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

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

Wine maturation start-up Wine Grenade has appointed an exclusive North American distributor and established a new executive role in the US, as the company ramps-up production of its micro-ox and data solution.

The distribution deal with Enartis USA gives Wine Grenade immediate access to a sales network selling a complimentary portfolio of winemaking products, analytical services and winery technology throughout North America. Enartis USA is part of Esseco Group, a global manufacturer of winemaking and oenology products.

José Santos, president and CEO of Enartis USA, says: “We found in Wine Grenade the perfect partner to complement our offering in micro-oxygenation and better serve small-to-medium sized wineries. We believe that micro-oxygenation is a key technology in modern winemaking, and adding Wine Grenade to our portfolio of micro-ox systems makes it available for wineries of all sizes in a cost-effective way”.

Says Wine Grenade CEO Hamish Elmslie: “Enartis USA is a highly respected name in winemaking products and lab services, and has also been a leading supplier of micro-oxygenation systems in North America since 2011. As a partner they will provide the scale, market knowledge and on the ground support we need to reach more customers.”

Winemakers in eight countries are now using the Wine Grenade and to support Enartis USA and other international opportunities, Wine Grenade’s Board has also announced an expanded executive team, effective from June.

Elmslie will relocate to California as chief product officer. Elmslie, who has led the company as CEO since 2014 after a career in banking, will continue as a director.

Co-founder and director Jonathan Boswell will take on the role of managing director, guiding R&D, production and Australasian sales from the company’s Avondale manufacturing base. He was most recently CEO of Auckland firm TGT Legal.

Brett O’Riley, chair of Wine Grenade, says: “As the company expands overseas we are scaling up the team to pursue our growth strategy while retaining vital product knowledge within the business. Creating a new Chief Product Officer role based in the USA, will help collaboration with our new strategic partner Enartis while putting us in striking distance of key markets in Europe.”

In March, Wine Grenade received a $438,000 Callaghan Innovation co-funding grant for product development, including capturing the benefits of data and IoT in the winery. Last month, the product was recognised with an INNOVATION + QUALITY Award at IQ 2018, the annual Napa Valley forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality.

Carl Douglas has joined Equinox IT as a senior consultant, based in Wellington.

Douglas will help Equinox IT clients make informed technology decisions and design and implement solutions that meet their business's needs.

“I like to find simple solutions to complex problems, which often involves a combination of technology, architecture and people working together. That is not easy, but there are patterns and knowing and recognising them can help," says Douglas.

Douglas joins Equinox IT from Abletech. He previously co-founded a start-up through the Lightning Labs Accelerator Programme and has worked as a Systems Delivery Manager for NZX. His background includes roles in programming, QA and support.

Carl Douglas.

Dimension Data New Zealand and Chef have entered into a partnership.

Chef is the global leader in continuous automation software and one of the founders of the DevOps movement. Chef works with companies to deliver their vision of digital transformation by providing the practices and platform to deploy software at speed. By partnering with Chef, Dimension Data New Zealand can enable clients to rapidly increase the speed of their delivery, without sacrificing security.

“Very few clients are solely cloud native and require a hybrid approach to seamlessly bring together on-premise private and public cloud. Our partnership with Chef provides us with the expertise and tools to deliver a true hybrid cloud outcome at speed in a consistent, repeatable and secure way,” says Steve Wotten, head of digital practice at Dimension Data New Zealand. “Dimension Data New Zealand has recently formed a Cloud community of practice by utilising partnerships like this. Our consultancy, delivery and managed services expertise can be applied to new, agile solutions for clients who are increasingly looking for their vendors and partners to move as fast as they are,"

 Kimberly Martin, SVP of business development & channels at Chef, says: "As customers drive towards digital transformation, the combination of Chef's platform for infrastructure and application automation, combined with Dimension Data's expert team, will help increase their transformational velocity.”

Auckland creative agency Motion Sickness has developed a new hero video for the website of Method Recycling. In addition to the order and the new website, Method’s bins, accessories, and bin liners can now be purchased online anywhere in the world. A resources library, customers section and a "solution finder" are among the new features of the website.

Last month Method completed their biggest North American order to date, providing 1,000 recycling bins for a facility in New York City. 

Travel Time South Pacific have acquired AgriTravel International, a Waikato-based company which creates customised agricultural and special interest tours across New Zealand.

The purchase will strengthen Travel Time South Pacific’s inbound tour operator business and enable a broader range of specialised product offerings for their international clientele.

The purchase of the specialist agricultural tour operator fits into Travel Time South Pacific’s growth and expansion strategies and will enable them to offer specialised agricultural tours both domestically and to the growing number of international clients seeking to visit one of the world’s most progressive agricultural nations.

“Our acquisition of AgriTravel International complements our overall tailor-made travel offerings so we can now provide a stronger focus on these much specialised agricultural tour itineraries and agri-biz programmes,” says Scott Mehrtens, managing director of Travel Time South Pacific. “This investment adds to our capacity, geographic presence and enables us to support increasing numbers of requests from leisure and corporate sectors asking to include visits to our world-leading facilities, farms and companies that specialise in agricultural technologies and food production.”

Karen Baldwin, who has been managing AgriTravel International for the last five years, will be joining the Travel Time South Pacific team with immediate effect. She says: “AgriTravel will continue to work with its valued suppliers to offer creative tour programmes for our existing clients and new markets keen to meet the people and businesses that shape the agricultural sector in New Zealand.”

Travel Time South Pacific stakeholders Scott Mehrtens, Les Mehrtens and Barbara Mehrtens with  Karen Baldwin, AgriTravel manager.

Simply Group has appointed Jane Armitage as its new chief operating officer to support the company’s growth strategy.

Armitage has extensive senior leadership experience from the energy and banking sector in operations, client services, strategy, change management and planning. Her management experience includes servicing a wide spectrum of clients including institutional, corporate, SMEs, advisors, dealer groups, high net worth individuals and retail customers.

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