Like most other countries in the world, New Zealand is trying its best to wrangle inflation, most recently putting up its Official Cash Rate to 5.5 percent – an increase of 0.25 percent. It’s this storyline, that of increasing inflation, that has major tech firms committing to rounds of massive layoffs and investors tightening their belts in many regards. Despite all of this, with New Zealand certainly not being immune to the inflation issues of the world, the country has become a tech investment hotspot.
New Zealand tech attracts over $700 million in investments
Reporting on its 2022 findings, the Technology Investment Network found that small and large businesses across New Zealand received a total of $726 million in investments. At the same time, global funding from VCs was said to have fallen by as much as 35 percent, while New Zealand’s investment saw a massive increase of some 8.2 percent. The focus of the TIN report is high-tech companies in manufacturing, biotech companies, and IT businesses, with New Zealand’s particularly strong deep-tech sector reaping the benefits of increased investment.
A big part of this, which saw over one-fifth of all investment goes into deep tech, was Soul Machines. The deep tech firm specializes in autonomous animation, powering its interactive digital people with advanced AI. Last year, the Kiwi company raised $70 million, helping to boost those national numbers significantly. It’s not just deep tech that’s doing well in New Zealand, though. So-called “clean tech” from the biotech industry is doing very well, as proven by the country ranking in the top five for innovation potential. Futurity Bio-Ventures, founded in 2018 and based in Gisborne, is in the middle of building a massive commercial biorefinery to help wean the world away from its oil obsession.
Tech companies and start-ups being drawn to New Zealand
In Silicon Valley and other business hubs like New York and London, it’s all about the work time rush, grinding to innovate, and fighting tooth and nail to prove concepts and win over VCs. Still, more and more entrepreneurs and business owners are starting to realize that you can be productive and successful in a more balanced environment, such as in the one non-European city that ranks in the top five globally for work-life balance (Auckland).
While it’s all the way on the other side of the world and so, so far south, New Zealand offers a wide range of very Western downtime entertainment options. Naturally, free TV is a big draw, but so too is Netflix, which continues to grow its audience. Beyond shows and movies, online gaming entertainment is also a big draw because of its customer-friendly offers for newcomers. This is powered by the globally rare revelation that is the free spins no deposit casino bonus. With these, players get to keep what they win and play without making a deposit. So, online casino games like slots become truly free to play. It’s a bonus that many top-class platforms offer to be more welcoming.
While there’s also something to be said for the battle between Apple Music and Spotify in New Zealand, for the life balance and enjoyment beyond the office, it’s impossible to discount the outdoor activities available. As noted, the land of the Kiwis is stunning. Made famous by The Lord of the Rings trilogy – which keeps a home in New Zealand with the Hobbiton Movie Set – you can enjoy vast stretches of rural land and pure wilderness. On top of this, the major city of Auckland has lots of green space, which may be helping to convince businesses to move to the city.
Naturally, the main driver for businesses setting up and finding success in cities like Auckland is the business environment. Being a particularly picturesque place won’t drive business development, after all. It wasn’t long ago that Wellington ranked top for quality of life, per Deutsche Bank, and the tech sector has received significant backing from the government. Auckland employs half of the country’s tech personnel, and the updated immigration rules of 2021 opened the door for 600 specialized overseas workers to be employed.
Ranking top for value for money, third in funding, and second for affordable talent in the Oceania Ecosystem, New Zealand is a very attractive place for start-ups. Subsequently, those start-ups have attracted a huge amount of investment to start a trend that the Kiwi tech market hopes will continue.