Mobile phone software and application developer uiActive is understood to be closing its New Zealand operation, based in Auckland, and retrenching to Australia. Sources say about 20 jobs will be lost locally.
UiActive (NZ) Ltd was formed last year through the merger of New Zealand company ECONZ Wireless and Bullant Software, from Sydney. Its 5.8 million shares are held by uiActive Incorporated of California.
ECONZ, which was founded 30 years ago to design interfaces for laboratory and machine tools and other specialist communications, had developed a suite of applications aimed at the mobile workforce and distributed in the US by Verizon Wireless.
The company’s technology connects mobile workers to their offices using cellphone-based in-field applications that communicate with password protected websites for back-office use.
Bullant had developed a mobile client-server platform that enabled mobile operators to provide a customisable user interface and operating system on mobile handsets UiActive has offices in Sydney and Singapore.
It is backed by two of the largest venture capital groups in Australia, CM Capital and Southern Cross Ventures, and by iGlobe Treasury in New Zealand.
IGlobe invested $3 million in ECONZ in late 2005. At the time, Tony Bishop, managing director of iGlobe Treasury, said the intellectual property of ECONZ Wireless came from a highly successful and respected development company.
“ECONZ is an iconic New Zealand technology firm with more than 30 years developing proven software solutions in the wireless space. It boasts an experienced and dynamic management team, as well as an extensive list of stable and strong clients in New Zealand and Australia which provide ECONZ with solid earnings,” he said in a statement.
“It’s an outstanding New Zealand company and we’re exciting to be taking its technology to the world.”
The New Zealand business was essentially the development arm of uiActive.
Chief executive Jennifer Zanich, who is also a director, did not respond to phone calls from Computerworld. Nor did Steve Lane of CM Capital. He is chairman of uiActive.