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  • 02 Dec 2021 4:31 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Closed transaction marks the beginning of democratizing Weta Digital’s exclusive tools for millions of creators and artists

    SAN FRANCISCO, December, 1 2021 -- Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, today announced it has completed the acquisition of Weta Digital’s tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent. This acquisition is designed to empower the growing number of game developers, artists, and potentially millions of consumer creators with highly sophisticated content creation tools used in some of the world’s most iconic movies and television shows, such as Avatar, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, The Suicide Squad, and more.

    In addition to acquiring dozens of industry-leading tools, a foundational data platform for interoperable 3D art creation, and a library of thousands of incredible assets that the WetaFX team will continue to evolve, Unity welcomes Weta Digital’s world-class engineering talent of 275 engineers that are known for architecting, building, and maintaining Weta Digital tools and core pipeline.

    “We are thrilled to officially welcome Weta Digital’s highly talented engineering team to Unity and to begin the journey of integrating two powerhouse technologies,” said Marc Whitten, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Create Solutions at Unity. “By bringing this team and technology to Unity, we can enable more storytellers to reach their creative potential by giving them access to the diamonds of all diamonds of VFX tools, underpinned by the power of real-time 3D.”

    Weta Digital’s Academy Award-Winning VFX teams will continue as a standalone entity known as WetaFX under majority ownership by Sir Peter Jackson and helmed by CEO Prem Akkaraju.

    “I know Weta Digital’s journey with Unity has just begun and I’m more confident than ever that Unity is the company to take this technology to a broader market,” said Prem Akkaraju, CEO of WetaFX and now former CEO of Weta Digital. “The decision to make our tools accessible to the wider market was ultimately driven by our goal of inspiring other creators. WetaFX is Jimi Hendrix, and we know enabling more artists to play, we’ll see the world has many, many more Jimi Hendrixes.”

    The transaction closed on December 1, 2021 and under the terms of the agreement, Unity acquired Weta Digital’s tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent for US$1.625B in a combination of cash and stock. Unity will not be relocating the new employees with this acquisition and remains supportive and committed to Wellington, New Zealand.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding enabling millions of creators and artists around the world; the ability of Unity and Weta Digital to enable the next generation of RT3D creativity; Unity’s ability to democratize industry-leading tools and bring Weta Digital’s engineering talent to life for artists everywhere; the ability of Unity to enable an entirely new generation of creators to build, transform and distribute stunning 3D content; Unity’s ability to bring Weta Digital to a much broader audience; Unity’s ability to evolve its pipeline for content creators; and Unity and Weta Digital's ability to open new possibilities for creators. The words “will,” “allows,” “can,” “enable,” “objective” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, such as Unity’s ability to successfully integrate Weta Digital's technology and business; costs related to the acquisition; whether potential benefits of the transaction extend to Unity and Weta Digital's customers and other potential creators; Unity’s and Weta Digital’s success developing new products or modifying existing products and the degree to which these gain market acceptance; and any unanticipated impact of accounting for the acquisition. If the risks materialize or assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. Further information on these and additional risks that could affect Unity’s results is included in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including our Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 10, 2021, and our future reports that we may file with the SEC from time to time, which could cause actual results to vary from expectations. Unity assumes no obligation to, and does not currently intend to, update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.

    About Unity

    Unity (NYSE: U) is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content. Creators, ranging from game developers to artists, architects, automotive designers, filmmakers, and others, use Unity to make their imaginations come to life. Unity’s platform provides a comprehensive set of software solutions to create, run and monetize interactive, real-time 2D and 3D content for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. The company’s 1,800+ person research and development team keeps Unity at the forefront of development by working alongside partners to ensure optimized support for the latest releases and platforms. Apps developed by Unity creators were downloaded more than five billion times per month in 2020. For more information, please visit

    Source: Scoop Media

  • 26 Nov 2021 5:01 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Data wrangling startup Segna is today announcing they’ve raised seed funding from US startup accelerator Y Combinator, following investment from Hillfarrance Venture Capital, Icehouse Ventures and Australian-based fund, CP Ventures.

    Segna uses machine learning to aggregate and clean data from multiple sources in under a minute. Its software platform helps businesses of all sizes unlock value from their data faster and more easily by automating the time-consuming, administrative tasks of curating and organising it.

    In January, Segna will begin Y Combinator’s three-month startup accelerator programme, which also provides $US125,000 seed investment, and culminates in a Demo Day where between US$1-5 million dollars is raised in the weeks following.

