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Extreme accounting? NZ’s rugged tech startups aim high with business software, not social media


By Naomi Tajitsu WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand technology firms are rolling into global markets, selling software to businesses that locks down mundane tasks like accounting and expenses, rather than developing slick social media apps that consumers download free of charge. Led by Wellington-based Xero Ltd and its self-styled “beautiful accounting software”, the South Pacific island nation’s blossoming cloud-based tech industry is now the country’s third-biggest export earner behind dairy and tourism. It’s the fruit of a government push to promote high-growth start-ups that has made Wellington a fertile breeding ground, including grants and incubation finance like a NZ$160 million investment in the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, a public-private venture. The practical New Zealand approach diverges from the mass consumer offerings developed by some counterparts in the United States, like messaging service WhatsApp or photo sharing site Instagram.

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