Digital Publishing: It is nearly 8 years since I invested in Kiwa Digital . My journey started by searching for something that meant I can let my boys learn Chinese by themselves. It ends with investing in Kiwa Digital. Kiwa was truly one of the first developers who put children’s books on iPad, so early even iPad hadn’t launched in Hong Kong in 2010.
It set the standard with so many features. CNN used nearly 3 minutes reporting on Kiwa and its products at Hong Kong book fair in 2010 . Since then we have published so many books (Apps) on the App Store including the most popular children’s books in New Zealand like Hairy MacLary and Wonky Donkey, Māori stories, and many students’ own books from our SLAM programme. We partnered with the Ministry of Education who did some trials on improving writing skills via our SLAM programme . The feedback was very positive, students loved the programme. It was so touching seeing students eyes wide open.
Kiwa has also moved into cultural intelligence apps such as this tri-lingual app, that includes Chinese language, for the Department of Conservation Pūkete Taiao o Tāmaki Makaurau. And it has received many awards.
Another patented and award winning product is VoiceQ, which automates dubbing in media production. In 2007, it was awarded the prestigious Hollywood Post Alliance Engineering Excellence Award. VoiceQ is now recognised as the market leader in the ‘prompting tools’ category, adopted by elite dubbing studios globally, used on global hits by Netflix and Amazon, and credited by The Economist as helping drive the current global dubbing boom by “making sprawling international productions easier, faster and cheaper”. It is particularly popular now when the world is almost at stand still.
Journey is never easy for pioneers. Looking back, thanks to founder Rhonda Kite, my fellow investor James Liang and, I can’t say enough, to Jill Tattersall and Steve Renata. It was Jill and Steve who have worked so hard to take Kiwa to where it is now.