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  • 12 Apr 2022 3:02 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    LawVu, a collaboration software company for in-house legal teams, has raised $NZ20 million ($USD13.5 million) on the back of another year of 100 per cent-plus revenue growth.

    The business, which was founded by Sam Kidd and Tim Boyne in 2015, has had a growth surge on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, which encouraged in-house legal teams to adopt collaborative software to help manage their work remotely. Its software helps teams manage contracts, documents, e-billing, outsourced work and reporting from a single cloud-based platform.

    The raise was positioned as an extension to LawVu’s $NZ17 million series A round, which closed mid-last year.
    It was led by the New York-based global private equity firm Insight Partners, with participation from existing local backer AirTree Ventures.

    Mr Kidd told The Australian Financial Review that extending the series A funding round had bought the company time before it embarked on a larger series B round next year.

    “We’ve always tried to be capital-efficient, and we haven’t cashed up to the same extent as US companies … and this brings us more in line with what a series A in the US looks like,” he said.

    “We were loving the investment partners we have, and it made sense [to raise more capital] to keep building up the team, proving what we can do, and we had a lot of backing from [the investors] to focus on execution.”

    Telstra was LawVu’s first customer win, and it has since added AMP, Expedia, coffee chain Dutch Bros, Deloitte and PwC, as well as fast-growing tech companies such as Linktree and Splunk. It has customers in more than 30 countries globally.

    When a company decides to adopt LawVu, its team can be up and running on the software within hours.

    “LawVu’s mission to streamline the legal environment is critical for in-house legal teams managing business complexities in a fast-paced world,”

    AirTree Ventures partner James Cameron said. “When we’re lucky enough to have an inside view to see a company outperform in the way LawVu has, it’s an easy decision to double down on our investment.”

    The cash injection will support another 40 to 60 hires, taking LawVu’s headcount up to 180 by the end of the year. It will also be used to build more features into the platform.

    “The investment is really about people, and that’s across the board in a number of areas, including the go-to-market team, sales, marketing, customer success and engineering talent,” Mr Kidd said.

    “That’s something every company is struggling with. It’s super-competitive at the moment.”

    “Recruitment is selling. A lot of companies out there still act like it’s a privilege to work for them, but we sell the dream of working at LawVu.”
    In an effort to retain staff and attract the best talent, Mr Kidd said the business had been hit by higher wage pressures.

    “Pain is what I’m feeling. It’s so competitive. People are more comfortable hiring people out of their region or country, and it’s a dangerous thing for Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

    “We’re competing whether you want or not with US companies. If you’re young, happy and can work awkward hours … and there’s a US company throwing around US dollars, it makes them powerful.”

  • 12 Apr 2022 2:42 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Today, we’re announcing we’ve acquired NZXR, a world-class AR studio based in New Zealand. NZXR has led the creation of AR-first experiences for years, helping companies and brands create engaging and interactive AR apps and prototypes for mobile phones and AR headsets. Joining Niantic, the NZXR team will become an integral part of the design and development of multiplayer real-world AR experiences unique to Niantic.

    Our goal has always been to create augmented reality experiences that can be enjoyed by millions of people and to build the technology that powers them and third-party applications – Niantic Lightship. From Ingress to Pokémon GO, and Pikmin Bloom, people around the world have come together to complete Ingress missions, catch Pokémon, collect Pikmin, and explore the world. The NZXR team will help us accelerate new kinds of AR experiences for the real-world metaverse where our explorers can create, contribute, and interact with digital objects in a way that is persistent and shared by everyone.

    NZXR shares this vision for how technology can positively impact our lives out in the physical world. They have created unique multiplayer AR experiences that blend the real and digital worlds for mobile phones, and AR headsets from Qualcomm and Magic Leap. The team has built dozens of experiences and supported projects ranging from interactive theater to AR skateboarding to multiplayer AR demos, and more.

    We’re excited to welcome NZXR to Niantic and continue building the future of AR and the real-world metaverse together. For NZXR’s shared perspective on the news, please see the blog post from James Everett, the co-founder of NZXR.

