News Articles

Seeby Voted one of NZ's hottest singles

posted Jan 12, 2009, 10:00 PM by Seeby W

By Bridget Saunders - Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 11 January 2009

SEEBY WOODHOUSE: Young, smart, loaded and green! What more could a girl want? Ethics? He has those too. This Auckland businessman might party at the Playboy mansion but after selling his internet company for $19m, the 33-year-old founded Green Carbon, which sells carbon credits. "I don't want to have 20 houses on the side all losing money and putting a strain on civilisation."

Factette: He has never read a romance novel because, he says, "I would rather do that in my own life".

sourced from Sunday Star Times

2008-04 Orcon millionaire sees answers in education

posted Dec 21, 2008, 7:54 PM by Seeby W   [ updated Dec 21, 2008, 7:59 PM ]

Pictured: Seeby Woodhouse (right) following the College of Business graduation at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre with Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Auckland and International) Professor John Raine. Article sourced from Massey News

Technology millionaire Seeby Woodhouse realised in hindsight how a university education would have provided the answers to many things he spent a long time learning. Guest speaker at the University’s College of Business graduation in Auckland, Mr Seeby said he had “the utmost respect for education”.

“Although I didn’t stay at university to finish mine because I couldn’t wait to get into the Internet business. Later, when I opened some of the books, I saw the answers to so many things I wished I had known were right there.”

Last year Mr Seeby sold Orcon Internet – the company he started a decade ago – for $24.3 million and effectively retired at just 30 years old.

“If I can achieve that without an education – imagine what you can do with your business degrees. I think running a business is a lot easier than getting a university degree.”

Mr Seeby has started or invested in many businesses outside the technology sector, and in 2004 was named both New Zealand Young Entrepreneur of the Year and HiTech Achiever of the Year. His latest venture is a company that buys and sells carbon credits.

Learning is a lifelong thing without which humanity would not evolve, Mr Seeby said.

“I believe passionately in the ability of humanity to solve problems and you people will be part of that problem solving.”

“Think big and have huge dreams.”

Woodhouse one of NZ's most powerful telco personalities

posted Dec 21, 2008, 6:35 PM by Seeby W   [ updated Dec 21, 2008, 7:31 PM ]

10th June 2005: Orcon Managing Director, Seeby Woodhouse has been named 16th among New Zealand’s 20 most influential internet and telecommunication personalities.

The June 2005 issue of New Zealand PC World ranked Woodhouse among other big names such as Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung, Sam Morgan of, and Debbie Monahan, the Domain Name Commissioner. This is a reflection of the influence and power that Orcon now holds within the Internet industry in New Zealand.

New Zealand PC World also confirmed Orcon’s status as New Zealand’s 4th largest ISP. The article specifically mentions the rapid growth of Orcon over the last few years, at the expense of larger, more established ISPs. It also gives at hint at further growth through the new broadband offerings.

Seeby Woodhouse launches new company Green Carbon Ltd

posted Dec 21, 2008, 6:35 PM by Seeby W   [ updated Dec 21, 2008, 6:40 PM ]

St Patrick’s Day March 17th 2008 will see the celebration of a new kind of green as new company ‘Green Carbon Ltd’ is launched at the Westin Hotel.

Seeby Woodhouse, founder and director of the new company will be joined by Leader of the National Party John Key and CEO of the Sustainable Business Council Peter Neilson to celebrate the launch of one of New Zealand’s first ever certified carbon credit trading companies.

In the past 18 years New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 28%. Under the Kyoto Protocol New Zealand has until 2012 to limit its levels of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels or will face serious environmental and economic consequences. Green Carbon is designed to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, by providing New Zealand companies with internationally certified carbon credits which prove they’ve embarked on the processes of achieving carbon neutrality.

“Our mission is to help businesses change the way they think about the environment and make positive steps towards a low-carbon economy. Green Carbon provides a simple pathway for New Zealand businesses to offset their greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon neutral,” says Woodhouse.

Leader of the opposition John Key welcomes the launch of Green Carbon, “Green Carbon has an ambitious and worthy vision for helping kiwi businesses become carbon friendly. This initiative is a great example of how NZ entrepreneurs can tap into the economic opportunities posed by a carbon conscious world,” says Key.

New company director, North Shore entrepreneur Seeby Woodhouse is best known for starting up and running a number of businesses over the years, including internet service provider company Orcon which he built from inception into a multi-million dollar business. In 2007 Woodhouse sold Orcon to Kordia for $24.3M. In 2004 he was also recognized as the New Zealand Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Hi-Tech Young Achiever of the Year.

With Orcon behind him, Woodhouse developed an increasing interest into Global Warming and the environment and decided to investigate business ideas within eco and sustainable industries. Woodhouse has consequently sold up all other business interests to focus on his new venture Green Carbon.

Woodhouse believes that solutions to global warming will come from commercial realities and consumer desires, rather than government legislation and intervention, “It’s just a matter of time before all smart companies realize that going Green is most definitely good for business. Consumers are increasingly influenced by the want to buy products that are eco friendly and sustainable. And so to there is a growing expectation that the retailers and companies behind these companies are responsible for their environmental output,” he says.

