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An Auckland-based enterprise looking to support tradies to “Lock in the job and your payments!”

A solution to safeguard tradies and homeowners by holding payments – in escrow – so once both parties agree, the payment is released, protecting your nest egg and guarantees quality work.

At Greenlight Escrow “We safeguard tradies and homeowners by holding your payments – in escrow – through our watertight platform until the job is complete.”

Maxwell is the director of KPA plumbing in Auckland – a small plumbing business returning $1.3M in the last year. Right now, he has tens of thousands of dollars in overdue invoices and he’s only a small company. “Life is stressful enough as it is without having to worry about if I’ll be paid for the mahi I’ve already done.” But for him and thousands of other tradies like him, this is the reality – they are expected to produce first and take payment later, in good faith, but this process isn’t working for many.

Max is a make-it-happen kind of entrepreneur, “with KPA plumbing I started with zero dollars in my account and over three yeas have built it to return $1.3M.”

The escrow process has existed in other sectors for years, and currently exists overseas for similar markets to mine. The problem has existed for some time and will continue to exist unless we demonstrate that there is a better way.

So far Greenlight Escrow have a web platform and app in development – to be launched this year. Applications are being processed to become a registered financial authority and currently, Trust accounts are being set up with lawyers to start delivering an MVP in July 2022.

In the next 12 months, Greenlight Escrow aims to have a full-scale launch of the App and get busy onboarding customers.

The business is looking for supporters. Founder Max says “We need to grow our profile and are looking for partners that can aid us to grow a brand presence and/or provide introductions to key industry bodies.”

Connect with Green Light Escrow

PHONE: 02041172644


Maxwell Semmons-Russell

Founder (Te Rarawa, Te Arawa)

Kōkiri Coach

Ian Musson

Head of Māori Engagement - Young Enterprise

Kōkiri Experience

One of the things Max has enjoyed most about the Kōkiri experience is getting to meet new people and being challenged to grow.

“I know what I know but this has provided me with so much good information to grow. People willing to support me with my idea and wanting to help me – people believing in me.” says Max.

He adds “Taking part in this accelerator has definitely provided me with valuable new networks and connections.”

Max strongly recommends applying to Kōkiri to any Māori-led startup – “It’s a great place to meet, learn and grow, just make sure you come prepared to put the work in.”


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