Merger creates Wellington’s largest indie digital agency 

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Springload and Touchtech, two of Wellington’s more innovative and customer-focussed digital agencies, have merged. The merger is a game-changer for the industry and a big win for innovative New Zealand-owned companies, says Springload founder/ceo Bron Thomson.

“Finally there’s a large independent company in our local market – Wellington – who has the technical gravitas to deliver massive projects but with the focus on usability, user experience, customer experience, and organisational experience,” Thomson said.

The merged entity, which will trade under the Springload brand, is now Wellington’s largest independently owned experience design company. Almost 70 people will soon be working out of Springload’s Dixon Street premises.

“Springload designed and built the RNZ website, and the Wellington Airport website. Touchtech are the providers to National Australia Bank – and Touchtech ceo Andrew Smith is on the executive council of the Artificial Intelligence Forum of New Zealand.

Andrew Smith said: “When you look at other New Zealand-founded software development/experience companies many of them are owned by offshore companies.

“I think the fact we’re independently owned makes a huge difference as does our size. It’s going to shake up the market because it’s going to create a category of company that doesn’t currently exist in Wellington.”

“Right from the start we sensed there was a really nice fit.”

Springload now provides a true full-service digital offering that includes UX, content, design, development (native app, mobile and desktop), product and AI (natural language processing, machine learning and chatbots). The merger also increases their strategic capability.

“To be the best, and to be able to impact lots of people, sometimes you just need scale. This merger feels like it’s a step change for us, for our growth and our ability to make a really tangible impact for good,” says Thomson.

A year in the making, the merger idea was seeded at a series of WREDA-organised ceo meetups Thomson and Smith attended.

“Right from the start Andrew and I sensed there was a really nice fit,” Thomson said. “We shared similar values, and there was massive alignment around people and culture. Touchtech had a really strong technical capability that would complement our design and human-centred focus.

“It felt like a match made in heaven.

“The result is a new kind of digital agency that has the deep development ethos and AI capability of Touchtech combined with Springload’s human-centred approach.

“As a merged company, we’re truly at that intersection where technology and humanity meet. The opportunities for growth and improving the customer experience are immense.”

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