11Ants Analytics is a spin-out company from WaikatoLink that created and commercialised 11Ants RAP – a cloud-based customer science platform for the retail sector that transforms customer data into customer insights.
The company has licensed its solutions to a number of notable customers, and in early April, WaikatoLink announced its biggest deal to date – it completed the sale of the business of spin-out company 11Ants Analytics to a joint venture between Air New Zealand and Aimia Inc, the Canadian based data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company.
11Ants Analytics CEO, Tom Fuyala and WaikatoLink CEO, Duncan Mackintosh talk about the successful commercial enterprise.
The University of Waikato has recently sold the start-up company 11Ants Analytics to a major international partnership led by Air New Zealand.
11Ants is a company that’s developed a customer science platform that enables any retailer to just drop their data into it, and within a few hours, it comes to life and starts telling them stories about their customer that are both strategic and tactical that help them grow their business and make better decisions.
The history of the technology comes from university – the faculty of Computer and Mathematical Sciences – and it’s based on what’s called machine learning or also known as data mining or artificial intelligence. Some pretty exciting but very clever algorithms sitting behind it.
The machine learning group in the University of Waikato is actually one of the most respected groups in that area in the world.
Government investment of Pre-Seed Accelerator Funding was instrumental in enabling the university to transform clever science into a viable commercial enterprise.
11Ants has been acquired by a combination of two companies, one of them being Air New Zealand, and Aimia, who’s a large publicly traded Canadian company who is actually the largest pure play loyalty programme provider in the world.
Look, it is really exciting. These are two big players with an enormous amount of reach, and you know, we’re sitting on the other side of the world. We’ve got these guys as partners, and really, the world is our oyster.
For me, it feels like quite a special deal, because there’s such good things for all three parties – in fact, all four parties that are involved.
Look, I think any of these start-ups that we get away, where they have their roots in technology, the real smarts, partnering with big companies and then going global – the more of those success stories, the better.
It’s going to mean more jobs in New Zealand. It’s going to mean more revenue flying into New Zealand from at least 20 countries around the world. It’s going to – I think it helps New Zealand’s credibility with being able to build things that are recognised on the global stage.
From our perspective, the more 11Ants we can get out there, we’ve got a pipeline of new opportunities, and it’s how do we partner with new companies? How do we partner with the next Air New Zealand and how do we help them develop their next product?
Video courtesy of Kiwi Innovation Network Limited
© Kiwi Innovation Network Limited, 2015