News

RedSeed expands customer base with acquisition of Kiwihost

RedSeed, the online training company with over 100,000 users, has just expanded its customer base with the acquisition of KiwiHost, one of NZ’s longest-running training companies.

Over the last 30 years, KiwiHost has provided customer service and business skills training to 250,000 people across Asia/Pacific.

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Get Home Safe cracks 10,000 customers; opens London office with key staffer

London’s calling for Sophie Cranfield, newly minted UK lead for GetHomeSafe. The Key Accounts and Partnerships Manager for the safety app company is currently based in Dunedin but she’s heading off this month to establish an office in London and grow the client base in the northern hemisphere.

“It’s an exciting prospect and a bit daunting at the same time,” says Sophie. “Obviously it’s a much bigger market so there’s lots of opportunity for growth, but it’s also more competitive. I’ll be doing plenty of spade work.”

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Kurt and Paul’s excellent adventure: the story of Orah

The journey to entrepreneurial success rarely follows a straight line. It’s almost always a series of zig-zags, some backwards, some forwards, linked by chance meetings and opportunities seized.

The story of Orah, formerly known as Boardingware, is no exception. Its founders, Paul Organ and Kurt Meyer, are the first to point out that Orah’s remarkable success is less a well-mapped plan than a series of lucky breaks and good decisions, each building on the last. The company defies the usual trajectory of Kiwi companies: the founders are of Maori and Cook Island descent, one lives in Tokyo, the official office is at Paul’s home in Auckland, it has staff in three continents and clients in New Zealand, Australia, USA.

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From Raglan with love: Blake Richardson on investing in biodiversity, housing and disagreements

Punakaiki Fund board member Blake Richardson lives in Raglan with his young family, a clutch of chickens and fledgling, wind-battered native forest. On a sunny day we asked Blake to share his investment approach.

What are you finding interesting, right now?

I’m on the PFL board because I’m interested in early-stage Kiwi tech. I think PFL plays an important role in the tech scene and the tech sector plays important role in the economy.  I’m interested in ventures where I can add value, which typically means getting in early.

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Run Weirdly! Run! Weirdly experiences 2021 recruitment tailwind

In the third of our Founders’ Series, Vincent Heeringa spoke to Weirdly’s Keren Phillips about the wave of recruitment happening in 2021. It seems that lots of companies are hiring and they want Weirdly to do it. How nice!

So, Keren, how has your 2021 started?

It’s started strong! We’ve had a wave of RFP requests and expansion pitches off the back of some successful Covid-period pilots, as well as a couple of key hires coming onboard to lift our team’s overall productivity. We’ve released two big product features that will be invaluable to our customers and instrumental in winning new business – the ability to send and manage contracts and offer documents at scale is a key one here. We’ve also completed the first stage of a huge project to streamline our customer onboarding process, cutting the time it takes to bring on or expand new business significantly.

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Sale of Vend for US$350 Million

Today Lightspeed announced that it will acquire Vend for US$350 million ($485m in NZD at Friday’s exchange rate). The press release is below, and there is also a Lightspeed investor presentation.

The sale was covered by NZHerald (and here), Stuff and NBR. Following the announcement the price of the  Lightspeed shares rose, which, if sustained, will add to the value of the transaction in dollar terms.

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Devoli shines in Contact Energy interim reporting

Contact Energy posted a wicked result for Punakaiki investee company Devoli in its interim result. At the end of January 2021, the energy retailer reported 40,000 broadband customers, up 90% over January 2020’s reported 21,000 customers. Most of the customers were added using Devoli’s virtual ISP system.

Devoli is one of PFL’s largest investments. It’s a provider of software and network services for internet service providers. Devoli won Contact Energy’s business in 2020, with new customers being provisioned by Devoli from mid-year, and the full handover of customers completing near the end of the calendar year.

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