July update from Kea
Kia ora and welcome to Kea’s online monthly report, showcasing our highlights for July 2021.
Our largest highlight for July was the launch of the Future Aspirations report last week, which we hope you caught either by our channels or via the positive media coverage. This report was the culmination of our recent community and employer surveys, and included reflections from key commentators including The Productivity Commission Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa.
It was encouraging to see the results highlight the significant number of offshore Kiwi still planning to return to Aotearoa, and of those Kiwi remaining offshore, the strong desire to support from afar. We look forward to working with you, our partners to identify ways to catalyse the connections, skills and experience of our offshore and returning Kiwi for the benefit of Aotearoa.
You can read more about the full report here.
In this months report we catch up with the CEO of software company Datagate, which has seen a phenomenal 600% growth in monthly recurring revenue since connecting with Kea to find in-market connections in Australia and the US back in 2017. A fantastic example of the potential growth opportunity when leveraging the connections of our offshore community to help New Zealand export businesses.
The global acceleration of digital capability and innovation continues, also in this months report we dig deeper to understand international opportunities for New Zealand’s tech export businesses. We take a look at the rise of China’s new digital currency with an incredible $5.3 billion in transactions, look into why the “US tech industry is on fire”, and did you know South Korea has just taken out the top spot on the world innovation index? We give an insight into how Kiwi tech exporters can capitalise on the region’s appetite for innovation.
Finally, we are delighted to announce the appointment of our new North America Regional Director Gary Fortune, based in New York. A global music industry expert, Gary joins Kea with an extensive 30-year career in the New Zealand music industry across a broad range of international networking, relationship building, marketing and music promotion roles. In 2005, he established the New Zealand music export initiative called Outward Sound, growing both New Zealand music and music businesses into international markets. Since 2016 Gary has spearheaded the highly praised, international music and technology business conference Mondo.NYC.
We will be looking to introduce Gary across the Kea network in the coming weeks and sharing his insights in next months report.
- GROWTH THROUGH KEA CONNECT
- INSIGHTS FROM OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY: SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION AND TECH
- GOVERNMENT UPDATE
- KEA CONNECT: SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION AND TECH
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- TRENDING AT KEA
- UPCOMING EVENTS
- CONNECTIONS THIS MONTH
- HOW KEA CAN HELP
GROWTH THROUGH KEA CONNECT
WHY CONNECTING WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS IS THE KEY TO GLOBAL SUCCESS
Since connecting with Kea in 2017, software company Datagate has seen a massive 600% growth in monthly recurring revenue. We speak to CEO Mark Loveys about building on this incredible success, the competitive advantages kiwi businesses have on the global stage, and why he credits understanding his customers as individuals as key to his company’s phenomenal growth.
INSIGHTS FROM OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY
“The tech sector in the USA is on fire” with enormous growth in tech spending and an unprecedented level of capital investment this year – valuations are off the charts. This spans across many different areas of tech including – retail, F&B, industrial, AI, data analytics and food and ag – and Fortune Magazine has even declared that every company now needs to think of itself as a tech company in order to keep up with the momentum Covid-19 has created.
For New Zealand companies, a key opportunity in terms of investment, especially in areas where the Kiwi brand is strong, is that Venture Capitalists are far more willing and likely to invest in companies simply by meeting them online. This lack of a need for physical presence diminishes a speed bump companies experienced pre-COVID, creating immediate opportunities for kiwi entrepreneurs.
Peter Bryant, Kea World Class New Zealander, Board Chair & Managing Director, Clareo
UK & EUROPE
Investment and innovation in the UK tech sector continues to accelerate, with UK venture capital investment the third highest in the world, with a record high of US$15 billion – ahead of India, Germany and France.
It is encouraging to see New Zealand tech exports capitalising on this, growing significantly in the last 18 months in both presence and sales. Education tech in particular is thriving, helped by extended lockdowns and long periods of homeschooling, helping with everything from student wellbeing, to online exams to remote lab teaching.
Sara Fogarty, Kea UK/Europe Regional Director
South Korea has been named top of the world in innovation this year in the Bloomberg Innovation Index, topping the list for seven of the nine years it has been published.
A large part of the nation’s success comes from an adoption mindset where innovation is welcomed and proactively scaled. This provides a great opportunity for Kiwi tech exporters who may be looking for a fast-moving and proactive market for launch.
Lukas Beech, World Class New Zealander, South Korea
Something to watch in China over the coming months and years is the Digital Yuan, which is quickly establishing its place in the digital currency market, used at more than a 1.3million trial sites totalling an incredible $5.3+ billion in transactions. A question for SaaS companies to be thinking about is when will consumers in China expect to be able to make payments using Digital Yuan as well as through WeChat and Alipay?
There were 5.8 million new energy vehicles on Chinese streets by the end of May, which accounted for around 10% of new car sales in China. A vast number of gasoline cars that cannot meet China’s emissions standards will be phased out in 5 to 8 years, and around 200 million new cars will be bought to replace them. This creates huge opportunities for the new energy vehicle sector.
China is also preparing to introduce its new data security law, which will come into effect in the next few weeks. The change will mean companies are not allowed to provide any data stored in China to foreign judicial and law enforcement agencies without Chinese Government approval. Businesses in the tech sector will need to be across the changing regulations and understand what they mean for their customers. Watch this space for further updates.
Ciara Liu, Kea China Regional Director
July was a busy month for the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan (Digital ITP) with two of the ITP’s six workstreams publishing milestone reports. One of these reports was the Discover and Define phases for the refreshed New Zealand Tech and Innovation Story, which was released following interviews and insights gathered from over 600 individuals within New Zealand and international tech communities. The Summary Insights Report describes the approach and summarises the messages that resonate most strongly with an international audience. Kea is a member of the Marketing Consult Group.
