The government is backing the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund with a further $60 million as part of its efforts to encourage more private investment.
The latest injection follows a previous $40 million underwrite and is on top of the $160 million the government has already allocated to the venture capital programme.
"The underwrite facility is a contingent liability rather than an upfront sum," Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says. "It provides the flexibility so that NZVIF can continue to make commitments into new venture capital funds and then use future cashflows from existing investments to meet those commitments."
NZVIF was set up by the government in 2002 as a private equity fund of funds investor, with about $200 million under management, made up of the $160 million Venture Capital Fund of Funds and the $40 million Seed Co-investment Fund.
So far it has invested $117 million in 126 companies which have gone on to raise total investment capital of $700 million, generated revenue of $1.25 billion and export earnings of $945 million. Notables include Orion Health, SLI Systems, PowerbyProxi, Booktrack, BioVittoria and Zephyr Technology.
"Capital markets are the growth engine for the economy but some parts can be strengthened," Mr Joyce says.