Kiwi software developer Cin7 is building itself into one of the world’s biggest players in online inventory management with the acquisition of smaller rivals DEAR Systems and Orderhive.

The Auckland-based company is the biggest of the three firms, servicing 2,500 product sellers across 255 countries. With the addition of DEAR Systems and Orderhive, that customer base expands to more than 6,000, although chief executive David Leach says it isn’t simply a case of the firm doubling in size.

“We have a much larger footprint, and now we’re one of the largest, if not the largest, inventory management businesses globally,” Leach told BusinessDesk.

Cin7 targets mid-market firms trying to reduce their cost of selling products, while DEAR services retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers and Orderhive supports online high-volume transactions.

Leach said the three firms combined are growing at an annual rate of almost 50 percent, in what he describes as a step-change for the company, giving it market share, a boost to annual recurring revenue, and deeper penetration of its target market.

“The combination of these three great products covers the full range of product seller needs, immediately creating a significantly larger and fast-growing company with a massive global market opportunity,” he said.

Pandemic sales

This has been given a boost by the covid-19 pandemic, which reinforced the advantages of ecommerce and online inventory management, although Leach also stresses the importance of having multiple channels for vendors to sell their wares. 

"We talk about omnichannel – you want places where you can really go to give people a chance to touch and feel products," he said. 

"They might buy that product that night online, either from that retailer or a different retailer." 

The small-to-medium sized businesses Cin7 targets tend to be earlier adopters of technology, which Leach said stands the firm in good stead. 

The company, which employs 150 people at its Auckland headquarters, brought on tech investor Rubicon Technology Partners as a majority shareholder in 2019 in a $133.3 million deal, according to the Overseas Investment Office decision approving the transaction.