RPT-NZ software firm Vend raises NZ$25 mln for U.S. expansion

Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:28pm EDT

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WELLINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) - New Zealand retail management software provider Vend Ltd on Wednesday said it has raised NZ$25 million ($21.4 million) in fresh capital to help expand its cloud-based platform of point-of-sales services in the United States.

Major investors in the latest funding round include Valar Ventures, the venture fund set up by Peter Thiel, the U.S. billionaire, PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor, and Australia's Square Peg Capital, Vend said in a statement.

Launched in 2009, Vend provides software which enables small businesses to execute and track in-store and online sales and manage inventories. The software can be integrated with transaction and accounting services including PayPal and New Zealand's Xero Ltd.

Vend is among a number of New Zealand tech start-ups which are expanding into global markets with cloud-based office software aimed at small businesses, in contrast with slick social media apps which consumers download free of charge.

The company aims to increase revenues in the U.S., already its largest revenue base by region, accounting for roughly 30 percent. "The additional funding will accelerate our North American plans, allowing us to grow our major market and extend into small and independent retail shops across the continent," Vend CEO Vaughan Rowsell said in a statement.

Vend is following in the footsteps of Xero, which has also been raising capital to fund its U.S. expansion. Xero's share price has quadrupled in the past year.

The latest Vend funding round follows an NZ$8 million raising in 2013, and a total of NZ$3 million in 2011 and 2012.

($1 = 1.1707 New Zealand Dollars) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)