It started in a bedroom eight years ago on a shoestring budget of $10 – now Auckland-based Optimizer HQ has become the company with the second-youngest chief executive to be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange behind Puma’s Jochen Zeitz.
Optimizer HQ began trading on November 30 and quadrupled its 0.10 euro share price on the first day. It's one of only seven New Zealand businesses on the German stock market.
Chief executive Manas Kumar, 31, said the listing marked the beginning of a new era for the company on the world stage and would hopefully attract potential investors.
“Just as the growth of Optimizer HQ has been a rapid one, the listing was rapid too – we achieved the listing in just 47 working days,” said Kumar.
Optimizer HQ was established in 2003 as a web development company, with a total of $10 capital used to secure a domain name, and three years later moved into the software-as-a-service space. It serves primarily small businesses and its flagship product is an email marketing solution.
"This decision was, in hindsight, a profoundly inspired one as the sustainable, residual revenue stream that accompanied this move allowed us to escape the crippling cash flow drought that has seriously depleted others over the past few years."
Kumar immigrated to New Zealand from India to embark on a professional cricket career, a dream he says was short-lived.
But he's pleased with the success of Optimizer HQ, which counts Harvard University, Burger King, Pfizer, Footlocker, New Zealand Police and New Zealand Post among its clients.
“Just last year we were delivering about 300,000 emails per month, which I was really happy with. Now we’re sending more than 400 million emails and expect to hit the one billion mark by next June.”
The company has just launched an SMS marketing tool called Texta in an effort to make text message promotions affordable for SMEs, soon to be released in Australia, Canada and India.
It appointed a new chief marketing officer late last year after its public listing, Cornelis Boertjens.
The business currently employs 11 staff and is looking to expand further.