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Microsoft snaps up Kiwi cloud computing firm

Friday 2 May 2014 10:47 a.m.

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Microsoft has bought a small Kiwi company called GreenButton, which specialises in cloud computing with a lot of data.

The cost of the deal isn't being made public, but it nets Microsoft some big business – GreenButton's clients include Pixar, NASA and Boeing.

The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, the Crown-funded start-up investor, says it secured a profit from the sale of GreenButton. Local investors received a "very healthy return," NZVIF chief executive Franceska Banga said in a statement.

NZVIF had held about an 8.4 percent stake in the company prior to the takeover, according to Companies Office records.

NZVIF's seed fund invested $24.4 million in 96 companies as at June 30, out of a total $127.7m in 146 firms, according to its 2013 annual report.

Microsoft plans to incorporate GreenButton into its Azure platform, its public cloud service. The software allows companies to access software remotely, from the cloud, meaning there is less demand on infrastructure, it said. GreenButton's existing customers include NASA, Pixar and Boeing.

The company will remain in Wellington and its existing 18 staff will become Microsoft employees. GreenButton already had a long relationship with Microsoft through the BizSpark programme which gives free resources to early stage businesses, it said.

Scott Houston, founder and chief executive of GreenButton, had previously worked on Lord of the Rings as chief information officer with Weta Digital.

Jono Hutchison talks to GreenButton founder Scott Houston and Microsoft New Zealand's managing director, Paul Muckleston – watch the video.

NZN / 3 News

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