FORMER Wodonga cricketing prodigy Matt Berriman is recovering from a bouncer of a different kind sent down by tech giant Google.
Berriman, who was on the brink of sporting stardom as one of the country's most promising batsman until sliced down with injury, has come off second best from an encounter with Google.
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As co-founder of a mobile advertising company called Unlockd, Berriman gained the backing of some international business heavyweights including Lachlan Murdoch for the venture valued at $200 million after just two years in existence.
But in an expansive interview this week with the Financial Review, Berriman recounted the fallout from Google's U-turn on previous approvals and banning Unlockd's apps from its services.
"I went all in, houses, all my savings and I even loaned money from some shareholders to help partly fund the final (pre-Initial Public Offering or float) round," he said.
"So I lost it all.
"Many people will probably look at the business and only remember the end result, but we went from $0 of value to $200 million, $20 million ARR and weeks from IPO very quickly and then happened to come up against a $800 billion gorilla like Google.
"That's the high-risk game I wanted to play, and we all signed up for.
"It showed we were really on to something that one of the biggest companies in the world wanted us to cease to exist, at much effort and direction from their CEO down."
His business experience serves as a cautionary tale for would-be start-up founders trying to make it rich in Australia and abroad.
But despite the crash, Berriman has been able to maintain relationships with some of his key backers in Unlockd.
"I was devastated," he said.
"Less so for myself but all the staff, investors and people in and around the business who believed in and worked so hard towards the great vision we had.
"Integrity and facing the music head on to the very end was paramount to me.
"The responses I got ranged from the disappointing end of the spectrum, where a shareholder re-possessed my house, to the extremely humbling end where amazing shareholders lift you up and support you in any and every way possible."
Berriman encountered a similar low moment in his life when a path to cricket stardom, which began at Wodonga Cricket Club, came to a crashing end in 2001.
The day after making a century for the Australian under-17 team against a touring English side he dislocated his right shoulder playing water polo at the national cricket academy in Adelaide.
Team-mates at the time included Peter Siddle and Cameron White, who both went onto represent Australia.
Berriman had not fully recovered from a shoulder injury he suffered in 1999 and queried whether he should be playing water polo, but was told to ''get in and play'' by a team official.
A statement of claim argued Cricket Australia owed Berriman a duty of care which it breached by making him play water polo.
''By reason of his injuries the plaintiff's capacity to pursue a professional career in cricket has been destroyed,'' the claim stated.
I was devastated. Less so for myself but all the staff, investors and people in and around the business who believed in and worked so hard towards the great vision we hadMatt Berriman
Berriman attended Wodonga High School and also played junior football for Wodonga with team-mates including Chris Macey, Scott Clancy, Ryan McEvoy and Joel Odewahn, who all went onto play at Ovens and Murray senior level for the Bulldogs.
As deflating as a business dream ending could be, Berriman is watching closely Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's report into the market power of global tech platforms like Google and Facebook and a separate similar inquiry being run by the ACCC.
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