In addition, the Skills Workstream Steering Group published its first report and draft plan. Following significant research, data collection, hui and consultation, the report summarises that the sector in New Zealand is suffering greatly from a mismatch of skill supply and demand, with an overreliance on immigration. We see an opportunity to make the most of closing the gap between tech businesses and kiwi who we know are planning to return to Aotearoa with much-needed skills, seniority, and international experience. Kea recently submitted a paper to the Skills Workstream which included data from our recent report, contributing to a deeper knowledge of the specific skills and experience of our offshore and returning Kiwi.
Saya Wahrlich, Global Director Government & Industry
SPOTLIGHT ON KEA CONNECT
StaffSync is an innovative app targeted at the education sector that integrates temporary and full-time staff management with rostering and payroll. It uses push notification technology to help find and manage relievers/temporary staff, alongside in-depth reporting for HR teams.
StaffSync has had great success in New Zealand and Australia and is now looking to expand into the UK, particularly around Manchester. Through the support of NZTE, StaffSync is in the process of setting up its company structure from a legal and accounting perspective, with a view to having an on-the-ground presence in the next 6-12 months.
Their NZTE Customer Manager sought support from Kea to amplify their work, increase StaffSync’s knowledge and market insight on the UK public/private education system, procurement as well as build understanding of what the potential challenges might be when operating in this sector.
To date, Kea has introduced the Founder of StaffSync to the CEO of Ada, National College for Digital Skills, and Trustee of a leading secondary school. Kea continues to support StaffSync with further connections.
Zincovery is an innovative start-up on a mission to make recycling financially viable for all metal wastes. Their first target is an acid contaminated with zinc that is produced from the hot-dip galvanized steel industry. The company was spun out of the University of Canterbury, last year winning the Callaghan Innovation C-Prize Challenge. This helped to raise their first investment round to develop the technology to pilot stage. Since then they have seen incredible growth and have expanded their team to 5 FTEs.
They are currently validating China as a target market and their focus areas for the next 18 months are:
- Reducing market risk through international market validation
- Securing an MOU with a large international customer
- Eliminating all technical risk except scale-up
The request to Kea included:
- Market research on the steel industry in China, including current waste disposal methods and costs involved
- Advice on how to best nurture business relationships with China-based parties
- Background context in the cleantech and waste remediation space in the USA.
Kea facilitated introductions between the Founder of Zincovery and the CEO and Founder of Lanzatech, and Deputy General Manager of SteelVision Beijing, and Shareholder of an Industrial Manufacturing company in China.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
INSIDE THE MIND OF THE FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR
The University of Auckland has released their report “Raising Capital in Aotearoa New Zealand: Insights from Women Entrepreneurs”. It examines the expectations of women entrepreneurs and their approach to raising capital, as well as how traditional gender roles are challenged and negotiated.
Read more about the Aotearoa Centre for Enterprising Women here
EY ANNOUNCES FINALISES FOR 2021 ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Judged on their entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, national and global impact, personal integrity and purpose-driven leadership, strategic direction and value creation, eighteen top NZ businesses were announced as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Finalists last week.
Find out more about this year’s finalists here
DOES NZ HOLD THE KEY TO A POST COVID RECOVERY?
Technology is key as New Zealand prepares to host the first virtual APEC later this year. APEC 2021 will focus on rebuilding the economy in a post-pandemic era but will also rely heavily on technology to allow virtual participants to still get a taste of kiwi culture. READ MORE
TRENDING AT KEA
WHAT HAS LIFE BEEN LIKE FOR OFFSHORE KIWI?
On Friday at our Kea Future Aspirations report launch, we shared a video where a few of our Kea Community offshore shared an insight into their lives and also what opportunities they see for New Zealand right now. WATCH NOW
CAPITAL PLANNING – WHY IT’S NOT JUST CASH THAT MAKES A BUSINESS SUCCESSFUL
Raising capital is a key part of any business but it’s not always a straightforward one. Kea partnered with BNZ to bring together a panel of experts to discuss successful capital planning strategies and advice for those looking to raise capital. READ MORE
INTRODUCING THE APEC BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL
The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is an independent group of business leaders that advises APEC leaders on priority issues for business in the region. We talk to ABAC Chair Rachel Taulelei about the role of the business council, why it’s so important the private sector is able to consult on intergovernmental forums such as APEC and what opportunities the virtual event holds for Kiwi businesses. READ MORE
BRINGING GLOBAL START UP KNOWLEDGE HOME
Tech start-up guru Lucy Luo has worked all over the world and now she’s back in Aotearoa in a role with software company First AML. She shares her advice for export businesses looking to expand and about how to avoid common mistakes. READ MORE
To help returning Kiwi settle back into New Zealand and help build their personal and professional networks, Kea is thrilled to be hosting ongoing monthly meetups for returners and their partners in Auckland, on the first Wednesday of each month (next meet up 1st September), and our next regional meetup is in Queenstown 12th August. If you know a Kiwi who has recently returned or is planning to – please share and help spread the word!
KEA CONNECT: BUSINESSES SUPPORTED THIS MONTH
Number of Kiwi businesses assisted this month
Number of connections made this month
Number of connections made this year to date*
SECTORS KEA CONNECT SUPPORTED THIS MONTH
*Year to date reflects financial year commencing 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022
HOW KEA CAN HELP
Join the Kea community, and stay connected to New Zealand, its people and businesses wherever you are in the world.
Post job opportunities and attract internationally experienced Kiwi talent.
Help Kiwi businesses explore their global potential through our worldwide community.