Latest News

AmCham shares news updates from member companies - subscribe by RSS, follow our LinkedIn page or become a member to receive notifications. 
  • 04 Oct 2019 11:10 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Christchurch-based exporter Garra International will merge with global trading company KIT International creating a joint venture, with a combined turnover in excess of NZ$350 million taking New Zealand and international primary produce to the world.

    Garra founder Ali Mossalem said today that combining their resources and product ranges will strengthen both companies as they have complementary markets, products and customers.

    “For example,” Mossalem said, “Garra does not trade in chicken meat, but KIT does. So, for our established customers in the Middle East, the ability to add chicken to our range is likely to grow our market share in that region. Similarly, Garra’s access to some of the best red meats and other primary produce that New Zealand and Australia have to offer will augment KIT’s product range.”

    Mossalem founded Garra in Christchurch 25 years ago. It specialises in marketing and exporting high quality red meat, offal, dairy, vegetables and seafood – sourced from trusted suppliers throughout the world – to markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and North America.

    KIT International was founded in the United States in 2011 and sells around 65,000 tonnes of primary produce annually throughout the world. The company promotes its trading role as an important link between the animal protein production sector and the international consumer market.

    The joint venture will combine 85 current staff and necessitate new hires in Christchurch and other global offices.

    Read more

  • 02 Oct 2019 6:16 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    A Kiwi-made app which uses augmented reality (AR) to help retailers and restaurateurs visualise in-store elements before implementing them has been acquired by an American company.

    Staccar, created by Christchurch-based software developer, Smudge, makes it easy to accurately visualise and customise in-store merchandising elements — such as drinks fridges, display units, signage and more — by virtually placing them in-situ on phone and tablet screens.

    The product dramatically improves the sell-in process for field sales reps, execution managers and visual merchandisers by helping them show and share in-store solutions with customers before they commit.

    "Gone are the days of having to imagine what new elements might look like in a retail space. Now, retailers can see it for themselves in a totally immersive and realistic way,” Reuben Bijl, Managing Director of Smudge, says.

    “Augmented reality offers tremendous potential to help businesses make better decisions, and Staccar is a perfect example of that.”

    “Beyond live visualisation, AR can be used for education, entertainment, communication and collaboration, among many other things.

    “The possibilities are endless and this is the kind of work we love doing — to help businesses around the world solve problems using technology. By building better tools in the virtual world, we can help them make better decisions in the real world.”

    Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, InContext Solutions buys the underlying technology for Staccar, as well as related apps and services.

    Read More

  • 02 Oct 2019 6:13 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Seven New Zealand startups with US market ambitions are set to showcase at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco this week, as part of an in-market immersion week in Silicon Valley organised by ecentre, the business incubator hosted at Massey University.

    The Kiwi startup founders, recent graduates of ecentre’s Sprint Global programme, will join around 10,000 people interested in the startup and technology world aTechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019. A New Zealand Pavilion in Startup Alley, hosted by ecentre, will provide a valuable opportunity for the startups to showcase their tech products, platforms and services at the event.

    The startups showcasing at TechCrunch, as part of the ecentre’s New Zealand Pavilion, include:

    • Bee Intelligence – software and technology for precision apiculture from bee hive to honey jar

    • Demandlytix - real time consumer demand platform to help business planning

    • iLose - weight loss app for coaches and their clients

    • Narrative Muse - an artificial intelligence company that engages audiences and predicts demand for women-focused content

    • PICMI - the seasonal staffing solution - hiring and working made easy!

    • Sparrows – real time freight tracking, monitoring and alerts for the supply chain

    • Trickle - maximising hospitality venues by tracking every drop of beer poured on tap

    Read More

  • 30 Sep 2019 6:26 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Cin7, a pioneer in cloud-based inventory management software (IMS) and point-of-sale (POS) solutions, has agreed to a majority investment from Rubicon Technology Partners (“Rubicon”), a US-based private equity firm that invests exclusively in enterprise software companies. The funding will be used to accelerate Cin7’s global growth strategy through product innovation, sales expansion and continued investment in customer success.

    “This investment validates all of the hard work our team has put in to building a market-leading product and delivering best-in-class support to our growing, global customer base,”

    said Danny Ing, Founder and Chief Architect of Cin7.

    “We are now doubling-down to reach the global growth we know is possible with a great partner that has the resources, operational expertise and cultural fit to accelerate our growth.”

    “With the most comprehensive, easy to use and swift-to-implement inventory management software product on the market, Cin7 is ready to become the clear leader in the global IMS market,”

    said Jason Winsten, Partner, Rubicon.

    “The company has built a highly differentiated IMS solution that solves a critical and complex problem for growing merchants selling their products through multiple online and offline channels. Cin7’s proven ability to capture global market share provides a strong foundation for continued growth, which we plan to aggressively accelerate with our investment in and partnership with the Cin7 team.”

    Read more

  • 29 Sep 2019 6:09 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Coffee chain Mojo has caught the attention of some high-profile All Blacks in its pursuit to conquer the United States cafe scene.

    The Kiwi rugby stars are among a group of 15 international rugby players, current and retired, setting up an investment company to buy into the business.