    -Dennis Hwang, VP of Visual and Interaction Design

  • 12 Apr 2022 10:37 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Key AmChams in the Indo-Pacific Region Digital Trade Recommendations

    Comments to the Office of the US Trade Representative
    Fair and Resilient Trade Pillar of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

    Key American Chambers of Commerce (“AmChams”) located in the Indo-Pacific welcome and support the Biden Administration’s proposal of an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). This region is where the future of the digital economy will be determined. In looking to build a strong cooperation framework that is relevant for the 21st century, it is essential that the IPEF include strong digital trade rules and standards which would facilitate the growth of digital trade and commerce between the US and the Asia-Pacific region.

    Supporting this statement are the AmChams in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam.

    Collectively, we call on the US to play a leadership role in shaping the digital trade landscape. The US should build on the digital trade rules in the US-Mexico-Canada FTA (USMCA), the US- Japan Digital Trade Agreement, as well as the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement in considering IPEF digital trade disciplines. For US business operations, these rules and standards are particularly important and pertinent to include in the IPEF in promoting open digital markets, facilitating digital trade, and promoting trust in the digital economy.

    Promoting open digital markets

    The IPEF should promote open digital markets, including the ability to transfer and access data across borders which is critical to all economic sectors. When data flows are restricted, exporters and other stakeholders are hurt. Core principles such as non-discrimination should be applied to digital trade and digital products. Recommended provisions:

    •       Prohibiting digital customs duties
    •       Ensuring non-discriminatory treatment of digital products
    •       Prohibiting forced data localization
    •       Enabling cross-border data flows
    •       Banning forced tech transfers and forced disclosure of source code and algorithms
    •       Ensuring technology choice
    •       Promoting a free and open internet

    Facilitating digital trade

     The IPEF should promote rules and initiatives that make it easier to conduct digital trade across borders. This includes a range of measures including the adoption of digital signatures, e- invoicing to help make trade and customs processes more transparent and efficient, and encouraging the development of interoperable e-payments systems. Recommended provisions:

    •       Enabling paperless trade
    •       Permitting the use of electronic authentication, e-signatures and e-invoicing
    •       Logistics and express shipments
    •       Promoting the development of interoperable e-payments systems
    •       Prohibiting spam


    Promoting trust in the digital economy

     Trust is fundamental to the growth and development of the digital economy and cross-border digital transactions. IPEF should promote cooperation on privacy, cybersecurity, and trust in data flows, while ensuring that businesses can transfer data across borders through interoperable data transfer mechanisms. IPEF should also promote measures that help to create a safe online environment for digital transactions and trade. At the same time, IPEF should also set guardrails around digital regulation which is used as a guise for protectionism or censorship and access to private data held by companies and individuals. Recommended provisions:

    •       Promoting the protection of personal information in digital trade, ensuring that information is transferred across borders consistent with strong privacy principles
    •       Promoting interoperable cross-border data transfer mechanisms such as the APEC Cross- Border Privacy Rules
    •       Promoting cybersecurity cooperation
    •       Ensuring that content removal measures are reasonable and tailored to the objective of promoting online safety
    •       Promoting online consumer protection Promoting inclusive trade

    IPEF should ensure that digital technologies are utilized to bring the traditionally marginalized groups including small businesses, women, minorities, and rural communities into global trade. IPEF should focus on expanding access to technology so that these communities can participate in and benefit from being plugged into global value chains and the global marketplace. Recommendations:

    •       Recognizing digital inclusion as a driver of economic and social development and enabling access to digital tools and technologies for all
    •       Enabling SME access and participation in digital trade by removing need for local presence
    •       Enabling greater access to public government data, especially for SMEs
    •       Increasing access to retraining, workforce development and digital skills
    •       Cooperation on digital capacity building

    # # #

  • 08 Apr 2022 12:41 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    HONOLULU – Hawaiian Airlines today confirmed its long-awaited return to New Zealand on July 2 with the resumption of three-times-weekly nonstop flights between Honolulu (HNL) and Auckland (AKL), ending a more than two-year-long suspension due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.

