Momentum is building for New Zealand tech

Published on
June 3, 2020
min read
Written by

These past few months have been hard and dispiriting for many people around the world and in New Zealand.

So we wanted to shed some light on some of the positive developments happening in our sector.

Since 1990 ~40 tech companies have been built in New Zealand that are now valued (or were at exit) at $100m+. This chart shows that the number is increasing and Kiwi tech companies are growing faster than ever before.

As we enter month 6 of this current crisis, it’s encouraging to note that some of New Zealand’s most successful tech companies were started just before or during the GFC — the likes of RocketLab, Lanzatech, PowerbyProxi, Grinding Gear Games, and Xero.

We at AirTree are optimistic about the entrepreneurial spirit.

Tech companies are nimble, able to pivot if needed, adaptable to changing working styles, exposed to a diverse (often global) customer base and have built products that customers love and often can’t do without. There’s a lot of opportunity for these companies to slingshot out the other side of these turbulent times, making the technology sector even more critical to job growth and the future prosperity of New Zealand’s economy.

There’s no doubt that the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on tech companies in has been varied, but networks such as Callaghan, MBIE, NZTE, AANZ, and Manaaki, have all rallied in support.

If it’s useful, we’re very happy to speak with any founders on a range of topics — from fundraising, to the future outlook, to scenario planning — just 💌

A couple of points to note on the chart above:

  • It is very much a WIP and we realise this will not be a comprehensive list! We’d love to hear from you about any companies we may have missed or misrepresented so we can make sure we’re portraying the growth of the sector as best we can (!
  • Data sourced from: Pitchbook, press articles and the AirTree team
  • Criteria used: product-led technology companies with a kiwi founder that were HQ’d in NZ at some stage during their company journey (this means we’ve excluded companies with a Kiwi founder which have unfortunately never been located in NZ)
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