Meet Latch Digital, your app idea innovation station

Innovation excites us. It really does. It’s like that feeling you get when you’re having a groggy morning and you drink a double shot coffee followed by a stout dose of fresh air – that’s how we feel when we see innovation.

Maybe that’s why we’re so excited about the relatively new company in the development space, Latch Digital. They’re meeting people with good ideas and making them into entrepreneurs with great apps.

“Latch is a tech company focused on the mobile world, with an emphasis on creativity,”
 co-founder David Roper told New Zealand Entrepreneurs in an email. “The majority of our team comes from creative backgrounds, so we create innovative and new-age products.”

Everything about the company surrounds mobile, like their mission statement, “We’re building a mobile future,” or their upcoming expansion with Latch Media, which will develop mobile advertising. With smartphone penetration in New Zealand up over 60% ( 32% in 2012, 59% in 2013, according to Ericsson), there’s no doubt that mobile is a profitable space to work in.

Latch was founded in late 2012 when David Roper and Mark Smith wanted to develop an app. They dreamed of making it the next big thing, and before they knew it, a team of designers and developers had come on board and people started asking them to build mobile tech. That’s when David and Mark realised they could make a company based around this.

Their company, Latch, now offers future entrepreneurs capital, guidance, and developers in return for an equity share.

“Capital is the one thing that prevents a great idea from getting anywhere in the market,” David said. “There are too many people with awesome ideas who don’t know how to code, but also can’t afford the cost involved in developing a marketable mobile product.”

“A standard for us in any initial briefing phase of the project is, ‘Would you be open for an equity share to develop this.’ So to really make this happen we partnered with an investment company I.T Ventures.com in November 2013. This allowed us to say ‘Yes’ to those that wanted to give up a percentage rather than forking out the fees.”

When the team at Latch sees an idea that they think is amazing, if it’s something they know they can add value to, they talk to their investment vehicle to get the ball rolling.

“In short, I.T Ventures pays a rate to build the products. They take up equity [and] we do as well, but leave the majority of the equity to the original mastermind, depending on the scope,” David said.

So far the company has only built a few apps and sites through agencies, “nothing too notable yet,” as David says, adding that Latch is working with several big clients, like the team at Cheeky9, which will be a big bonus on their portfolio.

In the future, Latch will be a house of innovative products, ideas, and business. “Eventually we would love to be a company known for creating market changing products and we are building our teams around that goal,” says David.

Latch Media is also on the way, and although David wants to keep that under the bonnet for now, what he can promise us is that with the amazing team coming together for this expansion, it’s set to really shake up the market.

Do you have a great idea? What’s holding you back? If fear of copy-catting is stopping you from getting your app started, David says that Latch offers complete non-disclosure and discretion clauses so that “any new budding entrepreneur need not worry.”

“Our advice though is to talk to as many people about your idea freely and openly as possible. This is the best way to get honest feedback.”

Get in touch with David, and we look forward to potentially writing about you!

Additional editing by Dominique Reed

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