    “Our July return comes at just the right time as Kiwis looking to get away this winter can now take a much-needed tropical escape to the Hawaiian Islands or visit the continental United States. We look forward to welcoming them back with our authentic Hawaiian hospitality and unparalleled onboard service,” said Andrew Stanbury, regional director for Australia and New Zealand at Hawaiian Airlines. “The resumption of our New Zealand service, along with the restart of our Sydney service in December, completes the reopening of our Oceania market – an integral piece of our company’s post-pandemic recovery.”

    HA445 will resume on July 2, departing HNL Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:25 p.m. and arriving at AKL at 9:45 p.m. the next day. Beginning July 4, HA446 will depart AKL on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 11:55 p.m. with a 10:50 a.m. same-day arrival at HNL, allowing guests to settle in and explore O‘ahu or connect to any of Hawaiian Airlines’ four Neighbor Island destinations. Kiwi travelers also regain access to the carrier’s extensive U.S. domestic network of 16 gateways, including new destinations in Austin, Orlando, and Ontario, California, with the option to enjoy a stopover on the Hawaiian Islands in either direction.

    Hawaiian has proudly served as one of the leading carriers for service between New Zealand and Hawaiʻi since March 2013. The airline will continue to operate its AKL-HNL route with 278-seat, spacious wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft featuring 18 Premium Cabin lie-flat leather seats, 68 of its popular Extra Comfort seats and 192 Main Cabin seats. Guests onboard Hawaiian’s transpacific flights to Hawaiʻi will also experience its new Travel Pono in-flight video, which debuted last year to encourage visitors to experience Hawai‘i safely and respectfully.

    hose arriving in Hawaiʻi must comply with U.S. federal travel requirements, including providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a negative test result obtained no more than one day prior to travel. Non-citizens traveling from Hawaiʻi to New Zealand need to submit proof of vaccination and a negative test result before entering the country, and take two rapid antigen tests upon arrival. All international guests are encouraged to reference official government channels for the latest updates as they prepare for their trip.

    For flight schedules and to purchase tickets, visit

  • 29 Mar 2022 8:12 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Ampersand investment opportunity Syft is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Ampersand Capital Partners (Ampersand) to invest $22.8m in Syft, subject to shareholder approval. Ampersand will subscribe to 17,545,000 convertible preference shares, equivalent to 19.6% of the total shares post-investment, at a price of $1.30 per share.

    Ampersand is a Boston, Massachusetts, USA based private equity investor, founded in 1988 and with more than US$2billion assets under management. They specialise in the life sciences and healthcare sectors, and have deep expertise in this space.

    As part of the investment, Syft will also welcome Mr David Patteson to the Board. Mr Patteson leads Ampersand’s Portfolio Acceleration team, and currently serves as Chairman of US headquartered Alliance Pharma. He has over 30 years of experience in the space in Board and CEO roles, scaling businesses built on mass spectrometry and other analytical instrumentation technologies.

    Alex Fala, CEO of Syft, comments “Syft continues to build momentum in our core business. The capital from Ampersand will allow us to accelerate our progress in the semiconductor market and develop our next scalable opportunity in life sciences. Dave Patteson and Ampersand have deep expertise and networks that are directly applicable in Syft. We couldn’t think of a better partner to have on our next phase.”

    Dave Patteson, Partner at Ampersand, shared “Syft has a remarkable technology and product platform, with notable traction in semiconductor and adjacent segments. Their life science market pull, applications and commercial expertise, combined with Ampersand’s investments, should allow for meaningful penetration and adoption rates. We are thrilled to partner with their executive team, board, and shareholders to help realize the full potential.

    ” Following this announcement shareholders will receive two invitations:
    1. A formal notice of meeting to attend the Special Meeting to vote on the ordinary resolutions to issue capital and formally appoint Mr Patteson to the Board. And;
    2. An update on the company strategy from CEO, Alex Fala, at 10am, Thursday 7 th April. Please register your interest via the following link, where you will also find further instructions on how to participate.