When purchasing carbon credits from Green Carbon your company will first undergo a process to calculate your emissions - the result is your ‘carbon footprint’. Then the corresponding number of carbon credits will be recommended to offset your carbon footprint, resulting in the company’s new status of ‘Carbon Neutral’. This enables sustainability reporting on greenhouse gas [GHG] emission performance with increased consistency and transparency.

“All businesses are responsible to some degree for the emission of greenhouse gases. I hope that Green Carbon will proceed a simple yet meaningful solution for New Zealand businesses to implement better sustainable business practices and promote the process and review of sustainable development,” says Woodhouse.

74% of the British Population say that more information on a company's social and ethical behaviour would influence their purchasing decisions. MORI, CSR study 2003.

Monday, 17 March 2008, 8:20 am
Press Release: Green Carbon Ltd
sourced from Scoop

Cashed up and going for green pastures

posted Dec 21, 2008, 4:15 PM by Seeby W   [ updated Dec 21, 2008, 6:40 PM ]

Cashed up to the tune of $19 million following the sale of his internet business Orcon, entrepreneur Seeby Woodhouse is now studying opportunities in alternative energy sources.

The $24.3 million sale of Orcon to state-owned network operator Kordia will be completed by July 2, with former 80 per cent owner Woodhouse staying on as a consulting director for the next two years.

"I'm able to take my money off the table now, relax a little bit, but still have the upside of the business, the challenge and the things that I enjoy," he said.

While Woodhouse has not ruled out future technology investments, the sale gives the 30-year-old, who started Orcon in 1994 with $100, a chance to focus on his interest in global warming and business opportunities in technologies that could combat its effects.

"The thing I'm concerned about is, basically, if we're already past peak oil [production] and some of the wells start to dry up and the price goes to US$120 a barrel, then New Zealand is at serious risk of collapse," he said.

"We should be working on complete energy independence."

He would consider investments in everything from ethanol production, solar and wave energy generation to "green" housing technologies.

It's a bit of a departure for the telco operator who was a millionaire by the age of 25 and sponsored a V8 supercar racing team. Orcon has dropped sponsorship of the team.

While he has had plenty of offers for Orcon, about 50 over the last seven years, Woodhouse rejected them and never sought external funding.

"I didn't want to have the risk of bowing down to someone else and be depressed about it," he said.

"Whenever a proposal was presented to me, I was reluctant. I said to myself, 'I'll just try and grow the business as fast as I can, if it grows a bit slower, I don't care'."

But by last year, when the unbundling bombshell was dropped, Woodhouse had to decide whether to raise a lot of money independently to invest in local loop unbundling or sell.

"We were going to have to build the network and invest in media technologies. Kordia as a network and broadcast type company, had the two pieces of the puzzle that we lacked," he said.

He has no qualms about Orcon becoming part of a state-owned enterprise.

"It's certainly not the case that the Government wanted to do this to create a competitor to Telecom," he said.

"[Kordia] hasn't had a lot of interest from the ISPs in terms of taking some of their services up. They've some great products they want to sell like DVB-H [mobile TV]."

While Telecom and its rivals in the broadband market have traditionally had an acrimonious relationship, Woodhouse decided in 2004 to stand virtually alone and accept the products Telecom offered in lieu of unbundling.

"At that time it didn't look like we'd end up with local loop unbundling. Theresa [Gattung] didn't expect it was going to happen, let alone myself."

His approach was to make the most of a bad situation. "I don't think we got any concessions [from Telecom], but the working relationship was the most amicable and productive of any of the ISPs."

Woodhouse says internet industry players are under pressure as they lose profitable dial-up internet customers to broadband, where the margins are lower because most operators simply resell Telecom's services.

"The issue at the moment for ISPs is if a consumer spends $40 a month on a phone line, $20 on tolls and $40 on broadband, traditional ISPs don't get to attack much of that and even if they do, most of the money goes to Telecom in a wholesale arrangement."

That would change with unbundling and Woodhouse believes the opportunity will be "vast" for those prepared to invest in or to use Telecom's copper cables.

Woodhouse never had any particular mentor in business, but had drawn inspiration from ihug founders Nick and Tim Wood, who grew their business from similarly inauspicious beginnings. They sold to Australian internet provider iiNet in a deal worth around $108 million.

"The Wood brothers were an early inspiration, because they were in the game a year ahead of me. It was always a case of me having to catch up to Tim and Nick. They did really well exiting a few years ago and got more money than Ihug sold for [to Vodafone]."

Until he spots an attractive alternative energy investment opportunity, Woodhouse plans to travel, take some holidays and research further the effects of global warming.

"If a light bulb switches on in my head and I decide the best thing to do is buy a heap of land in the South Island and start growing sugar cane, that's what I'll do."

Whatever he now does, Woodhouse says it will have to consume him.

"I had a burning passion in the early days of Orcon for a good five years, working 16 hours a day solid," he said. "If I do anything in the future, I want something that's going to get me that excited."

Thursday Jun 14, 2007 By Peter Griffin sourced from NZ Herald
Picture is of Kordia CEO Geoff Hunt and Seeby Woodhouse after signing the sale and purchase agreement of Orcon to Kordia.

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