Last night I attended the TIN100 awards evening and was delighted to accept the EY ‘10 Companies to Watch’ award for Xero. The EY ‘Ten Companies to Watch’ list is made up of the highest dollar value growth companies in the TIN100. It celebrates how successful New Zealand companies are on the global stage.
This year, after an exceptional record of growth, Xero moved up to third. We’re just after Fisher & Paykel Appliances and Datacom Group. In 2014, Xero ranked fourth amongst New Zealand’s fastest growing hi-tech companies.
New Zealand’s tech sector continues strong growth
Companies must have achieved a minimum of 5 percent growth on the previous year to be considered for this award. Revenues for the EY ‘Ten Companies to Watch’ range from $1B to $14m. The total group growth was $378m (+12.5 percent). A second award, ASB Hot Emerging Companies, included Pushpay, Vend and Serko. Both lists demonstrate the fast growth and success of the New Zealand ICT sector.
Xero has experienced exceptional growth over the past couple of years. In FY2015, operating revenue increased 77 percent to $123.9 million. Paying customers reached 475,000 at 31 March 2015, up 67 percent on the previous year. We now have more than 540,000 customer globally. As a result, Xero was recently ranked number one against international companies as Forbes Most Innovative Growth Company for the second year running.
The TIN100 is compiled by the Technology Investment Network (TIN). It focuses on facilitating the growth of the technology sector in New Zealand. The TIN100 reports show the achievements of New Zealand’s globally-focused companies. Both emerging and long standing, across the hi-tech manufacturing, biotech and ICT sectors.
The TIN100 awards evening
I attended an insightful TIN Talk on Funding for Exponential Growth – the flush of new funding to TIN100. The discussion was led by an expert panel that included:
- Shaun Edlin, Snowball Effect crowdfunding expert
- Mark Peterson, NZX fund manager
- Bill Murphy, Executive Director Enterprise Angels
- Wayne Skerten, Client Director Corporate Banking at ASB
- Lance Jenkins, Executive Director of Waterman Capital for NZVCA
They addressed the changing landscape of funding approaches in the tech industry. Namely high velocity listings, the increased interest from US investors, benefits of angel networks and the emergence of crowdfunding.
Some of the funding channels discussed by the panel might not be relevant for some small businesses. But we are increasingly seeing small businesses turn to crowd funding. Businesses like Yeastie Boys and Invivo wine. Check our our Small Business Guide on Crowdfunding your business idea.
Rapid changes in technology have affected how we think about funding. We’re now exploring avenues that weren’t previously available. New ways of thinking create new ways of doing. We have evolved from bank loans to crowdfunding in a relatively short time.
Changes in communications technology have also made the world a smaller place. It’s really opened up opportunities for small businesses to manage risk and grow their businesses. They can now seek investment not just from local and national investors, but international funders too. Attracting this type of investment further stimulates business confidence and success, and supports our nation’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.