    Operational Update
    We are now in the final days of the financial year, and Syft is projecting an unaudited full year revenue of $34m, 18% growth YoY.

    Mr Fala commented “We are pleased to have returned to growth mode in FY22. We have a large pipeline, including significant potential orders from our major customers. We had aimed for more of that revenue to come into the FY22 year, but that hasn’t ultimately met with our customers’ operational plans and the impacts of the Omicron variant. That’s somewhat the reality of the current concentration in our revenue, which we continue to work on in our sales activities.”

    To further support the business growth, Syft has appointed Sharonn Zimmerman as Vice President of People and Capability. Sharonn will oversee every aspect of the people function as Syft develops its talent, capability and culture to enable global growth.

    Sharonn brings over 30 years of experience in a myriad of HR leadership roles. In her early career, she was appointed by Ixchange/FrontRange Solutions as HR Director to support their transition from a private to Nasdaq listed company. She spent 12 years with Dimension Data / NTT, as head of the talent integration and organisational development practices, receiving a number of awards for her innovative, people-centred approach and ability to scale for growth. She joins Syft after spending just short of three-years in a strategic HR role with the Ministry of Social Development, the lead agency in the social sector.

    Sharonn commented, "I'm thrilled at the opportunity of joining Syft, a homegrown success story, and returning to my business roots. Syft is a big little company, small enough to enable agility and pace, while also big in ambition and global footprint. I’m particularly energised at the prospect of working alongside a relatively new and dynamic leadership team, and supporting the company’s growth agenda.” Sharonn will join the team based in Christchurch at the end of April.


  • 27 Mar 2022 2:58 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Fix & Fogg is ramping up its US presence where its distribution is now close to 3,000 stores and has just secured a range extension with Whole Foods Market.

    Co-founder and chief executive Roman Jewell told the Ticker the company is on track to be selling eight million jars a year in the next 24 months – up from the current one million – after building on its flagship Whole Foods Market deal to go into 500 stores in July last year.

    “We are now in 3,000 stores across the US but it is all relatively new,” Jewell said.  

    “What Whole Foods did was lead to a cascade of new distribution. We’ve been in some of those stores only 2-3 months and some of them have said we’re taking you and putting it on the shelf next month so we’re building out the brand across the US.” 

    The Wellington company will “just continue to ramp”, Jewell added, with a range extension with Whole Foods helping to drive growth. From May, the 25-employee nut butter company will see its current deal with the leading US retailer’s 500 stores extended from three to seven SKUs.

    “The range extension has come about because of what we brought to the category. That was, sure, good quality products, but also innovative – we brought interesting flavours to a category that was a little bit stagnant,” Jewell said.

    “Shoppers have their weekly favourites, but they still want to be dazzled, they still want to find cool things. It is important for Whole Foods and other natural and specialty grocery stores that they deliver that, I think we have helped solve a problem.”

    For a relatively small company, Fix & Fogg was also deeply invested in what is one of the world’s largest nut butter markets. 

    It has a Houston-based team led by US general manager Blake Lupton and ploughed US$500,000 into a joint venture with a Colorado manufacturer to secure its own line, which completed in September.

    All of this was a “massive financial commitment for the business,” said Jewell, who co-owned the company with his wife Andrea, but it has been a bet that is paying off.

    “We always wanted to go down the path of being present in that market, not just present with our product but physically present with our brand, our values, our people because it shows a level of seriousness,” he said.

    “America is a market where everybody turns up with the next best thing or the latest trend, but it can have a lot of gloss and veneer without substance.

    “We have a really good quality product first and foremost, and a team that could deliver it.”

    Jewell added that it was a different approach from a typical export strategy, “which is to put lots of things in containers and send them off around the world and attend trade shows once a year”. 

    “We are really trying to show that this is both a New Zealand and American based business. The model we applied is very hungry for capital, but it has proven itself.”

