Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. This week he talks to Hadleigh Bognuda, CEO of EzyVet.
The move to the cloud has been called the biggest thing to happen to business since the dawn of the internet. At its best, it means small businesses can enjoy the kind of enterprise software advantages only the big players used to be able to get for small affordable payments, and big companies can now get enterprise software without enterprise price tags. We’ve seen it in business software, with local hero Xero becoming one of the great SaaS (software as a service) companies in the world, and in its wake, an ecosystem of possibility emerged. Some of the companies that came after were an obvious move of putting a business tool into the cloud. Others have pulled together a bunch of tools to change every element of how a business can operate. And one of the beauties of the cloud is that you can serve customers everywhere. So while specialist vet software might not have been viable in an isolated New Zealand market before, now the world is your market.
Which is the story of local SaaS star EzyVet, a vet practice management software solution that has been on a tear, tripling year-on-year and opening offices in North America, Auckland and London with 100 plus staff around the world. With 65% of its revenue in North America and a huge wave of change happening with vets looking for a better way, EzyVet is a fantastic Kiwi success story you may not yet have heard of. To talk about the journey, sustainable scaling and its future, CEO Hadleigh Bognuda joined the podcast.
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You have seen an enormous growth in the last couple of years. But you didn’t just luck into it, it was a slow and steady build.
Yeah definitely, we took a very different approach and we invested a lot of time and money and we built a really great product before we went to the market. Now we are in a position where our product is very well known in the key market and people really want it. So when we talk to people and we are trying to recruit people and do our business it’s very interesting. Firstly they have [often] heard of us – we have never been to all the startup meetups, we have never been out there parading around what we’ve been doing. We have been pretty busy focusing on our costumer growth and what their experiences have been like and what our customer base is like.
Now as we scale it out we need to be able to deal with the growing problems and they are really good ones but they are also really difficult ones to solve. Sometimes getting enough space and being able to recruit the right talent, they are the growth challenges that have held us back from going faster.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.