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Done Deal: Recent fundings secured, contracts inked and deals done, for the tl;dr crowd

Our regular roundup of recent deals done and/or did.

Spark-owned data and analytics company Qrious has announced Nathalie Morris will be its new CEO.

Morris is currently general manager for data-powered marketing for Qrious. She is the former managing director and co-founder of data and marketing automation business Ubiquity, founded in 1999 and acquired by Qrious in 2017.

Morris says marketing automation is continuing to mature in New Zealand.  “However, we are still seeing many organisations with siloed customer data, who struggle to develop a single view of the customer to offer more personalised and targeted customer experiences. By combining our advanced data and analytics capabilities with marketing tools and delivery services, we aim to transform customer engagement and help our clients win in a digital world."

Nathalie Morris.

Dairy company The Collective has entered into a partnership with Pencarrow Private Equity (Pencarrow), New Zealand’s oldest private equity firm, to support plans for the brand’s international growth.

Co-founder of The Collective, Angus Allan, says the partnership with Pencarrow shows enormous progress for the company and will support plans for the brand’s international expansion. “Pencarrow has a fantastic reputation for helping iconic New Zealand businesses to reach their potential, and we’re thrilled to have their support as we move into this exciting new phase for our business,” he says.

Pencarrow is currently investing from its sixth fund, and has previously partnered with a number of New Zealand success stories such as Icebreaker, the Bell Tea & Coffee Company and Phil & Teds.

The Collective was founded by chefs Angus Allan (creator of Naked Organics) and Ofer Shenhav (of Pitango Organic Cuisine) in 2009 with nine staff. Since then, The Collective has grown into a multi-award-winning brand with over 150 staff and an average year-on-year revenue growth of 30 percent, producing more than 90 products across Aotearoa and the UK.

“We started The Collective as a couple of chefs who wanted to change the way people experienced yoghurt and disrupt what was a pretty staid sector.  We have always been hands-on and in the kitchen tasting our goods, striving for the best taste and highest quality.”

Rod Gethen of Pencarrow says of the investment, “It’s clear that The Collective is very special.  We were impressed with how the brand has turned a declining category into one of immense innovation and excitement.  We are particularity pleased with the company’s growth over a short period of time and we look forward to supporting the business with our strategic expertise as we work to build the global brand.”

Angus Allan and Ofer Shenhav of The Collective.

A five-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) has been signed between the US' Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New Zealand company Aeroqual.

Announcing the agreement, the EPA said next-generation air monitoring tools are new technological advances that are increasingly being used by researchers and citizen scientists alike to monitor and measure air quality. 

EPA’s co-investigators Rachelle Duvall and Russell Long – who will work alongside Aeroqual leads Dr Geoff Henshaw and Kyle Alberti – said the next generation tools are so much more accessible compared to the large, stationary monitors.

Duvall says the EPA will benefit from the collaboration by combining their expertise in air measurements with Aeroqual’s expertise in sensor development to advance air quality characterisation using next-generation air monitoring tools.

“Because these tools are so much more accessible compared to traditional air monitoring equipment and are being used by not only the scientific community but also the general public, it is important for all users to have confidence in the data they are collecting.”

The CRADA  between Aeroqual and the EPA will investigate new applications, methodologies and technologies for the low-cost measurement of outside air pollutants. 

Duvall says she hopes the two organisations will improve some of the many challenges that low-cost, portable air sensors bring.  “This work is important because we are looking for lower cost options to accurately monitor air quality in the future and this CRADA can help achieve our goals.”

Aeroqual’s chief technical officer Henshaw says the collaboration "will allow us to go deeper, faster, and do things at a much bigger scale."

“It is great to be involved in research that is helping to advance emerging tech.”

During the next four years, EPA scientists will evaluate data collected from low-cost sensors placed at EPA’s Ambient Monitoring Innovative Research Station (AIRS) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and as part of a number of EPA field studies. At the same time, the instrument’s design will also be evaluated.

Aeroqual will provide various air sensor technologies so that both EPA, and Aeroqual can review project results and places for improvement. The team will summarise their results and prepare findings to share in print and digital form.

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