    Segna is among 1.5% of startups selected from over 30,000 other applicants who apply to Y Combinator each year, and they now join a prestigious list of alumni, including Airbnb, Dropbox, Twitch, Stripe, Reddit, and CoinBase. Only three other New Zealand start-ups are understood to have previously completed the Y Combinator programme since it launched in March 2005.

    This is the second startup for Segna co-founders Will Haringa and Aryan Lobie, who’ve raised $880,000 since launching the platform 16 months ago. Will also co-founded Zenno Astronautics, winners of the University of Auckland Velocity challenge in 2018, and Aryan developed the first scientific satellite that launched with RocketLab last November. He then went on to work as a data scientist at smart cow collar company Halter.

    The new funds are being used to expand the team and further develop the Segna platform, which the co-founders say can unify and restructure data streams hundreds of times faster than legacy methods.

    Will says businesses want simple, timely, actionable insights from their data but many are not equipped with the tools, expertise and resources to make it happen: “We are on a mission to democratise access to data, to break it away from being an arcane art for experts housed within large enterprise, to a being simple, intuitive and affordable for smaller businesses. And we can do this for businesses at warp speed.”

    A beta version of Segna is being used by a wide range of small and medium-sized businesses, which include accounting and financial firms, an online retailer, and a number of local startups. Businesses will pay a monthly subscription fee when the product is officially launched next year.

    The World Economic Forum predicts that 133 million new jobs will emerge in 2022 from the field of data and artificial intelligence, and Segna believes that a massive surge in demand for these roles can disadvantage smaller businesses, which might not be able to afford them.

    It’s estimated 80% of a data analyst’s time is spent being a ‘data caretaker’ - cleaning it up and getting it into the right shape - leaving only 20% time to derive value through analysis.

    Will says the use of machine learning not only expedites Segna’s data wrangling, but also continuously improves the way data is presented based on the users’ previous actions, helping them uncover new insights with unprecedented accuracy.

    “More businesses - big and small - are realising that the true value of their enterprise is in the data they collect, not just the sales they generate,” says Rob Vickery, Managing Partner of Hillfarrance Venture Capital. “At Hillfarrance, an AI-focused early-stage venture capital fund, we believe that Aotearoa New Zealand entrepreneurs are creating the next wave of AI innovation, and Segna is one of the leaders of that charge!”

    Icehouse Ventures CEO Robbie Paul says: “Many of the startups we back have been led by young founders with extraordinary ambition and intellectual firepower, such as Halter, Sharesies, Dawn Aerospace, Partly, and Astrix. Will and Aryan are equally exceptional and we are excited to back them alongside Y Combinator.”

  • 26 Nov 2021 11:30 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    After Covid delayed the opening of its new multi-million dollar Auckland factory, Shott Beverages is now battling logistics lags in order to make its long-awaited entry into the American market.

    Its New Zealand-made coffee syrup products were scheduled to launch into foodservice in the US this month, according to chief executive David Shearer, but were “caught in the logistic woes” en-route to Los Angeles.

    “It’s only shipping up there now as we speak. It was supposed to be a 1 November launch but there’s a three-week waiting line at the port of Los Angeles before it even gets trucked to where it needs to go,” said Shearer.

    He expected the stock to be available for sale in American cafes and restaurants by January 2022, with two new sales and marketing hires at the company’s newly-opened US office expected to hit the ground running with distributors as soon as the product was on the ground.

    Shott Beverages opened a multi-million dollar factory in Auckland in August, which was originally scheduled for May 2020 but came 14 months later after crucial equipment built in China and Germany was caught up in factory and then shipping delays.

    The opening of its second factory, alongside its original Wellington base, boosted production capacity by 300% unlocking the volumes that were required for its entry into the US market.

    “We’ve had a lot of interest [from America] over the years, but we’ve turned it down literally because we haven’t had the capacity,” said Shearer, a 4.9% company shareholder.

    “We’ve heard horror stories of businesses going to America, winning a contract and not being able to supply them. We wanted to ensure we had ample capacity before entering that particular market.”

    The company first sent stock abroad in 2014 into South Korea, “a coffee-drinkers market”, where it found success when global cafe chain Starbucks started using its syrups for speciality drinks in its premium Starbucks Reserve cafes.

    Exports now delivered around 70% of the group’s revenue, and South Korea was still its top export market, followed by the United Kingdom and Australia.

    “An export-motivated brand”, Shearer hoped to expand its global distribution beyond its current distribution into around 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the UK and now the US.

    “Our job is to make sure we have enough manufacturing capacity in New Zealand to keep up with what those four offices are doing.”

    While the Auckland plant pumped out export products, its eight-year-old Wellington factory continued to manufacture its retail brand, QuarterPast, for at-home coffee drinkers.

