Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams is the Markets and Banking reporter for the New Zealand Herald

EROAD gears up overseas

EROAD is eyeing a listing on the stockmarket. Photo / Bloomberg
EROAD is eyeing a listing on the stockmarket. Photo / Bloomberg

Fast growing Kiwi tech firm EROAD plans to add 60 new staff to its workforce over the next six months and is eyeing an NZX listing that would fund its future growth.

With a 2746 per cent increase in revenue between the 2010 and 2012 financial years, the Auckland-based company - which has developed a GPS/cellular system for collecting road user charges - was ranked 10th on Deloitte's Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500 index, released last week.

Forty-four other New Zealand firms also made the list.

Chief executive Steven Newman said EROAD's revenue growth had come solely from this country, where the company uses its technology to collect road user charges on behalf of its commercial transport clients.

"At our estimate we collect around 20 per cent of all heavy transport road user charges [in New Zealand]," Newman said.

"The annual collection is more than $140 million."

EROAD, which is already turning a profit in New Zealand, is focused on international growth, with a commercial pilot of its technology already up-and-running in the US state of Oregon.

Newman, one of the founders of navigation device maker Navman, said the company was planning further US expansion into New Mexico, Kentucky and New York State.

"We've validated our business model in New Zealand and we're now into international expansion."

That expansion required EROAD to take on new staff and Newman said the 60 new employees the company planned to take on, which would bring the firm's total workforce to 115, would mostly be product developers, business analysts and web developers.

Finding the right talent locally was a challenge, he said.

"We have an international recruitment programme in place."

Newman said the company would soon be bringing fresh capital into the business to fund its global growth.

He did not want to disclose any more details of that funding, but said it was coming from local investors.

"The intention is to validate the markets that we're now moving into and then having done that, we'll go into a public listing in New Zealand."

Newman said an NZX listing would not take place for two to three years.

He said the company would not bring the public offer forward to take advantage of the present strong investor appetite for new listings, highlighted recently by offers that have been oversubscribed.

- NZ Herald

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