Sim Ahmed

The story behind Online Republic, the NZ company that just sold for $85 million


The story behind Online Republic, the NZ company that just sold for $85 million

Long before Online Republic was the Kiwi success story sold to Australia-based Webjet for $85 million, Sim Ahmed wrote a cover story for NZ Marketing in 2013 telling the story of how the company's founder Mike Ballantyne discovered success by moving away from ego-stroking digital campaigns and focusing on the unsexy—but increasingly important—realm of search engine marketing. Today, we revisit this tale.

The Slammer began its life as a secret weapon in TJ Irvin's arsenal of topiary tools, but it's now his full-time business – and he has global ambitions for this odd but useful item.

Social Media

The great Kiwi campervan adventure is a right of passage as old as time itself. New Zealand-based camper rental Jucy is giving New Zealanders (and our Australian and American cousins) the chance to haggle down the price by tweeting.

Elliot O’Donnell (aka Askew One) is a Kiwi street artist who’s transitioning between “just tags on a wall” to legitimate art. And with paintings of Ralph Hotere in Kingsland, work on Queens Wharf and his impressive creations in the Wynyard Quarter, he’s trying hard to turn his passion into a viable business.


While others are looking apprehensively towards the world of print publishing, the company behind New Zealand Geographic magazine is taking the opportunity to expand its stable. From 5 August, Kohwai Media will publish a bi-monthly photography magazine called Pro Photographer, publisher James Frankham says it's catered towards those in the photography business.