    By channel, foodservice was 60% of Shott’s group revenue, with the balance coming from retail largely under its QuarterPast brand, which has been a boon for business during lockdown.

    “It’s been one of the things that offset how hard the poor old foodservice channel has been doing. A lot of coffee consumption went to home consumption,” said Shearer.

    “[Australian sales saw] double-digit growth last year, even though one of the quarters we were down over 50% we still managed to get double digit growth by the end of the year.

    “Our Australian business is growing at three figures, 100s of percent growth at the moment.”

    Shott’s domestic business made up around 30% of annual revenue, the “backbone of the business still”, but Shearer said an export push over the next five years – particularly in North America – could see the percentage of New Zealand revenue come in at closer to 10%.

    Shearer added that unlike many of its competitors, the company does not heat-treat its products which allowed them to market the fruit syrups as free of artificial flavours, colours and sweeteners. This hybrid of fruit juice and jam manufacturing without the heat, was the company’s “point of difference”.

    “We believe we pioneered a new way of manufacturing these syrups and the category’s open for disruption and that’s what we’re working towards,” he said.

    “That means high growth for a number of years if we play our cards right and hopefully that will stimulate more jobs in this country and create what we hope will be another successful New Zealand brand.”


  • 25 Nov 2021 10:40 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

    Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken welcomed New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta to Washington, D.C. today and congratulated the Foreign Minister on New Zealand’s successful APEC Chairmanship in 2021.  The Secretary and Foreign Minister reiterated our shared values and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.  The Secretary and the Foreign Minister discussed the global importance of acting on the climate crisis and underscored our close scientific cooperation in Antarctica.  Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Mahuta also discussed New Zealand’s new Pacific Resilience approach to the region and coordinated efforts to support Pacific partners during the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Minister Mahuta comments on Twitter - A warm kōrero with @SecBlinken today. Our two countries enjoy a deep, long-lasting friendship that is based on shared democratic values. We discussed a number of significant issues, including Pacific resilience, the Indo-Pacific regional agenda and our shared concerns to ensure greater stability in the region.

  • 23 Nov 2021 3:26 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Blerter is an event delivery platform which has worked with the America’s Cup, USA Triathlon National Championships and the Kansas City Marathon. They are raising up to $10 million to drive their growth in the US. Led by Founder and CEO Richard Gill, they have just signed a partnership with St John in New Zealand that will see Blerter rolled out at over 4,000 outdoor sports events and festivals each year. They are now planning to do the same throughout America. If you are interested in investing in this kiwi company. ENQUIRE NOW


  • 22 Nov 2021 5:18 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Marlborough Wine Estates has appointed Winesellers its exclusive USA importer for its OTU Estate brand.

    MWE said Winesellers was already a business partner and it would now import and market OTU Estate wines in all 50 US states, available in the market from February 2022.

    “MWE is excited to be working with Winesellers and is looking forward to growing our business together in the largest export market for NZ wines,” said MWE chief executive Catherine Ma.

    Illinois-based Winesellers imported and marketed fine wines from around the world to the US market.

    Winesellers co-president Jordan Sager said New Zealand has been “trending very positively over the last several years in the US market, and ripe for higher-quality, estate produced wines from unique growing regions”.

    “We see a tremendous opportunity to grow our partnership with OTU who produce top estate wines from Marlborough’s Awatere Valley sub-region.”


  • 21 Nov 2021 2:06 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    SYDNEY (Nov. 4, 2021) –– California-based Impossible Foods has arrived in Australia and New Zealand, marking the company’s third and fourth international market launches in 14 months. Impossible Foods’ flagship product, Impossible™ Beef Made From Plants (known as Impossible™ Burger in other markets), is now available on the menus of top chefs in Auckland, New Zealand, the greater Sydney area, and nationwide across Australia at Grill’d — Australia’s leading national burger brand.

    Earlier this year, Australia and New Zealand's regulatory body, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), approved Impossible Foods’ key ingredient, heme (soy leghemoglobin), for use in plant-based meat products, paving the way for Impossible Foods’ commercial launch in both markets. To date, the ingredient has been approved for sale in every market that has completed its regulatory review.

    “Our launches in Australia and New Zealand are another huge step towards bringing delicious, sustainable options to every market in the world,” said Dennis Woodside, president of Impossible Foods. “Both countries are home to some of the most devoted meat-eaters on earth, and we know consumers there are going to love Impossible Beef.”

    Australia and New Zealand are two of the highest meat-consuming countries in the world per capita, alongside the U.S. and Argentina. Both countries are known for their meat-centric culinary scenes and cultural pastimes centered around meat-based dishes — like barbecues, roasts and festivals.

