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Vista is Hi-Tech company of the year

NZN 21/05/2016 Fiona Rotherham

Listed film software and analytics firm Vista Group International has won the PwC Hi-Tech company of the year in the annual Hi-Tech Awards with judges saying it truly had "worldwide potential".

Vista may argue that potential has already been met given it now provides software to more than 4,000 cinemas in more than 60 countries and has 400-plus staff in eight offices globally.

It was founded in 1996 after chief executive Murray Holdaway and commercial and legal director Brian Cadzow initially entered into a 50:50 joint venture with film exhibitor Village to develop a cinema ticketing system for its multi-screen theatres and later bought it out with a bunch of other shareholders.

Vista dual-listed on the NZX/ASX in August 2014 raising $92 million in an initial public offering. Its market capitalisation since then has catapulted to $470m.

On its website's front page, the group, which comprises 10 businesses providing software solutions to the film industry, has a map outlining its customer footprint. The same map adorns a wall in its Auckland offices and while there's still a few gaps - Africa, Scandinavia, some parts of Europe - it's always aimed for world domination.

Its global market share in the large cinema market has grown to 38 per cent, up 15 per cent in the past six years.

Award judges said Vista had demonstrated strong growth with a well thought out and tailored product and market knowledge.

"They have a great management team that hasn't been afraid to go hard to secure deals around the world," the judges said.

Another big winner at the awards was cloud video production service, 90 Seconds, which took out both the IBM Most Innovative Company award and the ATEED Best Technology Solution for the Creative Sector award. Judges described it as the Uber and AirBnB of video production as it has developed a disruptive scalable model with global aspirations.

Other winners were:

2016 Flying Kiwis and inductees into the Tait Communications Hi-Tech Hall of Fame: Katherine Corich, Sam Morgan

Fronde Hi-Tech Young Achiever: Danu Abeysuriya, CEO of Rush Digital

Qual IT Best Technology Solution for the Public Sector: Silverstripe

Callaghan Innovation Maori Innovation: Precision Seafood Harvesting

Duncan Cotterill: Innovative Software Product: Movio

Endace Innovative Hardware Product: Aeroqual

Vocus Communications Innovative Services: Flick Electric

NZTE Most Innovative Agritech Product: Outpost Central

Quick Circuit Innovative Mobile: Serato

NZ Venture Investment Fund Hi-Tech Start-up company: Figured

Coretex Emerging company: Aranz Medical

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