Kiwi company Liverton wins Macau deal for innovative kiosk ticketing technology

Cotai, which carries 52 million passengers and has over 80 sailings a day, is buying 10 of the kiosks initially.

Liverton Technology Group has scored a five-year deal to supply new ticketing kiosks for Cotai Water Jet, one of three high-speed ferry services operating between Hong Kong and Macau.

The Wellington-based technology and managed services company has developed SmartTicket, a kiosk hardware and software system that allows customers to purchase ferry tickets and redeem existing reservations through the automated service from later this year, in what is the first offshore sale of the technology.

Cotai, which carries 52 million passengers and has over 80 sailings a day, is buying 10 of the kiosks initially, though Liverton chief executive Justin De Lille hopes to grow that to another 100.

"They're basically saying give us a sip and we'll see if we want the bottle of wine," he said.

De Lille said the value of the deal is confidential but Liverton also gets recurring revenue from maintaining the hardware and managing the software on the ground.

"Anyone can build hardware in China to certain specifications. It's making the products do cool stuff where Liverton adds value," he said.

Liverton opened an office in the Cyberport innovation and technology hub in Hong Kong in March as a base to support its Asian customers. De Lille said Asia is likely to be a big growth market for the company, which has about $10 million annual turnover and 20 staff.

"A lot of Kiwi companies are heading to the US to sell their products but as an IT company, we see a huge amount of growth in Asia."

Cotai Jet is a subsidiary of the American casino and resort company Las Vegas Sands which in February struck a $10 million five-year deal with Liverton for its SmartCheck kiosk technology.

SmartCheck lets customers check in and out with their passport or some other form of identification, avoiding the need to wait in line for the next available receptionist. The kiosks are being installed in the 3,000-room hotel and casino, The Venetian Macao, in Macau.

Liverton is 29 percent owned by VMG Ventures, the investment arm of pre media outsourcing company VMG founded by Doug Drury and Jonathan Reid. Stephen Tindall's K1W1 investment vehicle was a backer of VMG and also holds a quarter share of VMG Ventures.

Last November Liverton bought the business and assets of Knossos Networks and sister company On Networks which operated as managed network, ISP and VOIP providers specialising in the hotel industry. It was the company's third acquisition and complemented its existing ISP and managed network business in New Zealand, Australia and the US.

The 15-year-old company has three divisions, the kiosk technology, internet services provision, and data protection.


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