New funding earmarked to boost digital exports

New funding earmarked to boost digital exports

An initiative led by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) will dedicate $3 million over the next three years to further the cause of Kiwi exporters offering digitally-focused products and services.

The Digital Technology High Impact Programme will target support to firms working in software as a service, web services, software development, gaming development, post production, animation and mobile technology.

It will be delivered by NZTE and Callaghan Innovation, in partnership with the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech). Science and innovation minister Steven Joyce says the programme will help increase the number of tech companies successfully entering the global supply chain.

New Zealand has already had success in this area with businesses like cloud software company Xero, point of sale venture Vend, productivity management firm Aranz Geo and crime prevention specialists Wynyard Group, he says.

The $3 million funding is a small amount compared with what those businesses have raised — Xero secured $180 million in its latest round, Vend raised $8 million of new capital earlier this year, while Wynyard generated $65 million via a public listing.

The programme isn't just about money though. The government says it will help companies take advantage of opportunities that can't easily be seized alone, by establishing and deepening alliances with key corporate partners and will support market entry and growth in the US, Korea and Australia.

It will help companies work together to build scale and profile for New Zealand's digital brand, and try to overcome barriers to growth like talent shortages, the the government says.

“The digital economy contributed over $2 billion in export earnings last year, and exports of computer and information services have grown at over 10 percent per annum between 2002 and 2012. Almost 75 percent of revenue from the New Zealand’s top 100 tech companies comes from international markets,” Joyce says. “More than 62,000 people are already employed in our wider ICT sector and our investment will help create significant additional export revenues over the next four years.”