    In addition to Australia and New Zealand, Impossible Foods’ products are available in the U.S., Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and were recently launched in the United Arab Emirates, the company’s first market in the Middle East. Impossible Foods’ mission is to be sold in every major market globally where conventional meat from animals is sold.


    Impossible Foods' innovative approach to transforming the global food system via compelling plant-based products has the potential to be a powerful part of Australia's ambitious goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The production of animals for use in food is responsible for up to 17% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and animal farming destroys vast swaths of natural habitat that would otherwise be vital in removing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. Impossible Beef has a far lower environmental footprint than conventional meat: 96% less land, 87% less water and 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to beef from cows produced in the U.S. An ISO conforming comparative Life Cycle Assessment commissioned by Impossible Foods to compare Impossible Beef to cows produced in the Australia-NZ region is expected to demonstrate similar environmental benefits.

    Impossible Beef also contains no animal hormones or antibiotics and is packed with nutrients. Each 113-gram serving of Impossible Beef delivers 18.8 grams of protein and is a good source of iron, fibre and B vitamins (Niacin and B12). In its approval of Impossible Foods' key ingredient, heme (soy leg hemoglobin), Food Standards Australia New Zealand noted that the decision "supports greater consumer choice for meat analogue products with a source of iron which may benefit consumers wanting to reduce or eliminate animal products from their diet." The body added that approval of the ingredient "supports greater consistency with international food regulations, industry innovations and creates trade opportunities for Australia and New Zealand."


    Australians are now able to try Impossible Beef at all 150+ locations of the country’s iconic burger brand, Grill’d, and at Chef Julian Cincotta’s popular restaurant Butter — a fried chicken concept with several locations in the greater Sydney area. Simon Crowe, founder and managing director of Grill’d, said of the launch: “We’re incredibly passionate about creating healthy, sustainable and — most importantly — delicious burgers, so we’re thrilled to be the first national restaurant group in Australia to add Impossible Beef to our menu. They're unbelievably mouth-watering and made for people who love meat; you'll think you're eating the real thing! Impossible Beef is the natural next step for Grill’d in our mission to challenge the status quo with innovative, healthy and sustainable products. We can't wait for guests to taste the new Impossible range at Grill'd.” In New Zealand, Impossible Beef will debut at burger chain Burger Burger and the Middle Eastern restaurant Fatima’s, two popular local spots founded by hospitality entrepreneurs and sisters Mimi and Sophie Gilmour. It will also debut at the modern bakery Ashby, the French-inspired restaurant Cantine and at Waiheke Island’s iconic restaurant Vino Vino, helmed by Chef Connie Aldao.

    To learn more about Impossible Foods’ launch in Australia and New Zealand, and to find a participating restaurant, please visit or Impossible Beef is also available to order via Impossible Foods’ local importers Beak & Johnston (B&J) in Australia and Integrity Food Distributors (IFD) in New Zealand. Any restaurant operators looking to bring Impossible Beef to their menu can reach out to  or


    California-based Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The privately held food tech startup was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., professor emeritus of biochemistry at Stanford University and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Investors include Mirae Asset Global Investments, Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.

    Impossible Foods was Inc. Magazine’s company of the year  and one of Time Magazine’s 50 Genius companies. The flagship product, Impossible Burger, was named top plant-based burger by the New York Times and received the Food and Beverage (FABI) Award from the National Restaurant Association.

  • 17 Nov 2021 4:10 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Joint U.S. Embassy, NZ Defence Force Media Release. 16 November 2021.

    A United States Navy ship is due to visit New Zealand later this month, arriving in Wellington to take part in a range of activities with the New Zealand Defence Force.

    Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), Rear Admiral David Proctor, said the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and RNZN were looking forward to the visit. The vessel will berth in Wellington.

    “New Zealand and the United States (US) share a strong security and defence relationship, close economic links, and shared interests and values. The NZDF and the US Navy have a long history of engagement and working together; the latest example of which was the interaction by HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Aotearoa with US Navy and other partners’ ships off Guam last month”.

    While in New Zealand the ship and her crew will train and interact with the New Zealand Defence Force including taking part in interoperability exercises and official engagements.

    “Ship visits like this are a demonstration of the US’ active engagement in our region. They present opportunities for improving interoperability between our forces and building trust and understanding between partners”, said Rear Admiral Proctor.

    “NZDF ships and aircraft have also regularly participated in US-hosted exercises such as RIMPAC, and it is nice to be able to return the courtesy and show goodwill as we host a US Navy vessel and her crew here in New Zealand again.”

