Max Ferguson


Imagr of Lucy Turnball

After completing an Engineering degree at the University of Canterbury, Max Ferguson saw the opportunity to improve the way people work with documents. At the time, documents were being edited by one person and then emailed to the next. Max developed Lumin PDF to break the boundaries imposed by traditional desktop software, in the process partnering with companies like Google and Microsoft.

Lumin is now a market-leading technology for live document collaboration, that allows people in remote teams to work together as if they were in the same room. Today, Lumin PDF is used by 51 million students, teachers and working professionals around the world.

“The primary focus at Lumin is to help our users and our customers to solve their document-related problems,” says Max. “Most Lumin PDF software is free, because we believe that providing equitable access to great software is an important step towards a more equitable society. We also provide free customer support to every user.”

Having initially been based in Silicon Valley, in 2020 Max moved back to Christchurch where he is expanding the Lumin headquarters, working with teams across the country.

“New Zealand is a country of innovators, and we punch well above our weight class on the global stage” he says. “As a nation, we are not afraid to get out there and make a difference. It’s incredibly exciting to run an innovative company like Lumin PDF from New Zealand.”

Max recently pioneered a program to bring Lumin PDF to schools in developing countries that can’t afford access to cutting-edge collaboration software. The program gives schools access to the same level of support and functionality that is available to Lumin’s enterprise customers.

By 2025, Lumin aims to be the world’s leading provider of document collaboration software.