With 2015 coming to an end we thought we’d take some time to reflect on some of the companies in the community and the year they have had, what they are up to, some of the wins or small milestones they have met which in startup speak means they’ll survive for the foreseeable future or potentially be looking at bigger opportunities that are exciting as are most things here in Silicon Valley.
The startup life is equally exciting and challenging. It’s a constant rollercoaster of small wins, and rapidly loses, achieving product market fit, only to find the market changes and then so they must pivot to change again for the 3rd time. They win big customers, grow their community either in small increments or exponentially. For most founders and teams it’s business as usual, continuously doing, building, extending, day in day out, replying to those customers, working with them on the user experience, getting better processes, waking up and deciding on the day what is the most important mission to tackle at this very moment.
This year we’ve seen many wins, pivots, near-loses. Survival instinct is strong among the Kiwi’s, and as can be expected success is among our ranks – not that you’d hear about it, though, for most, they are too busy growing their businesses to pay real attention to anything else going on around them. Good on them, let’s keep this train going.
Here’s an update from us, residents, alumni and our broader community:
CloudCannon helps digital agencies and enterprises create and maintain websites. Developers build sites quickly and have complete control over design. Non-Developers update content directly on the website.
Milestones: Integrating with Atlassian, rolled out several websites with Netflix, pivoting to enterprise solution, creating & hosting JekyllConf – 8 speakers, 400 attendees online.
Resolve Digital is a development team with offices in San Francisco & Christchurch. Their software engineers have been solving complex technology problems for their clients since 2002.
Currently, they are focusing on developing effective e-commerce stores. They are building out delightful customer experiences on the front end but also tightly integrated backends to make store operations efficient and effective. The results are measurable, and there’s a direct connection between their work and increased revenue for their clients.
Milestones: Celebrated our 13th year of consulting. Created a board of directors with new director Robert Coleman, who has significant e-commerce experience. Acquired new customers in Australia, Canada and the U.S. including our newest client: 3D Robotics, a leading drone technology company. Presented at conferences in Paris and Sydney: Using Machine Learning to generate a 71% jump in revenue. Resolve Digital is growing and is currently hiring Ruby on Rails developers to join their team in New Zealand.
Performance Lab is changing the paradigm for fitness apps by turning wearable health and fitness devices and applications into a true personal trainer that “talks to you, just like a real coach would”. Their ARDA software engine allows apps and devices to provide the sort of real-time advice that a coach would, rather than delivering users an overload of metrics.
Debitsuccess USA is an outsourced option for recurring payments providers. Their Technology removes the burden of complex multiple payment options, Security, HR and credit control to allow business owners to grow their business and sell more at scale.
Currently, Debitsuccess has 450 staff around the world, are NZ owned by the Transaction Services Group. Where listed 30th on the Tin 100 list and are processing payments for over 2.8 million people around the world.
Milestones: Successful entry into the US market, hiring in key roles. Listed 30th on the Tin 100 list. Processing payments for 2.8 million people globally.
Booktrack (www.booktrack.com) is an industry-leading global technology company that synchronizes movie-style soundtracks and ambient sounds to eBooks. Music, ambient audio, and sound effects are automatically paced to individuals reading speed and synchronized to complement and enhance the story while a person reads increasing comprehension and enjoyment. Over 2.5 million readers get instant access to thousands of stories while authors and publishers can easily create their Booktrack titles by matching their stories to an extensive library of over 20,000 free-to-use music and ambient audio tracks. Backed by investors including Peter Thiel and Weta Digital, with offices in San Francisco, CA, Auckland, NZ, Hong Kong and Toronto, Canada.
Milestones: Getting to 3 million users, 15,000 schools, onboarding and partnering with the main publishers in the industry, starting to work with popular artists. Became official partner of Google for Education
Syngency is an all-in-one software experience for modeling agencies. It helps modeling and talent agencies react faster to their demanding industry, so they can organize their talent efficiently, build relationships with their clients, and manage their most vital business processes.
Milestones: As of December 1st Syngency will be powering two top agencies in San Francisco and are in talks with new agencies in India, Spain & Dubai as well as one of the top fashion retailers in the US. A successful US relocation and website/platform redesign and rollout.
Kami is a cloud-based document viewer and annotation tool. Since their beta last year, they already have over 2 million installs on the Google Marketplaces (Chrome, Apps, Education) and over 1 million annotations created every week. They are based in Auckland and San Francisco and currently growing the team to accommodate their rapid growth. They are currently raising a seed round in the US (their first US round) and have Sam Altman (Y Combinator) and Scott Nolan (Founders Fund) on board as investors and advisors. Based on their meetings and their press they both think the NZ tech eco-system has a lot of potentials.
Milestones: Growing to 2 million installs on the Google Marketplaces, and having over 1 million annotations created every week. Growing rapidly (They’re Hiring!).
Through our partnership with BNZ, we often get BNZ customers coming up to make use of the Landing Pad’s office South of Market and also tap into the community. This is how we meet with James Rangihika – Creative Director of Logan Brooke Communications and Director of Brand new luxury skincare startup Distil Skincare.
Distil Skincare is a skincare start-up business, currently finishing off their first range of products called ‘Ao’ skincare, manufactured right here in the Bay area. It’s a cosmeceutical-grade range of products that is very heavy in actives, botanicals, and New Zealand ingredients. Distil is a doctor-led business trying to make a real difference in the skincare industry in a disruptive and interesting way.
Distils new range Ao Skincare is named after Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand). What makes this line so unique to the US market is that many of the hero ingredients are sourced from New Zealand such as Manuka honey, Totarol, Lanolin, Keratin and pure artesian water.
Milestones: Successful relocation to the US. Finalising and launching (10th November) of the first range Ao Skincare.
Modlar is a product information network used by Architects and Construction professionals across the globe. Modlar connects the design community with leading manufacturers to create efficient, modern and sustainable designs. Modlar has a global network of over 115,000 specifiers, representing over 17,500 firms.
Milestones: Recently the company passed 100,000 professionals on its platform and were continuing to accelerate.
Vend is retail POS software, inventory management, e-commerce & customer loyalty for iPad, Mac, and PC. Easily manage and grow your business in the cloud.
Vend has been selected as the exclusive retail POS for a new global Apple initiative focussed on small businesses via their Apple Store network. That as well as kicking it with PayPal doing some big stuff in payments in the US, and a few other secret Valley relationships to be announced.
Milestones: Being selected for the Global Apple initiative focussed on small businesses via their Apple Store network.
This is a small but useful snapshot from some of the companies in our community new and old, all on the journey. It’s exciting watching these companies grow, it’s been humbling watching the incredible amount of time and effort that goes into building each and every one of these companies, one thing we’ve noticed is that it doesn’t get easier the bigger you get, it just gets more and you just keep going. If you’d like to get in touch with any of these companies, let us know.
Post written by Kiwi Landing Pad Community Manager – Sian Simpson
Kiwi Landing Pad is a soft landing for New Zealand technology companies coming to land and expand into the US market. We offer space in San Francisco so that businesses can hit the ground running and also plug you into our global community from day one.