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Kiwi tech star Vend on hiring spree, targets $1b valuation

Kiwi tech star Vend on hiring spree, targets $1b valuation

Auckland-based software company Vend is on a push to hire 125 staff as it pushes into North America and other markets.

The cloud point-of-sale software maker currently has around 300 employees. Some 54 of the new hires will be in New Zealand, chief executive Alex Fala says.

The privately-held company won’t share detailed financials, but Fala says there are now more than 25,000 retailers worldwide who pay to use its product, which allows a traditional cash register to be replaced by an iPad, and also helps small-to-medium businesses manage sales and inventory.

Vend costs $129 to $179 per month, indicating the Kiwi startup’s annual revenue is in the $39 million to $54m bracket.

Fala won’t say if it’s in the black, but he does says it will be able to hire its 125 new staff over the next few months without another raise.

The company’s last big round was a $13m raise in 2016 led by local venture capital outfit Movac, which is the largest single shareholder with a 9 per cent stake.

Founder Vaughan Fergusson (whose stake was halved by his marriage split) is the second largest on 8 per cent.

Smaller holders include Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Brian Gaynor’s Milford Asset Management, Lance Wiggs’ Punakaki Fund and Sam Morgan’s Jasmine Investments.

Fala is also coy of discussing milestones, but does say he expects to hit is $1 billion valuation within five years (the company was valued somewhere north of $100m for its last raise).

While Vend’s software is cloud-based, it caters to bricks-and-mortar stores rather than e-tailers (though it does offer integration with e-commerce services like Shopify), and mall operators worldwide are taking fright. Is it on the wrong side of history?