Nyriad raises $8.5 million for GPU-based resilient storage arrays

Nyriad has raised $8.5 million in venture capital for its resilient storage systems that are accelerated using graphics processing units (GPUs). Those storage systems are built to handle problems such as the simultaneous removal or failure of 20 hard disks at the same time.

The Cambridge, New Zealand-based company has now raised more than $11 million to date for its Nsulate software for managing large-scale storage arrays in data centers. The company is targeting the release of its first product in the first quarter of 2018.

Read more

Please follow and like us:

Orion hires US sales star as CEO shows no sign of switching roles

Health software exporter Orion Health is banking on the appointment of a new sales head to put a spring back in its step.
That follows a profit warning and a 25 per cent slide in its share price last week.
Teri Thomas was a vice president at United States rival Epic Systems until she stepped down a year ago.

Read more

Please follow and like us:

Datagate gets capital for North American push

AUCKLAND. New Zealand cloud software start-up Datagate Innovation Limited has raised more than $1m in capital as it gears up to hire salespeople and start selling into the North American market.

For customers including a network of Spark resellers and one of New Zealand’s largest IT services companies, Datagate’s cloud billing solution provides online billing, reporting and customer self-service for usage-based services.

Datagate has raised $1,042,794 from new and existing investors, more than double its $500,000 target. The capital raise was originally a rights issue for existing investors, but strong interest saw Datagate extend the issue to include new investors, says CEO Mark Loveys.

Read more

Please follow and like us:

You can’t take it with you: software entrepreneur Scott Houston

According to the old saying, many entrepreneurs sell out for the boat, the bach and the BMW.

But in Scott Houston’s case, things went exactly the opposite way. He sold his boat, his rental, and even his house in order to keep his software business GreenButton afloat during the Global Financial Crisis.

Before Green Button, Houston was Weta Workshop’s IT manager. When the Lord of the Ring’s massive supercomputing power looked likely to be switched off until the next film, Houston suggested renting them out.

Read more

Please follow and like us:

Spark: How to change an entire industry

‘There must be a better way’ is a phrase that’s ignited countless entrepreneurs – including Gene Turner, who has given up his day job as a partner in a law firm to found a tech start-up.

Turner is the man behind LawHawk, a cloud-based tool providing legal document templates to generate customised legal documents in just a few minutes. It’s a disruptive concept in the legal industry, where documents are traditionally ‘handcrafted’ through a manual and time-intensive process of drafting and reviewing, which also involves multiple lawyers.

While some legal document automation does exist, says Turner, it is basic and allows only limited customisation.

LawHawk was born out of Turner’s own experience and frustrations as a partner at a major law firm. He saw much of the effort and cost in producing documents was spent on the first 80 per cent of pulling together a draft, leaving not enough time to work on the final 20 per cent – where the real legal expertise is applied to the situation involved.
So he turned to technology, creating the cloud-based LawHawk software to forge his ‘better way’: “LawHawk’s essentially the tools I wish I had when I was in practice, and how I think most lawyers will want and need to work. In many ways, it’s similar to what Xero has done for accountants, freeing them up to become valuable business advisors, do higher margin work and enjoy their work more.”

LawHawk launches in May, and Turner has high hopes for the company’s growth.

“Because it’s entirely based in the cloud, LawHawk doesn’t have the same constraints to growth applying to a traditional legal business selling time. It can be as big as LawHawk’s customers want it to be.”

While Kiwi inventors in the past may have turned to No. 8 wire, today’s entrepreneurs are increasingly taking advantage of digital tools and online connectedness to create new businesses and business models disrupting traditional ways of doing things.

The ‘evolve or die’ message isn’t new but it’s perhaps more pertinent now than ever, according to Richard Sandford, head of business marketing at Spark home, mobile and business. Sandford points out that, while technology is helping usher in big change, it’s the customer who’s leading it.

“Businesses need to keep pace with the customer because they’re the ones that are setting these trends, not the technology. The technology becomes the enabler,” he explains. “Customers are becoming more demanding and they expect products and services now to be delivered in a certain way. That means businesses need to be one step ahead.”

