NZ Tech and the UK market

The NZ tech industry – its performance and key advice for NZ tech companies looking to export to the UK market

Given that we have a wealth of experience working with tech brands and those looking to make their mark in the UK, we’re always interested in learning about the tech industry in other markets and how they perform when launching or exporting to the UK market. One tech market that really interests us (particularly as we have an office in Auckland) and that continues to see exceptional growth is New Zealand.

Despite the current global challenges, the revenues for the top 200 tech businesses in New Zealand grew nine times faster than the general New Zealand economy in the past year, with the NZ tech industry experiencing a 9.1% uplift, according to the annual Technology Investment Network (TIN).

NZ tech exports are big business, with tech being NZ’s second largest export earner behind dairy and comprising 14% of NZ’s total export revenue, generating NZ $11.5bn in revenue in FY2022.

Early-stage NZ tech companies are also attracting the attention of VCs and angel investors, raising $192m from a record 135 deals in FY2022 (up $30.5m on FY2f021).

Source: TIN Report 2022:

 TIN Head of Research Alex Dickson says:

“Beyond resilience, Kiwi tech companies are competing and winning overseas in a time of global economic uncertainty and there’s a growing sense of confidence in the sector and by those invested in it. By the numbers, we see our tech companies supporting much-needed export diversity, productivity, and income assurance as New Zealand plots a path to recovery. Tech companies added more than a billion dollars of revenue growth and $960 million in export growth to the country’s economy over the last year. 

The sector’s breadth of export destinations, ability to absorb shocks and avoid conflict with climate goals is a major asset in this regard. On its current trajectory, tech exports will hit $20.5B by 2027, but challenges like attracting, training, and maintaining skilled talent remain an obstacle.”  

So, what should NZ tech brands be aware of when looking to launch with impact in the UK?

In a recent webinar hosted by NZTech ‘Geopolitical Impacts on Tech Exports’, Michael Murphy, Head of Tech & Services at NZTE, shared his advice on the key things that NZ tech exporters should be aware of before exporting to the UK:

  • The market for tech companies has become increasingly competitive and investors are more cautious than ever, placing more of an emphasis on exporters being able to show a clear path to profitability
  • There has been a rise in sustainable investing – investors are looking for exporters that will have a positive impact on the environment – this is especially true for the UK market, which is known for championing sustainability
  • Attracting and retaining talent is challenging, so do bear this in mind when planning your export strategy
  • Having a good understanding of the advancements happening in the technology industry and regulatory frameworks that protect them is key – for example, the

automation of many products and services is creating challenges for security and data privacy

  • Lastly, the digital space is quite fragmented, so depending on where one operates, it can increase costs to operate internationally

We agree with all of Michael’s comments and feel that it’s also worth mentioning that one of the most common mistakes that we see for those looking to break into the UK market is that brands/businesses haven’t done enough UK research before they launch.

It’s time well spent looking into key competitors and really understanding your end customers and potential routes to market. This is an area that we spend a lot of time on with our smart tech companies, providing them with information on what competitors and the market is saying, so that they have a better opportunity to assess and address any issues before making the (let’s be honest) expensive decision to launch here.

Because the market for tech companies has become increasingly competitive, investing in a UK PR agency can help to achieve cut-through, while generating high-profile coverage that will put brands/organisations front of mind for media and consumers.

This achieves more than is perhaps initially considered and can:

  • Help you to attract and retain talent (something that Michael highlighted is particularly challenging)
  • Get you in front of prospects
  • Help you to announce new customers

When combined with other activity that we undertake for our clients, including social media, events, speaker slots, producing marketing materials, strategic partnerships and more, it can also increase your reach.

If you’re a tech brand in NZ that’s looking to do business in the UK and you could use some advice to help you develop a market strategy from a PR/comms point of view, we’d love to assist with your market entry plans to ensure that your first foray into the UK market is a success.

We have a wealth of experience working with a wide variety of tech brands and know what it takes to stand out in a competitive marketplace. Our tech experience is broad, spanning consumer technology, fintech, hospitality tech, paymentech, eventech, legaltech, SaaS, live chat and AI.

If you feel that you could benefit from our services, drop us an email – we’d love to hear from you!

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