeks time after roughly 18,000 engineering hours, and developing SafetyCulture’s new products, one of which will focus on accident investigation and reporting.

“We have a long way to go in terms of solving the safety problem, and our mission is to make safety available to every worker int he world,” Anear says. “Right now, it’s still locked up on hard drives and often restricted to management, and we’re trying to set that free and empower workers on the front line.”

“We’re maturing, this [expansion] is sort of the next stage of growth, and we’re getting people with some great experience,” he says. “We’ve had a lot of success to date but to have now the more experienced come through, it really gives us a solid foundation to continue to scale and take our products to the global market.”

About Chris Woods

Chris Woods (@tophermwoods) is the Tech Street Journal's Editor-in-Chief. He lives in Brisbane, has worked in places like Sydney and New York (State of), and will someday update his media-news blog.