Pizza to celebrate multimillion-dollar deal

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 07/08/2012
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FAIRFAX NZ
Kiwi expat Victoria Ransom, who co-founded social media company Wildfire.

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Kiwi expat Victoria Ransom, who sold her software company Wildfire to Google for a reported $310 million to $490m last week, says the past few days have been among the "most exciting and humbling of my life".

Ms Ransom, 36, who now lives in San Francisco, is planning to travel back to New Zealand this autumn, possibly to Hawke's Bay, to marry her Swiss partner, Wildfire co-founder Alain Chuard.

"I still think of New Zealand as home. All my family is there and I'd like to think that I will move back at some point," she said.

As part of the Wildfire takeover deal, Google will employ the couple for the "next few years".

Ms Ransom said she was not sure of their plans after that. "I think it's definitely possible we'll start another company at some point. We're also very focused on using our resources for philanthropy."

The couple celebrated the sale with their team at their local beer garden, she said. "This weekend we met up with some friends for champagne and pizza."

Talking about their success for the first time, Ms Ransom put it down to their having entered a large, fast-growing market early, helping businesses manage their interactions through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

"However, many other companies entered our market at a similar time and have not had the same level of success.

"So beyond this, I think that the quality of people we hired, the company culture we built, which enabled us to attract and retain top-notch people, our focus on being a software company and not an agency and our investment in building out a large sales team have all been critical to our success.

"Over the years we have worked with Kiwis in Wellington and Christchurch and we have Kiwis working in our US and London offices as well, from Wellington and Auckland.

Among our earliest developers are Oliver Clarke, Nik Wakelin, Jared Armstrong and James Nisbet, all originally from Wellington.

"Building Wildfire over the past four years has been the journey of a lifetime."

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- The Dominion Post

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