Despite this, almost half of small businesses in New Zealand have no online presence, according to Spark research, with only 53 per cent having websites and only 28 per cent of those are mobile-optimised.

They are missing out, says Sandford, as last year New Zealand businesses lost $1 billion of online spend to overseas competitors.

Andy Hamilton, CEO of business growth centre The Icehouse, points to a number of sectors – such as finance, logistics, tourism and media – where digital innovation is driving new types of companies and ways of doing business.

For example, innovation globally in the financial sector in recent years has triggered the rise of the likes of peer-to-peer lending, equity crowdfunding, blockchain and bitcoin, and is leading to “a fractionalisation of finance into really small units that are not just the domain of the uber-rich”, he says.

“What we forget is how quickly this transformation is happening. We all take for granted having smartphones now but, when you actually look at what you do with your smartphone these days, you see how the innovation happening in some sectors has become quite pervasive.”

However the fundamentals of business don’t change, says Hamilton: “In New Zealand our challenge is how we get our businesses to scale, to get good margins and returns when the market is inherently small. Digital helps take out some cost for businesses but then the question really is ‘how can it be used to disrupt?’ That’s the exciting thing – unless you’re being disrupted yourself.”

Sandford acknowledges business owners are often time- and cash-poor, particularly in smaller operations, so a crucial initial step for many is understanding technology can add real value – internally through increased efficiency and productivity and by opening new revenue streams.

Businesses need to start simply; the first point for many is to get their businesses online. Creating a mobile-optimised website is imperative, given half of all traffic to some websites is now coming from mobile devices and 45 per cent of Kiwis have purchased a product or service via mobile.

Spark’s web builder product, powered by Putti, for example, is free to Spark business mobile customers and allows them to create a mobile-optimised website in 20 minutes.

“That’s at the heart of growing your business footprint, and optimising your cost to serve too. For example, if you’re a bricks and mortar retailer, using online as a sales channel is like having another store; simply put, it’s another way to reach more customers and sell more things.”

First published on nzherald.co.nz 8 March 2016

Please follow and like us:

Video giant Vimeo picks Wellington startup Wipster for global partnership

Wellington startup Wipster has struck a partnership with United States technology giant Vimeo in a “David and Goliath” deal that could be worth many millions of dollars to the three year-old firm.

Vimeo will market Wipster’s software as a paid add-on to its video-sharing suite, promoting it to the 700,000 people who already pay to use the paid version of Vimeo’s app.

Read more

Please follow and like us:

App aims to ease pain of building projects

“Over time” and “over budget” are two phrases well known to anyone working in construction, so a couple of industry veterans have seized on these perennial pain points to create a high-tech solution they believe has global potential.

Antonia and David Speight are the entrepreneurs behind Acuite, a cloud-based web application that provides real-time visibility into the performance of construction projects.

It’s designed for those managing large-scale commercial jobs, helping them assess critical metrics as they are happening, such as time, cost, quality, health and safety, and relationships with subcontractors.

The Speights know first-hand about the risks involved in managing commercial construction projects, with David’s experience on the building contractor’s side and Antonia’s on the client side.

“If you look into industry statistics you’ll find about 75 per cent of projects go over budget and 90 per cent are delayed,” Antonia said.

David said current solutions did not allow users to access information with the kind of timelines needed in the fast-moving environment.

Early last year the couple decided to test their idea, joining business growth centre The Icehouse’s business incubation and market validation programme.

The process gave them confidence there was a market for their concept and in October last year they came up with a visual concept for Acuite.

They presented it to three major construction companies, convincing them to come on board as trial customers and have since been developing the software with those industry partners.

The pair have been working full time on Acuite since October.

The company also recently gained $500,000 of seed investment from the Auckland early stage investment group the Ice Angels and the national female investor-led group the ArcAngels, allowing them to grow their team and push ahead the development of the product, which is due for official launch this year.

First published on Nzherald.co.nz 20th August 2015

Please follow and like us:

Lead Partners

NZTE NZVIF PWC

Expert Partner

AVID “FNZC.jpg”

AANZ Summit Sponsors

Callaghan Innovation “UniServices” Kiwinet “Spark”