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New Zealand-Owned Buy & Sell Site to Challenge Market

Media Release: 26 September 2012

New Zealand-Owned Buy & Sell Site to Challenge Market provides an alternative for online buyers and sellers
Neil Graham invests in new online marketplace start-up

New Zealand’s online market, worth an estimated $1 billion, is about to get a major new competitor with the launch of a locally owned online marketplace called ‘Wheedle’.

Wheedle launches nationwide on 1st October 2012, providing a new online website for individuals and businesses to showcase their products and services. The site has a strong focus on attracting established online businesses, including importers, retailers, manufacturers, vehicle dealers, real estate agents, travel agents and recruitment agents. With an extensive B2B marketing campaign, Wheedle is encouraging online businesses to sign-up and advertise anything absolutely free until 29 November.

Wheedle managing director Carl Rees says the online market is ready for a genuine competitor that is locally owned and well-resourced.

“New Zealand’s online market is currently dominated by a single, Australian owned entity and with the launch of Wheedle, Kiwis will really benefit from the increased competition,” says Carl Rees.

“As we’ve seen in the telecommunications market, the entry of another major player can both simulate growth and make pricing much more affordable for Kiwi consumers.”

Price is a key consideration for Wheedle and in the current economic climate, using Wheedle will make good sense for businesses who want to reduce their online advertising spend. Wheedle’s advertising prices are very competitive, yet no compromise has been made in using the latest technologies to provide a superior service and a better online experience for customers, according to Mr Rees.

“Wheedle is different from the established model in that we don’t charge commissions or success fees – we think they are unfair. We also don’t have any hidden costs such as set-up fees and monthly charges,” says Carl Rees.

“Everything else is designed to be much, much cheaper on Wheedle – something the market will really appreciate.”

Initially established by Carl Rees and software developer Ranjith Sivaraman, Wheedle has been more than two years in development. Based in Christchurch, the company employs highly-skilled local talent while also drawing on a wide range of international expertise.

Wheedle also has support from investor Neil Graham, founding Managing Director of Mainfreight, and Pat Barrow, who has joined the Wheedle management team.

Neil Graham says he is extremely excited about the new business and is enjoying the opportunity to be part of the success of a new generation of Kiwi entrepreneurs.

“The online marketplace is currently wide open for some quality local competition that can give New Zealanders a far better service than they’ve ever had before with far better prices,” says Neil Graham.

“The timing is good and we have the management experience, the technical expertise – and the firepower – to make this a long-term success in the New Zealand.”

Carl Rees says the experienced management team, together with the considerable investment made in both the site development and promotion, will enable Wheedle to carve out a substantial share of the fast growing online market.

“This is an expanding market with many new opportunities. Kiwis will soon discover that Wheedle offers more-for-less, which should encourage a new stream of buyers and sellers to the online market,” says Carl Rees.

“A key point of difference though, has been the focus we have put into the smartphone market. I believe we are the first online marketplace to be built from the ground up in the smartphone age; we’ve taken good advantage of that to make ‘wheedling’ a mobile optimised activity.”

Carl Rees says although the company has drawn expertise from all over the globe, being owned and based in New Zealand will make an important difference.

“Being locally owned and operated allows us to keep Wheedle competitive; we don’t have to report to a large corporate base, nor do we have large shareholders demanding high returns on their investment.”

Wheedle will be launching to the public with a nationwide TV, radio and online advertising campaign on Sunday 30 September. Businesses are being invited to set-up their Online-Shop with Wheedle and advertise absolutely free till 29 November, at


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