Global Interest in Start-Up's Software and Staff

Date: 30/09/2004

An Auckland software development start-up is poised for international success, with a mix of overseas investment and funding from Technology New Zealand having helped elevate it to the forefront of the global marketplace:

IDIOM was founded just three years ago to develop and market the IDIOM Decision Suite software that supports the automation of business decision making. IDIOM has been designed to give business experts hands-on control over the definition and deployment of their business decisions, thereby removing much of the cost and risk normally associated with software development.

The IDIOM Decision Suite is used by business analysts to model and define business decisions and the business rules that underpin them. It then automatically converts these rules into executable computer code and generates the English documentation, eliminating programming and ensuring accuracy and currency of documentation in the process. When the computer application requires a decision it calls IDIOM and the decision is provided.

The software is already being used in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, in the health, insurance and finance industries, all of which are dealing with constant regulatory and market changes in a highly competitive environment. Its market potential is helped by its ability to work co-operatively with any of the mainstream IT infrastructures.

IDIOM Chief Executive, Mark Norton, says the company is now signing major deals with international organisations. This success follows significant investment by United States-based partners Investors Guaranty™ Global Alliance (IGGA), together with investment of $270,000 from government R&D funding agency, Technology New Zealand.

"Gaining those investments means IDIOM has completed its capital raising in one sweep and we are now able to launch our product internationally without going back to the well," Mr Norton says.

He says there had been sporadic contact over several years between IDIOM's technology partner, RHE & Associates, and IGGA, but the investment deal itself was the result of introductions made during the 2003 America's Cup in Auckland.

"IGGA executives were here for the yachting and were instantly impressed with what IDIOM is doing. They have taken a strategic interest in IDIOM, not to turn us into a cash cow or for a quick capital gain, but because they see the value of our product to their own strategic plans. We're important to their bigger picture.

"The investment from Technology New Zealand, which helped us re-build our product to make it particularly suitable for the financial services industry, was equally important. If we had been solely relying on the American investment we would have risked running out of money before we turned cash flow positive.

"Now, we are launching internationally and our software has the potential to advance New Zealand's software profile globally."