Global leader: Layton Duncan and Guy Horrocks, co-CEO and MD
Core activity: Software for mobile platforms
Revenue: Below NZ$10 million
Key customers: Software sold via Apple to consumers
Polar Bear Farm is a software development company specialising in applications for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.
The business was created by 24-year-olds Guy Horrocks and Layton Duncan, following their involvement in other start-ups. The business is also helped by Rod Carr, managing director of Jade Software and former acting Reserve Bank governor, who is a member of its advisory board.
When the iPhone came out, Horrocks says he and Layton thought it needed extra features, so Polar Bear Farm was formed last October.
Products include Search and ShowTime, the latter of which brings video recording to the iPhone and Twinkle (a Twitter application).
Horrocks told CIO that although his company is New Zealand-based, such isolation from Silicon Valley is not a hindrance. The products can simply be downloaded, with two million downloads to date.
Horrocks says Polar Bear Farm is a digital business, which is why there are no phone details on its website, or phone book listing. Customers don’t need to contact the company as they can simply download the software via the internet, though a new website might offer better contact details in the near future.
At present, Polar Bear Farm competes with major companies like Sega and Electronic Arts.
Horrocks says his company has undergone rapid growth and is now working on joint-ventures with other gaming companies, allowing his business access to 25 extra software developers.
In the future, Polar Bear Farm will move towards more advanced applications and more advanced videogames. “That’s where the market is,” says Horrocks. Darren Greenwood
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