The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Kiwi internet firm targets US

Mako chief executive Bill Farmer
Mako chief executive Bill Farmer

New Zealand internet security firm Mako Networks has struck a deal in the United States that is expected to provide "tens of millions of dollars" in revenue over the next two years, says its boss.

The Kiwi technology business has partnered with New York-listed Sprint, a US wireless communications provider that served more than 54 million customers in the third quarter of this year.

Privately owned Mako's cloud-based technology is used by businesses with multiple sites, such as retailers, and provides protection from threats including credit card fraud.

Businesses in the US can now buy Mako's technology integrated with Sprint's wireless service to protect and control their data and payment transactions.

Mako chief executive Bill Farmer said the deal was pay-off for the company's decision to establish a base in the US.

The firm spent 18 months based at the Kiwi Landing Pad, a business support centre in San Francisco, before setting up its own office in the Californian city in September.

"If we had not opened the office there we would not have this business or a lot of the other business that we're getting in the United States at the moment," Farmer said.

Mako, whose revenue reportedly reached $10 million last year, announced another deal with US payment service provider Aperia Solutions in July.

The company has 90 staff worldwide, including 75 in New Zealand at its customer support and research centre on the North Shore.

Eighty per cent of the company is owned by its founders - Farmer, Chris Massam, Dennis Monks and Simon Gamble.

Mako global communications director Kevin Ptak said the firm was not planning a sharemarket listing.

The firm's customers in New Zealand include Telecom and the Ministry of Health.

- NZ Herald

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