Auckland online education firm Kami has made Time magazine's 100 Most Influential Companies of 2022 list.
The honour comes just months after the startup awarded a $10,000 bonus to all of its 53 staff as it hit the 30 million user milestone worldwide - which put it on track for revenue of up to $50 million - and topped the Deloitte Fast 50 with 1200 per cent revenue growth.
Time's broad-ranging list spans from "Titans" (including Apple, Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Disney, Netflix and Pfizer) through to "Innovators" (including EV maker Rivian and vaccine maker Moderna), "Disruptors" (including TikTok) and sector "Leaders", (including Airbnb, Spotify) and Kami.
There are also two other companies with Kiwi links on the list: woollen sneaker maker Allbirds, founded by ex-All White Tim Brown (despite its post-IPO stumbles), and plant-based burger maker Impossible Foods - a US startup that (close your eyes, beef and lamb farmers) includes Sir John Key as a board adviser.
Impossible has just inked a deal for its Beef Made From Plants patties to go on sale through 200 Countdown supermarkets nationwide.
Earlier named by the Herald in its Startups to Watch series, Kami was already a success story before the pandemic, with some 7 million teachers and students using its software worldwide.
But as the pandemic emptied classrooms and schools everywhere sought online learning solutions, the Kiwi company's software exploded in popularity. In October last year, co-founder Hengji Wang said it had 30 million users, with another 100,000 coming on board every week.
Like all good startups, it was created to solve a real-life problem.
Kami's eponymous product was developed when Wang (today CEO), Alliv Samson (now COO), and Jordan Thoms (CTO) were studying engineering at Auckland University in the twenty-teens, and wanted a better solution for taking and sharing notes.
Together they created, Kami, (the word means paper in Japanese): a tool for sharing PDF documents, and annotating them with notes. Over time, it's grown to accommodate many types of file formats, or even snippets of websites, and integrate with Google Classroom and other online learning platforms.
The founding trio were soon joined by designated-adult Bob Drummond. Today there are around 50 other staff - all hired through organic growth, with no outside investment.
In October, Wang was feeling the squeeze from the tech skills shortage that, combined with border restrictions, made it hard to find staff.
"There's a huge shortage out there. It's a bottleneck for our growth," he said. He would double his headcount again to 100 if he could.
While most pupils have now returned to schools, Wang told the Herald that the pandemic had sparked the long-overdue adoption of digital learning tools - which schools were continuing to use post-lockdowns.
Offshore, Kami's software costs $99 a year for teachers and is free for students.
Here, it's been made free for all Kiwi teachers and students as a Covid relief measure for Kami's home market.
The firm is also helping to bankroll OMG Tech's DigiTautau programme - a Māori and Pasifika-focused closing-the-digital-divide initiative that provides refurbished laptops to students.