LONDON — Stickybeak, the New Zealand-based marketing research start-up founded by former Edelman chief David Brain, has raised its first investment round of $555,000, valuing the company at $3.55 million.

The funding will be used to supplement the founding team with more full time employees, to help expand the technology platform and further automate sales and marketing processes.

Stickybeak enables agencies and brands to commission quick quantitative surveys with a conversational style, replacing costly or slow research and panels. To date, it has worked with agencies including Ketchum and Golin and brands including Vodafone, O2, Spark, Swisse, Dole and Oxfam.

Brain, the former Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa president and CEO of Edelman, and non-executive director of Hotwire and Frank owner Enero, launched the marketing research company in June 2019, along with three other founders: market researcher David Talbot, who runs polling, research, and strategy for New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern; designer Kyle Hickey; and technology specialist Brody Nelson, creator of the Parkable app.

Brain said: “For our first round of funding we wanted to bring on investors that could add to our thinking and bring skills, expertise and contacts. We could not be happier with the people that chose to back us and look forward to working with them to get this business to the next level.”

He added: “We have some great customers on board and some unique products that mean better, faster and cheaper insights and we now have the backing to extend and improve those products and introduce them to more potential customers.”

Stickybeak’s six new investors are: Iain and Carly Twine, founders of Singapore PR and consulting firm Harrup Advisory; Gabriel McDowell, founder and executive chairman of Australian public affairs and reputation management firm Res Publica; Duncan and Niki Greive,  founder and chair of New Zealand media start-up The Spinoff; political and corporate research and strategy specialist Nicholas Wright, CEO of Sentio Group in Sydney; early-stage investment firm the Hoku Group, one of New Zealand’s most experienced early-stage investors with a track record that includes TradeMe, Xero and Vend; and marketer and investor Josette Prince, MD of New Zealand’s Tasti foods.