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Customer story

Vesta: Attracting development talent to Aotearoa to scale faster

This article was published on Jul 2, 2019, 10:55 AM

Reading time: 3 minutes

SaaS company Vesta isn’t just keeping its development team in New Zealand, it’s attracting even more talent to our shores. Combined with R&D help from Callaghan Innovation, they’ve produced industry-leading eCommerce software.

What's in this article

    At a glance

    • In a bid to attract more talent and reduce costs, product data sharing platform Vesta is keeping development teams in New Zealand, despite being headquartered in Austin.
    • Through a range of Callaghan Innovation grants, the cloud-based business has been able to build their development teams and scale their R&D efforts accordingly.

    From Orewa to Austin

    World-class talent without the Silicon Valley overheads. That’s essentially what Kiwi Software as a Service (SaaS) company Vesta is achieving by keeping their development in New Zealand, despite their headquarters being in Austin in the US.

    Vesta, a cloud-based product data sharing platform, helps retailers and their suppliers share and collaborate on everything from product photography to pricing to keep both parties in sync at all times. 

    And while Vesta’s CEO and founder, Charles Nicolson, increasingly spends his time in the US, his development team has remained Orewa-based, albeit with a distinctly international make-up.

    “Our engineers - attracted to New Zealand from around the world - come with experience from companies and development teams significantly bigger than the majority of New Zealand companies, so can help lead the way in global best practice,” says Nicolson.

    “The net benefit for New Zealand is we train and grow highly-skilled software analysts who can focus on solving problems and use their time effectively on R&D into the latest technology, while leveraging lower cost offshore coding engineers to carry out the implementation.”

    Vesta CEO and founder, Charles Nicolson

    Vesta CEO and founder, Charles Nicolson

    Developing the development team

    Integral to building their development teams, and subsequently to support R&D efforts as they grew, were grants from Callaghan Innovation. This included Growth Grants (now replaced by the R&D Tax Incentive), R&D Career Grants and the R&D Experience Grant.

    The resulting R&D allowed the company to expand into cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and image recognition, in collaboration with local universities.

    “They are a highly capable and ambitious business,” says Ian Skelton, Customer Manager Digital at Callaghan Innovation.

    “They also have a strategic talent recruitment strategy that utilises Callaghan Innovation Student Grants and they embrace the connections we provide and the learnings available from Southern SaaS and other initiatives we run.”

    Keeping development in New Zealand has pleased investors, especially given it’s allowed Vesta to scale faster and ultimately produce industry-leading software.

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