    While it had run the rule over other markets within reach of its US manufacturing hub – such as Canada and Europe – the focus remained on the US for now, in nataural and speciality grocery stores.

    “We have a rule of thumb here that it always takes at least two years to actually prove and make a product or the brand work in a market,” Jewell said.

    “People have to get to know it, you have huge start-up costs in terms of slotting fees, setting up distribution and marketing so it is always good to take a long term play.

    “Markets like the US can just chew money up. You have to go in knowing what you are getting yourself into, and if you go in undercooked you could just come unstuck and end up retrenching back to where you were. You need enough gas in the tank to get through a couple of years.”

    There was plenty more to play for in the US, and Fix & Fogg had the ability to build another line or another facility there should it need to.

    “There are 380 million people in America versus 5 million here in New Zealand and thousands of grocery stores. It is the largest nut butter category in the world so it is neat to be playing in there and it is neat to be in the best stores in that market.”


  • 25 Mar 2022 9:22 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    A Kiwi company has secured a US export contract to supply one of New York’s tallest skyscrapers with its wool flooring product.

    The $1.1 billion Brooklyn Tower will be home to hundreds of the city’s elite and will stand at 327 metres when it opens later this year, making it one of the world’s tallest residential buildings.

    The new contract will see Bremworth supply over 3,000sqm of wool carpet for the 93 storey, supertall skyscraper and is one of the company’s largest ever installations of its natural fibre product in the US.[1]

    The North American deal is the highest profile commercial contract for the company since Bremworth’s wool carpets were used in the refurbishment of dozens of US retail outlets owned by Cartier, the luxury French jewellery maker.

    Greg Smith, Bremworth CEO, says the contract is significant endorsement for the New Zealand wool industry.

    “The landmark Brooklyn Tower will have 550 residential apartments with multi-million-dollar entry points and will stand over 100 metres taller than the next tallest building in this borough of New York.

    “The selection of our wool carpet for this project is a testament to the quality of both New Zealand wool as well as Bremworth’s manufacturing capability and is set to help open other export opportunities in this market,” he says.

    Smith says their New Zealand made product commands a price premium in the US market.

    He says leveraging high profile installations such as the new Brooklyn skyscraper are necessary to help the company mitigate the impact of import tariffs that reduce their competitiveness in the US.

    “We know that consumers have had the last couple of years to review their interiors as they have spent more time living and working at home.

    “As a result, we are seeing a conscious shift towards making their surroundings a more natural environment - as part of an enhancement to their overall health and wellbeing.

    “The US market has traditionally been dominated by synthetic carpets and as a natural fibre manufacturer from a country that is renowned for its environment and high standard of farming practices, this is creating a significant opportunity for us.

    “Our wool carpet retails at a premium in North America, when compared to plastic based synthetic carpets which make up around 95% of carpet sold in that country.

    The use of Bremworth products in high profile installations such as the Brooklyn Tower and Cartier stores provide us with a unique marketing opportunity to grow our presence and exports of New Zealand wool in this lucrative market,” he says.

    [1] A ‘supertall’ building is an occupied structure between 300 - 600 metres in height.

  • 23 Mar 2022 9:25 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Getting to New York just got easier. Today, Air New Zealand has announced its first flight to the Big Apple will be on 17 September this year.  

    Landing at John F. Kennedy Airport, the airline will operate its flagship Auckland-New York route three times a week, year-round with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The new service further deepens the alliance between Air New Zealand and United Airlines. 

    Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says with international flying on hiatus for two years and the New Zealand border reopening on 2 May to visa-waiver countries, this is the moment Kiwis have been waiting for.  

    “New York is an iconic yet familiar city, a bucket list item. And now for the first time, Kiwis can visit the city of all cities with a non-stop flight. New Zealand lets you slow down – in New York, everything is bigger and faster, it’s exciting and awe inspiring – and it’s now closer than ever.” 

