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Waikato big data firm connects Kiwi businesses to China
Tue, 13th Dec 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

A Waikato business is fusing big data and advertising to offer Kiwi businesses a way to interact with Chinese immigrants in both English and Chinese.

Info Site, run by Luke Lee and Fang Fang, built an online big data service to provide Chinese-speaking immigrants a way to interact with local businesses in their native language. The company opened its doors last year and has grown rapidly after demand for its bilingual online platform surged.

As a result, the company is targeting Chinese-speaking consumers in New Zealand and in mainland China. Currently there are more than 170,000 Chinese-speaking residents in New Zealand and up to 310,000 Chinese visitors each year. The company says their product is a shortcut into a hard to reach market.

The company says that the numbers show its success. Initial targets for its website went five times over what was expected, reaching 50,000-70,000 hits per day in the first year. Much of the traffic came from China.

“When Fang and I looked at the online traffic, we saw it as a validation of the business model, our target market, and the opportunities we know we can provide to Kiwi businesses. Within a year we were offering multiple services targeting Chinese speaking consumers in New Zealand and China," says Luke Lee, Info Site's managing director.

Business incubator Soda Inc has added Info Site to its Soda Lift platform, through which the company was exposed to a network of business experts. One of those experts was Soda Business Growth Advisor Chip Dawson, who is now Info Site's CEO.

“Soda's unique in the sense that it's not just looking after primary services products, it looks at growth areas coming out of the Waikato,” Dawson says.

“With Google, Facebook and YouTube banned in China, Info Site offers an alternative information gateway between New Zealand businesses and Chinese consumers, exponentially growing the potential customer base for our partners," Dawson concludes.

The company is now seeking between $200,000-50,000 funding through funding platform AlphaCrowd to help its growth. The funds will help bring new staff on board for sales, marketing and systems development. Investments begin at $1000 for asset class, and first closing is December 22, 2016.