Home / Tech  / The popular tech companies you didn’t know were from New Zealand

The popular tech companies you didn’t know were from New Zealand

From the number one platform for cinephiles to parking services and artificial intelligence (AI) developers, New Zealand is providing the world with platforms and technology that Kiwis probably didn’t know was made here in the land of the long white cloud.

Despite being completely isolated from the rest of the world, New Zealand’s small population and geographical location at the bottom of the world doesn’t stop Kiwis from punching above their weight.

Aotearoa has a deep history of outstanding companies we’re known for, such as Weta, known for their gold standard visual effects, and Xero for their accounting services dedicated to small businesses.

But there are more influential companies than just these two. Here are some of them:


Letterboxd is the leading platform for cinephiles, clocking over 8 million users, and it was created in the heart of Auckland.

Considered a social media platform for cinephiles to review and log films whilst also creating lists of their favourite films and more.

Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow founded Letterboxd in late 2011, after working in a studio creating websites and apps for clients.

In a previous interview with Idealog, Buchanan said Letterboxd is to be seen as a film diary where people all around the world can share their love – or distaste – for a movie, whether they have seen it before or it is their first time watching.

Having been around for over 10 years now, the platform has skyrocketed to quickly become a place that holds a finger on the pulse of the entire Hollywood cinema industry, with the users of Letterboxd usually the ones to determine the trajectory of a film through good or bad reviews.

The Kiwis behind Letterboxd.

Buchanan says Letterboxd is a modern take of how people traditionally interacted with films and that is what has brought success to their platform.


Video on demand – or streaming services – have become one of the largest industries in the world as more and more people shift to digital services to watch movies and TV shows.

But for this industry, the most important aspect is the distribution online. And that is exactly what Shift72 does.

Based in Hamilton, Shift72 is the trusted company to create a platform to distribute movies and TV shows online.

Shift72 has worked for some of the biggest production companies such as Paramount Pictures and NBC Universal and film festivals in the world like Sundance, Cannes Film Festival, SXSW and more.

Read more: Letterboxd: The Kiwi’s behind cinema’s most influential platform

A shift in the industry has led Kiwis to take the initiative and they are quickly dominating the video-on-demand space.

Soul Machines

Each country has its fair share of AI developers trying to make breakthroughs with the advanced technology. But one of New Zealand’s representative is Soul Machines.

Behind the first AI celebrity, Soul Machines is trying to change the way virtual models can be used for the future in the most human way possible.

Recruiting K-pop star Mark Tuan, the New Zealand-based company used its patented technology and OpenAI’s Chat-GPT to create his digital twin.

Not only is it making waves within the celebrity realm, Soul Machines has partnered up with the world’s biggest companies such as Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services and so much more.

Digital Mark Tuan

With how quickly AI develops, Soul Machines is putting New Zealand on the map for its innovative use of the technology.


Parking is always a challenge, especially in big urban cities. But the Auckland-based company, Parkable, is aiming to solve this.

Founded in 2015, Parkable is making use of empty driveways, underused spaces and other parking spots and making them available to the public to solve this problem.

This simple idea gained the attention of companies all across the world, and is now an app that is available across New Zealand, Australia, the US, the UK and Europe.

Not only is Parkable available in some of the busiest cities in the world, but the app is also highly trusted by the big names, Meta, KPMG and BNZ to name a few.

What was first used to solve an Auckland problem is now being used by people across the world.


PDF software company Lumin has experienced it all, from start-up stage all the way to the highs of Silicon Valley. Nine years since its humble beginnings, it has become one of the most used company in the world.

The idea of editing PDFs came about for Founder Max Ferguson when working on the Christchurch earthquake rebuild, which involved a lot of difficult-to-manage paper documentation.

Since then, they have accumulated over 75 million registered users using their software.

Max Ferguson.

Their success has led them to work alongside Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, Deloitte and other major corporates. They also found themselves located in Silicon Valley, the global hub of technology and innovation.

Lumin has since moved back to Christchurch with the ambition of making the South Island capital the next tech hub, reflective of Silicon Valley.

The success of these companies has proven Kiwis’ intuitive and innovative nature can lead to greatness in the tech space.

Though New Zealand is a small and isolated country, their potential is far greater than their size. 

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

Review overview