One of New Zealand's best kept e-commerce secrets is no more -- not because of its failure but rather because of its burgeoning success.
Sparesfinder started life as a database for power companies to list their spare parts on so they could find parts for power plants in a hurry. Companies could contact each other and either buy, borrow or swap parts as needed.
The company has grown from a small operation run out of New Zealand in 1998 to a multinational with its head office in Wimbledon in the UK, and that has lead to Sparefinder.com (NZ) being placed in voluntary liquidation.
"Really it's grown beyond that and there's no need for a New Zealand office any longer," says director for the Australasian region, Stephen Young. He says that since co-founder Stephen Herstell has stepped back from active involvement in the company it made more sense to run Australasia from Sydney.
"It's a bit of a romantic idea that you can run an international business from New Zealand," says Young, who says internationally the company is going from strength to strength.
"We've just signed a memorandum of understanding with a company called Quadrem to provide the functionality behind their capability." Quadrem describes itself as "a global mining, minerals and metals" e-marketplace.
"Quadrem want to be able to allow their members to share inventory and we've got the technology so they're outsourcing it."
Herstell, who co-founded the company along with Brian Oxenham, retains shares in Sparesfinder but no longer has any other role with the company.