Angels seek ‘marriage and money’ for foreign ventures
Andrew Hamilton has a taste for "high net worth" individuals. He is an "Angel" and offers relationships from $25,000 a pop!
But the commercial couplings could bear many fruit.
His agency, Icehouse, introduces the well-to-do with impoverished entrepreneurs.
The chief executive aims to take their money, but in return hopefully deliver successful offspring, as has happened from previous financial unions.
In a fresh bid for such deals, Mr Hamilton is promoting a new $4 million fund for such ventures, hoping it will lead to more New Zealanders successfully selling their services and offerings offshore.
Already, these "Angel" investors have stumped up $1.6 million towards the Global From Day One Seed Fund.
“The fund is targeted at the eligible investor. It’s not a prospectus,” he warns, noting the potential risks surrounding such financial affairs.
The willing people Mr Hamilton seeks are those with money, such as top executives.
“We hope to attract high level corporates,” he told NBR ONLINE.
The money would help cash-strapped entrepreneurs at the early stage of their business development.
“These are people with ideas, who will have a proof of concept, nothing more,” he said.
“Such entrepreneurs could be people still at university needing funding to create a product and get it to market - obviously offshore.”
Investments can range from $25,000 to $250,000, he says, though one group of angels, Sparkbox Ventures, have invested $1 million.
The fund is operational now, but it will take 60-90 days for Icehouse to assess the potential partners, with the first financial pairings making their commitments to each other by Christmas.
“It’s a bit like a marriage. Relationships take time,” he said.
The Global From Day One Fund hopes to be fully-subscribed by late August and support 15-25 companies over the next five years.
Mr Hamilton points out previous profitable pairings saw the birth of BigLittleBang, a start-up entertainment and gaming website for children.
This company first received "Angel" investment funding in 2010 and now sells its services across the USA.
“The funding really made a significant difference to that business. It enabled it to validate its market and build its product. Now the business is trucking along,” he said.
Sparkbox chairman Andrew Duff says looking offshore is a valuable ingredient for success as the New Zealand market is too small.
“By taking an international perspective from day one, we see these companies taking a much faster growth path.
"This will deliver faster returns to investors and also wider benefits to New Zealand in the form of highly profitable jobs and recycled capital.
“Once companies have taken the step towards internationalization, we would expect to bring in new investment - such as follow-on 'Angel' or venture capital investment - to take companies to the next level,” he said.