On Apr 26 2023 / by Chantel Anderson

New Zealand parking app selects Denver for US HQ

Parkable, a New Zealand-based company, met with consulate members in Denver as kiwi businesses grow their presence here. From left: Byron Powell with Parkable, New Zealand Consul-General to Los Angeles Jeremy Clarke-Watson, Kezia Lynch with Parkable, and New Zealand Honorary Consul in Colorado Andrew Burner.

A New Zealand-based software company that describes itself as a concierge for parking spaces is opening a U.S. headquarters in Denver.

The move grows the list of companies from the Oceania region using Denver as their North American launching pad.

Executives with Parkable said they are currently working out of the Galvanize building on Platte Street downtown, where a growing group of New Zealand- and Australia-based tech companies say they have found camaraderie and support from their peers.

Byron Powell, Parkable's chief revenue officer, said about three employees have been working in Denver since the company came for an onboarding program with the city in September. He said the company does not have plans to hire more than about six people locally to start, although plans could change if its client list grows.

Founded in 2016, Parkable uses software that manages parking spaces for employee and residential lots, a commodity that has grown more popular with companies as they continue hybrid work models, Powell said.

He said the company is currently working with Meta (Nasdaq: META), the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, and works with Microsoft in New Zealand to coordinate employee parking. Parkable also has an agreement with Waterton, a major multi-family housing developer in the U.S.

Kezia Lynch, Parkable's head of customer success, said she and other leaders with Parkable came to Denver in September to partake in the city's Global Landing Pad program, a multiple-day workshop with local experts on legal and other requirements that foreign companies need to open and grow in Denver.

The program backed up against Denver's Startup Week, which opened even more doors to mentors and community members that could help Parkable get started, Lynch said.

"Having that literally within the first week of our arrival just made everything in Denver a bit easier,” she said.

It wasn't long into their visit that Lynch said Parkable knew for certain it wanted to base out of Denver. Lynch and several others stayed to make operations official, and Denver began serving as the U.S. headquarters last fall.

Andrew Burner, Colorado's honorary New Zealand consul, said the city's startup week has been "hugely important" in getting out the word to New Zealand-based companies about the opportunities associated with working here.

With more than 30 New Zealand companies that have opened offices in Denver, Burner and New Zealand's regional Consul-General Jeremy Clarke-Watson said the city is officially a kiwi hub.

The 6th largest foreign direct investor in the state, more and more New Zealanders see Colorado as a place where they want to tour, live and do business, Clarke-Watson said. He said similarities in the outdoor lifestyle and Denver's geographical location are common benefits cited by companies that locate here.

Lynch said Denver's location allows Parkable workers to travel to either coast of the U.S. in a few hours, and its central time zone allows for the company to work with both New Zealand and United Kingdom time zones for at least half of the workday.

"It's an ideal location for serving the whole world, really," she said. For that reason, Lynch said Parkable has considered moving even more of its central operations to Denver.

On Platte Street, she and Powell said they have found a community not just with other New Zealand companies, but with their Australian cousins.

The city of Denver and Australian business organization AUSDenver last year launched an Australian business hub at the Galvanize office, marking a first-of-its-kind initiative to capitalize on a significant amount of inquiries from the region.

Xero, a small business accounting platform from New Zealand, has its Denver headquarters on Platte Street, and several cafes in the area have developed menus that reflect a taste of home for business workers from New Zealand and Australia that include flat white coffees, Burner said.

"You hear a lot of accents as you walk that street," he said.

Powell said working in a tightly knit community of businesses from a similar region has unmatched value. He said that the community has helped Parkable get ahead of questions that they might not have even known to ask, such as the details of getting health insurance for employees.

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