    Further details of the ship and the visit are yet to be released, but the vessel is an Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, the same class of ship as the USS Sampson, which visited in 2016 for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th Anniversary and International Naval Review.

    During that visit the USS Sampson became involved in the response to the Kaikōura earthquake.

    “When the US Navy last visited New Zealand, that earthquake had just hit, and the importance of interoperability was underscored in a completely unexpected way. But that’s the reality—tomorrow our navies could well be working together to solve problems that don’t exist today. The friendships and understanding between our sailors and their Kiwi counterparts, matter in everything from crisis response to a routine refuelling at sea,” said US Embassy Defense Attaché, Colonel Ian Murray.

    The ship will have at least 14 days isolation at sea prior to entering New Zealand, and prior to disembarkation all crew will have tested negative for COVID-19 and will be fully vaccinated.

    A visit by a US Navy ship has been under consideration by the US since last year.

    The ship will not be visiting any other New Zealand port besides Wellington.

  • 17 Nov 2021 11:42 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Makers of The World’s Best Heat Transfer Open 5th International Facility in Atlanta, GA.

    Atlanta, GA. November 16th, 2021 – Supacolor, an international leader in the garment decorating industry, is continuing their ambitious expansion efforts with the opening of a third facility in the United States. Responding to booming consumer demand, Supacolor has opened this new facility to better serve the US market east of the Mississippi.

    In addition to improved production and fulfillment capabilities, this milestone also means that Supacolor’ will now employ over 100 people in the United States. “One of our mantras here at Supacolor is that we exist to help people grow”, said Rum Walia, President of Supacolor USA. “Adding this new location not only helps our customers grow by providing them with better, faster service, but it also gives our organization an opportunity to help our employees continue to grow in their careers. We couldn’t be more thrilled about the future of Supacolor right now, and we look forward to being a member of Atlanta’s business community”.

    With five total locations in the US, UK and New Zealand, Supacolor manufactures a proprietary heat transfer product, revolutionizing the garment decorating industry by empowering professional printers, clothing brands, brokers, crafters and entrepreneurs.

    For more information, visit or watch this video

  • 16 Nov 2021 5:40 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Rocket Lab has made another acquisition with the US$750 million war chest it raised through its Nasdaq listing.

    The Kiwi-American company says it has bought Planetary Systems Corporation (PSC), a Maryland-based spacecraft separation systems, for US$42m ($59.5m).

    The two-decade old PSC has 25 staff, and counts its new owner among its customers - along with Nasa, the United Launch Alliance and Japan's national space agency.

    The deal was announced this morning NZT with the ink barely dry on Rocket Lab's purchase of Advanced Solutions, a Colorado-based maker of mission simulation systems, and navigation and control solutions, for US$40m - plus a potential US$5m on top if it reaches performance targets for this calendar year.

    And last year, Rocket Lab bought Canadian satellite component maker Sinclair Interplanetary for an undisclosed sum to bolster its "Photon" platform for placing satellites into the right orbit around the Earth, or ferrying them between planets.

    Rocket Lab shares fell 0.6 per cent today to US$14.29 but perked up to US$15.00 in post-market trading for a US$6.41 billion market cap.
    The stock is up 50 per cent since its August listing.

    Despite pandemic disruption pushing Rocket Lab to a wider loss this year, investors have cheered developments including a fatter pipeline of contracts, an expansion of space systems manufacturing capacity, its US$45m acquisition of Colorado mission simulation and guidance system maker Advanced Solutions, and Rocket Lab securing US$24.35 million ($34m) in US military funding towards development of the crew-capable neutron, which will be able to lift an 8-tonne payload into space (or around 20 times the payload capacity of the Electron).

    Founder and CEO Peter Beck told the Herald in August that while some of the cash from the listing would go towards developing Rocket Lab's new, much larger Neutron rocket, some of the funds were also earmarked for acquisitions to expand the company's space systems business - or making satellites and spacecraft.

    Rocket Lab's aim is for space systems to generate 40 per cent of its revenue by 2027 - a year in which it has forecast operating earnings of US$505m on US$1.57b turnover.

    Beck told the Herald that the space systems sector was ripe for consolidation, with dozens of players who were capable, but also small, slow and financially inefficient.

    Being rolled into Rocket Lab gave them scale, and reduced lead times for the Kiwi-American company, which is aiming for a full-service space transportation offering.Meanwhile, Rocket Lab's latest launch - which will include helicopters shadowing the falling first-stage in preparation for a mid-air retrieval - was had to be abandoned last Thursday. The company says with weather around Launch Complex 1 at Mahia improving, it should be able to have another shot tomorrow.


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