Aussie Roller brothers coast to new heights


Melbourne’s Finn brothers are on the ride of their life. Their startup Roller recently landed a private equity raise of $78m from U.S Insight Partners. Now their sights are set on 100,000 other leisure attractions around the globe.
Roller co-founders Luke and Mark Finn raised $78m to fund expansion. The brothers oversee $3 billion in transactions each year.

Luke and Mark Finn founded Roller in 2010 in their hometown Melbourne. They describe the Roller platform as an all-in-one, cloud-based venue management software solution built for attraction businesses, that processes more than $3 billion in transactions each year.

Originally a consumer-facing company providing elevated experiences to diners, the brothers saw an opportunity to pivot in 2014.

“We got an inbound call from a theme park just outside of Melbourne – Adventure Park in Geelong,” says Luke Finn, Roller’s CEO.

“They had used our solution as guests and loved the user experience because it was mobile-optimized modern technology. They asked if we would work in the leisure attractions industry. We saw the systems they were using to run their theme park and were quite taken aback by how outdated the systems were.”

Almost 10 years later, Roller has raised more than $121 million through 6 rounds of financing. It partners with 1500 businesses around the world ranging from theme parks to museums, to zoos, and water parks. Roller has clients in 30 countries and has achieved 5x times revenue growth over the last 3 years.

“The solutions that we have within our platform are things like ticketing, point of sale, CRM, memberships, gift cards, self-serve, kiosks, et cetera,” says Luke.

“We focus on removing friction at every step of the process. And with the online checkout, the goal is to try and convert website visitors into paying customers. It’s not just about features. It’s the quality of the features that we really pride ourselves on.”

The company raised $78 million from U.S.-based Insight Partners recently. Insight Managing Director Rachel Geller now sits on the Roller board and says she is partnering with the company to facilitate growth and scale.

Mark Finn, Roller’s CFO, says the company plans to use the funds to iterate the current platform and expand its offerings to more leisure companies around the world.

“We will invest heavily in the product and we’re really looking to bring it bring it to more venues that could benefit from it. Globally we estimate there are more than 100,000 of these venues,” says Mark.

“The second pillar of growth is expanding our products, and being able to sell more to the customer base. Over the years we have added payment processing, memberships, food and beverage point of sale, and there’s a lot more we can continue to do front of house – helping venues with marketing, growing their revenue, to back of house needs like operations and scheduling staff.”

The Roller platform is optimized for mobile and designed to be user-friendly. The company was founded by the Finn brothers in 2010.

Mark, who is two years older than Luke, worked at PWC prior to stepping on to the entrepreneurial rollercoaster. He also worked at Macquarie Bank on the transaction services and investment banking teams, focused on the tech sector.

Luke, 37, worked in hospitality venues while studying a double degree in finance and engineering at Melbourne University.

“I really got to understand the back-end workflows of these venues,” says Luke. “Having first-hand exposure to the systems that are used to power venues definitely gave us good insight which we took forward into Roller.”

While he didn’t work at a theme park or zoo, the brothers visited those venues growing up, and still visit them today.

“We’re going through more of these venues now. I’ve got two young kids, Mark’s got three. And, you know, taking them to play centres and trampoline parks, and just seeing how it lights them up… it’s very fulfilling to walk into those venues. Often they are using Roller and to just see in action, how the company is helping to facilitate these experiences is super rewarding.”

As for the brothers working well together, Luke says it is generally frictionless, and hugely valuable to have someone he trusts implicitly handling parts of the business he isn’t hands-on with.

“Whenever we have disagreements, we work through them at a rapid pace,” says Luke. “Never has there been a time where we walk away from a disagreement that puts us in a weird spot. From a relationship standpoint, both of us are trying our best to build the best possible business for the long term.”

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