Expansion, global; Dunedin, priceless

Timely Ltd founders Ryan Baker (left) and Andrew Schofield believe they can increase their...
Timely Ltd founders Ryan Baker (left) and Andrew Schofield believe they can increase their customer base from 4000 to 10,000 in the next 16 months. Photo by Linda Robertson.

Massive growth and dozens of new jobs are planned for a Dunedin tech company over the next 16 months.

Timely Ltd set up in 2012 with a workforce of just two but has since grown to have 4000 customers and 27 staff.

The company's ''smart booking software'' is now being used in small businesses spanning 70 countries around the world.

Chief executive Ryan Baker said growth was forecast to rise and the company expected to add another 1000 customers by the end of next March.

A year after that, it was expecting to have doubled again to 10,000 customers - putting it in the top 7% of companies in the ''software as a service'' market - and increasing staffing levels to about 50.

A ''big chunk'' of those 50 staff would be Dunedin-based, Mr Baker said.

Although Timely was a software company, new staff would cover technical, customer support and sales and marketing roles, he said.

Timely staff all worked from home, making use of Dunedin's fibre internet infrastructure.

That philosophy would continue, and the company was ''absolutely'' confident Dunedin had the talent to fill the new roles as they came up.

Timely's chief technical officer and fellow founder Andrew Schofield, formerly of Dunedin but now based in Wellington, said a University of Otago computer science degree was known for being ''quite tough and quite well respected''.

That meant the city's graduates were of high quality, helping to fuel its tech industry's expansion.

Mr Baker said the company was ''pretty amazed'' at the quality of Dunedin people.

And as the city's tech industry grew, it gave those graduates ''a real choice'' of who they wanted to work for, he said.

''And we can participate in the global economy from here with very few global barriers.''

Improvements to the city's internet infrastructure had helped that, while at the same time a global shift to cloud-based systems - computer solutions that do not require desktop hardware - took off around the world.

Cloud-based systems had effectively removed Dunedin's tyranny of distance, Mr Baker said.

''The way the cloud and the tech industry in general have gone is a lot of geographical barriers have been removed. So people don't choose a local provider any more. They just choose the best software.''

For Timely that meant massive growth goals would continue, Mr Schofield said.

''There is a ceiling in the market. But it's hundreds of thousands of customers.''

craig.borley@odt.co.nz

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