When you come from New Zealand, you get used to being left off the map, quite literally. I kid you not, there is a blog that assiduously documents moments when the world forgot to draw its youngest sibling to the right of its brash and self-assured big brother, Australia.
But despite this regular oversight by the world’s collective cartographers , New Zealand’s tech scene is quietly getting itself onto the global map, in a big, figurative way. Investment and innovation is ramping up year on year and companies like Xero and Datacom are helping shape the country’s technology narrative.
According to a Technology Investment Network 100 report released late last year, the local tech sector saw a 12 percent lift in revenue generated between 2015 and 2016, jumping to $9.422B from $8.412B. Tellingly, the gap between dairy export earnings and tech earnings is closing, signalling New Zealand’s push towards becoming a true information and innovation economy may be getting real traction.
For an interesting overview of the region’s growth you can also check out Tristan Pollock’s post on Medium here.
To add fuel to this innovation fire, the country has recently announced the launch of its first fintech accelerator, a collaboration between tech companies and the country’s state owned bank, Kiwibank.
On the 19th of January, the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator announced its first cohort, a line-up of 7 local fintech startups with big ambitions. The accelerator will take a 6% equity stake in each company in exchange for $20,000 in cash and $800,000 in perks. Below is a brief overview of each startup and an extract from their full profile. To learn more, check out the full media release here.
The AccountingPod platform provides each learner with a real life business in a real industry to build their financial literacy.
This is the first business focused financial literacy startup I’ve personally seen. Considering many businesses fail in their first year, it looks like AccountingPod have found a good problem to get stuck into.
An online platform to bring clarity and management to small to medium business’ insurance policy management.
This is interesting, I saw something very similar targeted at consumers at Next Money Fintech Finals in Hong Kong last week, a company called PolicyPal.
An accessible digital platform that makes it easy (and maybe even a little addictive) to invest.
An affordable, modern wealth management platform that helps people reach their savings goals.
Innovative health savings program to support people from all income groups to participate in a savings and rewards program that promotes healthy lifestyle and timely access to healthcare professionals.
An on-demand platform allowing landlords to manage their property for a fraction of the cost of a property manager.
Thinking of travelling down under?
The accelerator is building a network of mentors, so if you’re keen to get involved and feel like you might have something to offer, you can contact them here. Ideally you’d be able to drop in now and then, which does make it difficult if you live on the other side of the world. But who doesn’t need a great excuse to visit New Zealand anyway? The coffee is great, the people are top-notch and there are no animals that can kill you – unlike its nearest neighbour. Happy travelling!