Datasquirt doubles staff numbers

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 10:02 26/02/2014

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Californian company LiveOps says it has doubled staff numbers at Auckland software firm Datasquirt since it acquired the business in 2011 and could double them again to 50 over the next year or so.

Datasquirt was a New Zealand company listed on the Australian stock exchange before it was bought out by LiveOps for US$12.5 million.

LiveOps chief executive Marty Beard said sales of the cloud-based software the business developed in Auckland were growing at an annual rate of 55 per cent. The software lets content centre staff communicate with callers through channels such as email, text messages, web chat and social media.

He believed Datasquirt would have grown, but not as quickly, had it stayed independent. "Worldwide we have 350 people of whom 60 are engineers so New Zealanders have quickly become about a third of our overall engineering talent."

Beard said finding extra staff in Auckland had not been a problem so far. The employment market compared favourably with the "almost overhyped, overheated" Silicon Valley scene and was "a more stable place", he said.

He welcomed a law change that will take effect in April that will make it easier for companies to set up employee share schemes by doing away with the need for short prospectuses and onerous financial disclosures. "As a company we have a philosophy of giving options to all employees," he said.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts commercial lawyer Rodney Craig said a lot of small companies - technology companies in particular - were preparing to take advantage of the new rules. "We are looking forward to them and have got a lot of clients who are gearing up to take advantage of them when they do come into force."

Many listed companies had employee share schemes as they were no drama for them to set up "but for smaller companies it has always been quite a major step", he said. 

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- Fairfax Media

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