    Last year investment company ADP Investments, set up by Brett Gamble and rich-lister Ben Gough, bought a 35 per cent stake in Mojo after plans for Cooks Global Foods to buy the company for $19 million fell through.

    Gamble said ADP Investment's stake in the business had grown to 57 per cent over the last six months.

    Gamble did not reveal who the players were, but said this would be announced within the next month.

    US investment company Soulcaster also recently bought a 13 per cent stake in Mojo.

    "It really is nice to see a range of different investors recognising the opportunity in Mojo. They love the New Zealand export opportunity. The backing of a US-based investor gives some quantum and justification for what we're doing.

    "And it's great having high-profile rugby players involved because they have great brands they can attach to the business."

    The coffee chain was opening its fourth cafe in Chicago, two years after launching in the US.

    Read More

  • 28 Sep 2019 3:34 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Kevin Burnett as New Zealand’s next Consul-General in Honolulu.

    “The Consul-General role in Honolulu is an important one particularly as New Zealand places increased importance on regional diplomatic engagement through the Pacific Reset policy,” said Mr Peters.

    “Mr Burnett is well qualified for this posting. He has previously served as Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and is currently seconded of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has also held senior roles in the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence following a distinguished career as an NZDF Army Officer,” said Mr Peters.

    Mr Burnett will also be New Zealand’s accredited Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and Republic of Marshall Islands.

    “From his post in Honolulu the new Consul-General will liaise with the United States Indo-Pacific Command on opportunities for strengthen cooperation. And within the wider North Pacific he will represent New Zealand on climate change, fisheries, and oceans policy,” said Mr Peters.

    The new Consul General will start his posting in early December.


  • 26 Sep 2019 6:35 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Kiwi maternity activewear company Cadenshae is enjoying huge success in the US, with sales tripling in the region since launching in 2017.

    The $5 million-dollar enterprise broke into the US after learning the maternity industry was set to become one of the largest growth segments there, with 60 percent of women turning to maternity apparel for a comfortable solution to their wardrobe.

    Since being founded in 2015, Cadenshae has become the world’s most popular and recognised maternity activewear brands. The e-commerce business specialises in stylish sportswear specifically designed for nursing mums and mums-to-be. From breastfeeding sports bras, tank tops and t-shirts to hoodies and medically endorsed maternity leggings, all merchandise is made from high quality materials, and designed to last.

    Cadenshae owner and founder, Nikki Clarke says she ‘stumbled-upon’ the niche market that globally, was not being serviced properly.

    “After giving birth to my first daughter four years ago, I realised there was nothing for me to wear to the gym and to feed my baby in. I searched high and low for something suitable to wear and came up with nothing."

    "I thought I couldn’t be the only new mum with this problem, so after a bit of research, I realised there was a major shortfall for this type of clothing, and soon after Cadenshae was born,”

    says Clarke.

    Read more

  • 24 Sep 2019 2:31 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Unveiled at The AmCham Success and Innovation Awards and now viewable everywhere!

    Thanks to Rebecca Caroe for shepherding the Board though the design options.

  • 20 Sep 2019 5:59 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Cloud security, networking and storage vendor Barracuda Networks has launched its MSP business in Australia and New Zealand.

    Barracuda MSP is a dedicated unit of the vendor that focuses on IT service provider partners and delivering security and data protection via its purpose-built MSP platform.

    To support the launch, Barracuda has appointed dedicated staff in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to support MSPs in Australia and New Zealand. Specifically, these include a regional account director in Brisbane, a solutions engineer in Sydney and a field marketing manager in Melbourne.

    These appointments are in addition to Barracuda's existing local teams and the vendor also has support staff from Barracuda’s APAC office in Hong Kong dedicated to the A/NZ MSP market.

    In a statement, the company said it is ready to further grow those teams as required to meet partners' needs.

    "Australia and New Zealand are very important markets for Barracuda as we continue to extend our position as a cloud security and data protection solution provider," said Andrew Huntley, regional sales director for A/NZ and Pacific Islands for Barracuda. 

    Read more
  • 18 Sep 2019 6:05 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker's representatives have discussed his planned investment in Weta Digital with the Overseas Investment Office, but are yet to lodge a formal application.

    Weta and Parker announced the deal last week, which will see Parker take a minority stake in the Wellington-based digital and cinematic effects firm which has built a global reputation working on blockbuster movies. US-based representatives for Weta wouldn't provide any more detail.

    Parker co-founded the controversial music file-sharing service Napster in 1999 and served as the first president of social media juggernaut Facebook in 2004.

    Foreign investment in New Zealand needs regulatory approval if it involves buying or acquiring an interest in sensitive land, such as residential property, or crosses the $100 million threshold for business assets.

    Palo Alto-based Weta Holdings was formed in April this year in the state of Delaware, with Tom van Loben Sels and Michael Polansky named as managers. Both are board members of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which was founded and is chaired by Parker.

    Weta Digital is the visual effects arm of Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor's Wellington film empire. It sits alongside post-production unit Park Road Post Production, equipment hire company Portsmouth Rentals, physical effects unit Weta Workshop, and the WingNut Films production company.

    Read more