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$10 million fund set up for start-ups

A $10 million fund is available for start-up businesses over the next five years, as the investment deal between Ice Angels and NZVIF continues.

Together, angel investment fund Ice Angels and government-funded venture capital investor, New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF), have invested $8 million into 12 companies over the last four years.

The investment deal has been renewed. NZVIF will contribute a maximum of $4 million into companies selected and invested into by Ice Angel members.

These are typically early stage tech companies ventures with international growth potential.

Chairman Brian Casey says the investments usually fall within the software, media, internet, communications, life sciences, and medical devices sectors.

“New Zealand needs to grow young technology companies and turn them into world-leaders. We need to be developing the talent, networks and capital to make it possible. Angel investing provides start-ups with all three of those,” says Mr Casey.

Ice Angels claims to be the largest and most active angel network in Australasia and has, since 2003, invested more than $30 million in 33 companies, across 60 investment rounds.

Last week, NZVIF committed $20 million to PayPal founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel’s local venture capital fund.

The fund focuses on providing growth capital to local technology start-ups to help with research and development and funding expansion into export markets. 

Comments and questions
10

These funds make me laugh, basically a bunch of big kids being given taxpayers money to spend on anything and everything. Can't help but wonder how efficient they are. Are they making any money for me...the taxpayer? Why did I, and pretty much everyone else, have to pay for my own company's start up and development costs. Guess I didn't go to the right parties and golf clubs.

As per the previous comment where is the evidence that Ice Angels and others are delivering. We hear statements like we are the biggest, we have invested $30 million. We hear about these great companies they have backed but we never ever hear about the actual performance of what is an investment.

What I see is that Ice Angels has spent the first $4m from the government and now just gets another round. How about some transperancy of performance.

I am sure if a civil servant had lost $4m there would be demands for heads to roll - so why not NZVIF and these funds - because if they are not prepared to say what they have done with the money one suspects they have lost most of it.

GFPT- Government Funded Pi$$ Take

I wonder if Jenny Morel will object to this fund too like she did with the Peter Thiel fund. Its all a bit rich given she has lost her investors money hand over foot on ridiculous ideas like jet packs and robots that will never make any money in a million years. No wonder she is bitter.

Fair comment but she also has a fair point re NZVIF's mandate. I wonder how other investors who over the years have been told by NZVIF that you cannot run a NZ fund from offshore (even with some locals invovled), or that you had to have $75-100 million otherwise you are not economic.

From my perspective NZVIF has failed at every target they set. Yet there is no accountability being shown.

By the way we do not know how Jenny's fund has performed NZVIF will disclosue any numbers.

Any one of her investors can tell you about her Number 8 Ventures funds (I hear the first is a writeoff and the second is not looking too flash either). NBR should do an investigation of this woman's track record...given she holds herself out as the "voice of NZ venture capital"...

In fact the whole VIF empire should be investigated, surely the Official Information Act applies to a Crown entity and the returns (or lack thereof) data could be requisitioned from VIF?

Funny how the media get in a tangle over say a $40 bottle of win on the parliment credit card but ministers who oversee a fund that has lost millions of dollars with little accountability are not quizzed.

Interesting the new champion of the VC market is the CEO of NZVIF - someone who has also got a great track record of non performance. But who can blame everyone else but herself for the current state of the market.

The value of investing into startups is not necessarily in their direct return to the tax payer but rather in the process of invention, creation and discovery which is still present even if the startup itself fails.

If no one would ever invest into futuristic ideas then who exactly is going to shape and develop our future?

Current business sure isn't looking out for the tax payer or a sustainable growth future, they're the ones all about direct return on investment and look what that has brought us…

Transparency and public records are fine by me, in fact I'd encourage complete openness too, however these startups should not have to report back to any tax payer because that would simple dilute the purity or their research, will further cutting corners to get to market quicker and become more profitable quicker.

What we needs isn't profits but a sustainable vision that can better our —NZ and global— living standards.

Do not insult the companies that are backed by NZVIF. The people in these understand that they have obligations to their investors (including NZVIF and Taxpayers).

They are working very hard on trying to develop successful businesses - they are not about invention or creation or discovery. That is R&D and is housed in thinkgs likes CRIs and Universities.

The government backs R&D via grants etc, NZVIF is a professional investment vehicle and it should be accountable as such.

If you are saying that NZVIF was never set up to make money then I suspect a lot of private sector investors who have lost money might be heading to the SFO and FMA about being mislead. NZVIF and its funds promoted the fact that they were taregting returns on investment.

The people who run these funds are not true engineer- odd ball inventor innovators and lack the ability to know what the world actually wants by technologies and innovations to make a success of it. The VC/Angel bunch are a tight nit arrogance bunch who I have observed over and over again get handouts from the government and yet produce not major world beaters simply because they use the Yank model which is unsuited to Kiwi's with the get in there build it and make it happen attitude. These people are to much about power and control and can we make the invention etc do it our way stuff and not the way the inventors etc invisage. They also spend huge amounts on lawyers, accountants and second opinions. In other words they are in the business of tell you why you should and will fail without their help and never once how one may succeed with their help, which is the way it is here. So rather than muck with them I will build my low cost peddle flying craft able to take off vertically and not drop out of the shy if I stop peddling which is much better and safe and cheaper than a car flying tech and to hell with them all. Will sell them for under $2K and they can go anywhere in the world and can be motorised easily for extra range too. Useless country.