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TIN report highlights thriving tech sector

Sarah Putt, Contributor. 25 October 2018, 8:33 am

When TIN (Technology Investment Network) founder Greg Shanahan first began publishing the list of earnings for the top New Zealand companies in 2005 he sent out 70 surveys. This year he sent out over 700 surveys.

It wasn't the most impressive figure announced at the TIN 100 Report launch in Auckland last night, but it was one of the most telling - the tech sector continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Here are some of the headlining stats:

  • New Zealand's top 200 technology companies increased annual turnover by 11% to reach $11.1 billion in the past year.
  • ICT companies accounted for almost half this year's TIN200 revenue growth, adding $521 million in combined revenue. For the first time in the 14-year history of the TIN Report, there are more ICT companies than High-Tech Manufacturing firms in the TIN200.
  • Research and Development spend rose almost in line with revenue growth, rising 10.2% to $991 million.
  • According to the TIN Report, the tech sector now employs 47,417 people globally with just over half in New Zealand (25,451).

The combined Greater Auckland and Northland regions accounted for 122 of the TIN200 companies, contributing 54.9% (or $604m) of total TIN200 revenue growth.

Each year, Shanahan asks a company executive from a TIN100 company to speak and last night it was Doug Hastie, Managing Director of Syft Technology. Hastie is described as a serial entrepreneur who is also a civil engineer, investment banker, pilot and the 'Chainui guy' from the TV adverts.

Syft Technologies provides real time gas analysis technology that is utilised by a number of blue chip clients across a wide range of sectors. It was formed in 2002 to commercialise academic research from Canterbury University.

Shanahan describes Syft Technologies as one of the "great tech turnaround stories". The company has pulled itself back from brink of extinction by focussing on how to service what, according to Hastie, is a $7 billion addressable market.

When Hastie became Managing Director in 2012, Syft Technologies only had three customers (admittedly they were good customers, buying from the whole range of products). He immediately set too, visiting potential customers and in his first trip he visited seven countries in six days and slept in airports. He says often tech companies are so enamoured with the product, they neglect the sales, and so the first slide of his first strategy session was: "We are here to make money."

The company now has over 100 customers, and in the past two years it has grown from 25 staff to 100. When asked what his exit strategy was, Hastie said he is in it for the long haul.

Syft Technologies was one of ten companies acknowledged in the "Scale Ups 2018" category, the list that recognises the Next 100 companies (ranked between 101-200 in the TIN 200) with the highest dollar value increase in revenue in the past year. It reported $4.5m revenue growth to record $11.6m in total revenue in 2018.

You can find out more about TIN Report here.



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