    “The US has always been a key market for us, and this new route cements our commitment to developing growing tourism opportunities between the two countries. In the six years leading up to Covid, the US visitor numbers to New Zealand doubled and looking at the average spend in New Zealand by US tourists, we estimate that this new route would contribute an additional $65M per year into the local economy. 

    “Traditionally, flight numbers 1 and 2 are used for an airline’s flagship route. And that’s what New York will be – our flagship route.” 

    Departing Auckland at 7:40pm, customers will enjoy Air New Zealand’s award-winning cabin experience, and literally wake up in the city that never sleeps. 

    “We’ve worked incredibly hard over the last few years to make this ultra-long-haul service a reality – it’s one of the longest routes in the world, at just over 16 hours northbound and 17 and a half hours southbound. To ensure customers arrive in New York feeling refreshed, we’ve put a lot of thought into the onboard experience and teams are working around the clock to make sure this a great flying experience.” 

    After a stopover in New York, for customers wanting to travel further afield, Air New Zealand’s strong partnership with United Airlines can connect them on to domestic destinations across the US, Canada and the United Kingdom. For those wanting to explore more of Europe, thanks to Air New Zealand’s network of partnerships, customers can also fly direct from New York to Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, Brussels, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Stockholm 

    The new service will also provide greater choice for travellers between New Zealand and North America, with Air New Zealand serving seven destinations in North America – Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angles, San Francisco, Vancouver - and soon - New York.   

    Tickets are now on sale at  

    Inaugural outbound flight schedule – 17 September only: 

    Flight No. 

    Operated by 

    Aircraft type 





    Air New Zealand 

    Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 



    New York 



    Flight schedule effective 19 September: 

    Flight No. 

    Operated by 

    Aircraft type 





    Air New Zealand 

    Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 



    New York 


    Mon, Thu, Sat 


    Air New Zealand 

    Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 

    New York 



    07:30 +2 

    Flights will arrive in to and depart from Terminal 1 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

    Flights are subject to government and regulatory requirements. 


  • 16 Mar 2022 1:25 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    DoorDash, the United States’ largest on-demand platform for door-to-door food delivery, appears to be planning to launch in New Zealand next month.

    The multibillion-dollar company is expected to shake up New Zealand’s hospitality sector because it is expected to offer cheaper fees for restaurants compared to UberEats, Delivereasy and Menulog.

    It is advertising for multiple New Zealand workers on LinkedIn, and it registered DoorDash Technologies New Zealand with the Companies Office in November.

    “DoorDash is looking for top talent to play a pivotal role in building our business in New Zealand," its LinkedIn post reads.

    It has been reported that DoorDash is planning to launch in this country on April 13. The food delivery service already has an Australian presence, having launched there in 2019. It claims to operate across 85 per cent of Australia with more than 40,000 local drivers called “Dashers”.

    But a DoorDash spokeswoman said there was nothing to report at this time.

    “International expansion is a growth priority for us, just as expansion into new categories and new use cases are,” she said.

    “We have made solid progress in our international markets, and we expect to invest further in these markets, and will evaluate others where we believe we can provide a unique value proposition to merchants, consumers, and Dashers."

    Its international market included Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Germany, she said.

    It also launched a deal with Afterpay in Australia, allowing customers to pay for both orders and subscriptions over split instalments.

    The amount being spent on food delivery services in New Zealand has tripled since the pandemic began two years ago.


  • 11 Mar 2022 12:54 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Local online building marketplace, ArchiPro, has big plans to grow in Australia after raising $35 million from investors led by a New York-based private equity firm, Tiger Global.

    The Series A funding round was supported by local Icehouse Ventures and Liger Trading. 

    ArchiPro's website helps to connect people who want to renovate or build  home with possible product suppliers or architects.

    ArchiPro Chief Executive, Milot Zeqiri, said that: “They can now hire more staff, develop products and capitalise on its rapid expansion across the Tasman. The growth in Australia has been really good for us. The uptake has been incredible, and we've been able to sign up more clients in the six months that we've been live in Australia than it took us about two years to sign up in New Zealand.” 

    RNZ article