Archive for March, 2014

Kogan expands into New Zealand

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Photo credit; Nick Kean on Flickr

Photo credit; Nick Kean on Flickr

Australian online retailer, Kogan, has expanded into New Zealand with the launch of a dedicated web site for the country recently.

The move gives NZ customers access to a portion of Kogan’s portfolio of brands spanning technology and homeware, as well as its own Agora range. Currently, not all products available to Australian customers can be purchased via the NZ online store.

To support its local operations, Kogan has established a warehouse in Auckland which will stock larger items, including things like televisions.

Smaller items will continue to be shipped from the retailer’s Melbourne and Hong Kong warehouses.

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Advisory board workshops to be held later this year in New Zealand

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Photo credit; Laughlin Elkind on Flickr

Photo credit; Laughlin Elkind on Flickr

Advisory Boards New Zealand will hold a national education campaign to show the benefits to small and medium-sized businesses of working with an advisory board and receiving expert advice.

A series of seminars starting in Wellington later this month will show owners how to get started with their own advisory board. Workshops are also planned for Christchurch later in the year.

“Appointing an advisory board is like setting up an internal think tank of trusted advisors who can help owners make growth decisions and manage their business more effectively,” says Managing Director of Advisory Boards, Helen Down. ”Advisory boards are a perfect platform for getting experts committed to supporting your business into one room and mapping out ideas and actions to drive future growth.”

The advisory board workshops for business owners wishing to learn how to start their own advisory board will start in Wellington on 26 March at the NEC House, Level 6, Wanaka Room, 40 Taranaki Street starting at 10 am and running for three-and-a-half hours.

Other workshops will be held at South Auckland on 28 May, North Shore, Auckland, 29 May, with two sessions at Tauranga on 3 June and a further workshop at Wellington on 25 June.

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Ice Angels doubled investment in Kiwi startups for 2013

Thursday, March 20th, 2014


Photo credit; Elliott Brown on Flickr

Photo credit; Elliott Brown on Flickr

The Icehouse, a business growth centre, and its angel investment network known as the Ice Angels have announced a record year, investing more than $7.8 million into 26 New Zealand companies in 2013.

More than half of the 39 companies that pitched their ideas at Ice Angels investment events successfully attracted investment.

The Angels include more than 200 global CEOs, entrepreneurs, and professional investors.

The director of the Ice Angels Ken Erskine says there are a number of reasons behind last year’s success.

“To begin with, greater coordination with other investment groups around New Zealand has worked well to enable more startups to raise more money.”

The Ice Angels’ collective investment of $7,890,819 in 2013, is almost double the amount invested in the previous two years.

“Last year, Ice Angel’s portfolio companies including Booktrack, Stolen Rum, and Nexus6 secured significant amounts of venture capital, launched new products, and successfully broke into overseas markets,” said Erskine.

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Online spending increases, trust still an issue for Kiwis

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Photo credit; Karl Baron on Flickr

Photo credit; Karl Baron on Flickr

Online spending grew last year, with New Zealanders spending $6 billion online last year, including almost $2 billion on travel and more than $800 million on entertainment.

However, Roy Morgan’s Pip Elliott says even though consumers are embracing the technology, they still prefer trusted retailers, citing that 45% of New Zealanders research online before buying in a shop, and 51% only buy online from retailers they know.

Less money was spent online on electronics, food and other products than the previous year.

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Crowdfunding changes get official go-ahead from government

Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Photo credit; on Flickr

Photo credit; on Flickr

Crowdfunding will be much easier in New Zealand as of April 1, paving the way for platforms like Snowball Effect.

Cabinet gave its approval for new crowd funding and peer-to-peer lending regulations Feb. 27 as part of the Financial Markets Conduct Act.

Up until the change companies have needed to issue a prospectus or investment statement before raising money from the public in New Zealand, making it cost prohibitive.

Foss said there would be no investor caps for equity crowd-funding but companies would be limited to raising $2 million a year.

Crowd funding raises money online through a large group of people investing small amounts of money in exchange for a share in that company.

Foss said the law change was an exciting development for both start-up businesses and investors.

“With the regulations coming into force on 1 April, New Zealand will lead the Asia-Pacific region is the development of crowd-funding regulation.”

Simeon Burnett a director of soon-to-launch equity crowd funding provider Snowball Effect welcomed the new rules and said the decision not to cap how much investors can put in was good news.

“We opposed the introduction of investor caps, because we believed that investors would easily be able to circumvent such controls by investing in foreign crowd funding platforms, or investing through entities which do not reveal the ultimate owner.

“We also believe that individuals should be allowed to make their own decisions about their money.”

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Nearly two-thirds of businesses in New Zealand have no online presence

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

That same research shows that 97% of Kiwi consumers use the Internet to search for products and services.

“Our research shows that New Zealand consumers love looking for websites that end with .nz, and that .nz sites are trusted far more than any other domain. Businesses are obviously unaware of this — as today, two thirds of New Zealand businesses are not reaching these people,” InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter says.

Soon, New Zealand businesses will also be able to get .kiwi domain names, as startup DotKiwi will sell the .kiwi domain names.

The research also illustrates the growing importance of mobile-friendly sites. About 65% of sole traders and 74% of businesses use mobile devices to access the Internet, but only a quarter of these businesses design their websites with mobile usage in mind.

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Snowball Effect to launch in April in New Zealand

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

New Zealand crowdfunding startup The Snowball Effect is gaining momentum and is ready to launch this April.

The company, founded by Simeon Burnett, Richard Allen and Francis Reid of Auckland is an equity crowdfunding platform, meaning investors give a business a small amount of money in return for shares in the company.

It will be legal in New Zealand from April when a change to the Financial Markets Conduct Act means anyone can raise up to $2 million without needing a formal prospectus.

The trio, along with full-time employee Josh Daniell, have been researching and building the company, with interested investors and businesses lined up for the launch.

The Snowball Effect hopes to have “couple of thousand” investors and fund 10 businesses by the year’s end.

Burnett says the crowdfunding platform will help businesses gain easier access to capital, including from New Zealanders living overseas.

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Largest ever spam penalty handed out in New Zealand

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Photo credit; epSos .de on Flickr

Photo credit; epSos .de on Flickr

Auckland company Image Marketing Group (IMG) has been ordered to pay $99,610 in the largest ever penalty imposed for sending spam in New Zealand, last month.

The Department of Internal Affairs said the penalty was imposed at the Auckland High Court under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act.

IMG sent a total of 519,545 messages to New Zealand e-mail addresses in December 2009, and the following year IMG conducted 21 email campaigns that promoted sales of the company’s database products. The company also sent 44,824 text messages from an Australian mobile number to New Zealand mobile phone users over a period of a month in 2009, said a statement from the department.

“IMG must now stop sending any further spam to New Zealand electronic addresses. This is a clear win for consumers who are sick and tired of receiving unwanted messages via email or texts,” team leader electronic messaging compliance Toni Demetriou said in the statement.

IMG had admitted breaching the Act and the penalties included a discount for IMG’s admissions and co-operation.

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