NZ angel funding hits record $69 million in 2016
Angel networks and funds invested a record $69 million into young New Zealand companies in 2016 and software and services continued to take the bulk of the money, the New Zealand Venture Investment fund said.
The amount invested by angel groups and funds increased by 13 percent versus the prior year but transaction volumes fell 15 percent, according to the Young Company Finance Index, compiled by the fund. The $69 million was invested across 112 deals while $61 million was invested across 132 deals in 2015.
"While it means fewer portfolio companies get funded, the high performing ones are able to close larger sized capital rounds," said New Zealand Venture Investment Fund director Bridget Unsworth. Angel investors continued to put most of their money into follow-on investment rather than backing new start-ups. Of the $69 million, 70 percent was follow-on investment and 30 percent - or $20.5 million - was new investment. New investment received $19 million in the prior year.
Of the total investment, $37.8 million was invested in the software and services sector, and pharmaceuticals was the next most attractive sector, receiving $8.9 million versus $3.6 million in the prior year.
Eight start-up companies raised investment of more than $1.5 million, which together totalled $20.4 million. This accounted for 44 percent of the total investment amount in the second half of 2016. Five of the eight were software technology companies.
Sixty-six percent of the deals were syndicated between different angel groups and of the type of investment instruments used by angels, 20 percent of investments were convertible loans. 59 percent were ordinary shares and 21 percent were preference shares. Of the total investment, 55 percent was in Auckland, 12 percent was in Wellington and 10 percent was in Christchurch.
Angel Association of New Zealand chair Marcel van den Assum noted that annual investment has exceeded $50 million for the last four years and grown at an average $5 million a year.
"This is a highly credible performance for a country where our start-up ecosystem is still only a decade old and our early stage capital markets are still maturing," he said.
Van den Assum also said it was positive to see more money going into fewer deals and businesses attracting significant follow-on investment. "This suggests a tighter focus by investors on those companies which are performing," he said.