A vision that went global

Unleashed Software

Most business ideas which emerge at the bottom of a Jim Beam bottle go nowhere – but North Shore company Unleashed Software is a notable exception.
Unleashed Software

After a decade of different company forms, names and software incarnations, Unleashed Software was established in 2010 and made an accidental debut as an exporter to Australia before it had any local customers.

The company is now expanding rapidly and opened offices in the US in 2014, with plans to do the same in London and Canada. It has 55 staff and its software is used in 80 countries.

Unleashed is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of cloud-based inventory management solutions and tools which integrate with other online business software systems. It was founded on lean principles and a culture of innovation, and was ‘born global’.

CEO Gareth Berry says the company’s success – it was named Xero’s add-on partner of the year in 2012 – is based on a relatively simple bedrock philosophy.

“Nothing else matters as long as you have a great vision, and are able to build a passionate team around you which is prepared to work 60-100 hours a week to achieve that vision,” says Gareth.

He says the company has regular ‘hack-a-thons’ to create an atmosphere which throws up “crazy ideas”.

Two ATEED research and development specialists, first Chris Lock and then Tom McLeod, have worked alongside Garth and Unleashed co-founders Greg Murphy and Terry Patmore since 2011.

Chris initially helped the company to gain an early $99,000 R&D grant from the Ministry of Science and Innovation (now Callaghan Innovation). Unleashed was initially based at ATEED partner Massey University’s ecentre until it grew big enough to need its own premises.

Gareth says: “ATEED has switched on people with a common economic vision, a unified direction, and the ability to follow through by taking companies along for the ride. They have been champions in our corner, approaching us with opportunities to connect with other tech companies.”

Tom has been instrumental in connecting Unleashed with two ATEED-supported networking groups for high-growth ICT companies – ‘Techapuna High-tech Entrepreneurs Club’, and ‘The Unicorn Club’ for companies aiming to reach billion dollar capitalisation.

Gareth says: “Takapuna is probably the best place in the country to base a tech company, with the benefits but not the problems of being in a big city. There are at least 50 high-tech start-ups within a square kilometre of Hurstmere Rd, and endless opportunities to bump into people, share knowledge and talk about things in one of the cafes, whether it’s technical problems, or the need for an investor.

“It is fantastic to be part of the growing ‘Techapuna’ community.”