Home Funding & Finance This start-up has raised over $300,000 in an oversubscribed seed round to...

This start-up has raised over $300,000 in an oversubscribed seed round to help business managers plan projects faster and better


Brisbane based start-up, Grapple recently closed its oversubscribed $315,000 seed investment round, led by a private investor from Hong Kong and joined by investors from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne Angels.

Grapple is building a smart, intuitive and integrated project planning tool for business managers, designed to help them plan projects faster, more accurately and much easier.

It does this by automating much of the extensive and burdensome project documentation that is expected by modern, global best practices. This innovative tool will then connect seamlessly with leading project management tools as the projects move from planning phase into delivery.

How exactly does Grapple work?

When a user logs in to start planning a new project, they can choose to start from an existing (best practice) template, or create their own from scratch.

They can then invite other team members to collaborate with them and then issue the documents for approval, which are all captured electronically.

When things change (and they always do) Grapple keeps everything in synch and version controlled. No more looking for the latest version.

Grapple-dashboard-imac“Planning a project using separate tools such as MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. that don’t communicate with each other, will be a thing of the past,” said Grapple CEO, Chris O’Halloran.

“We hope this will give managers increased confidence in, and reliance on their teams to undertake quality project planning,” he went on to remark.

What will Grapple do with this funding?

With the funds raised, Grapple plans to accelerate product development and continue to scale sales and business development by expanding its team and attracting key hires.

Additionally, the capital will allow the company to focus on value-add strategic partnerships with other complementary SaaS products, made possible through APIs.

Chris said, “We’re really excited to have closed our first round investment, which will allow Grapple to move out of its ‘beta’ trial period and build on the excellent feedback and relationships formed with innovative clients such as Collection House Ltd, and allow us to launch the next version.”

“Our goal is to enable everyday business managers to improve the quality and speed of project planning whilst deriving greater benefits from the process.”

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A sneak peak of the new version launching in March

“Grapple is providing solutions to problems that almost all businesses face. This investment will allow Grapple to become the leader in project planning,” Grapple Chairman, Mark Fishwick remarked.

David Hudson, Vice President of the International Project Management Association pointed out that project planning is a critical component of projects. “I expect Grapple will become an essential addition to the project management suite of tools.”

What is the story behind Grapple?

In the short interview below, Chris told Anthill more about the origin story of this promising start-up which he started with his co-founder, Aaron Hudson and what lies ahead for them.

Who are the people behind Grapple?

Both Aaron and I are project management consultants with 30 years’ experience between us and in late 2012 were introduced through a mutual college at a project management event by David Hudson, the then QLD Chapter President of the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) as we were both talking of a new project management tool we wanted to build. We quickly realised that we shared a similar vision and decided to pool our resources, join forces and build it together.

What exactly inspired you to start Grapple?

When we started building Grapple, the tool was going to be bigger than Ben-Hur, the project manager’s dream tool… but then as I was kicking off a new project and creating the plans and documentation to get all the approvals, I thought there must be a better way.

I’m a self-professed hater of admin!

I couldn’t get this thought out of my head and I realised that the majority of project managers aren’t actually qualified project managers.

I managed to convince Aaron it was a good idea and we set out to redesign Grapple to be the ultimate project planning tool for non-professional project managers – the manager that leads projects as part of his job, but doesn’t necessarily have any formal qualification for it, it’s that simple to use.

So what sets you apart from your competitors?

There are almost 1,000 project management tools on the market, all trying to help people manage projects, well we have taken a different approach.

We believe the great projects start with a great plan and that’s where we come in. When all the existing tools help to manage projects, we help you to plan them. When they are ready, we then send the information into your project management tool of choice so you can continue to manage it.

In this space, Grapple is the market leader. We are competing with the like of MS Projects and MS Excel really, there is no-one else with the sole focus of improving project planning and documentation.