Start-up fund aims to take 20 companies global

A $4.6 million start-up investment fund has injected new capital into the sector after a recent soft period.

Global from Day One is targeting about 20 start-up companies with immediate international ambitions.

Expected areas of focus are cloud-based technology, disruptive technologies, mobile and modern media, and IP-driven niche market products.

The fund raised $2.3 million from private individuals who include some of New Zealand’s most experienced and active early-stage investors, as well as international investors.

Co-investor the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund matched the $2.3 million investment and will co-invest in opportunities that qualify for its seed fund.

NZVIF chief executive Franceska Banga says the start-up investment sector had been through a soft period over the past year – particularly in terms of new investments.

“Global from Day One will bring in capital specifically for initial investments, which will be welcome.

“In a small economy like New Zealand it is important that we see angels collaborating to bring deals together and to increase the capital available for investment.”

Angel Association chairman and Ice Angels investor Ray Thomson will chair the fund’s investment committee, which will consider proposals from throughout New Zealand.

“There is a pipeline of interesting investments and we are currently considering two which are likely to be funded shortly,” he says.

"Global from Day One will not make follow-on investments, so opportunities will gravitate back to angel groups, VCs and other funders for follow-on investment rounds.”

Andrew Duff, chairman of early-stage investor Sparkbox ventures, which is managing Global form Day One, says New Zealand has highly creative entrepreneurs whose big challenge is getting into offshore markets.

“Many ideas have traditionally struggled due to lack of initial investment, cashflow, experience and connections. Even more so today, speed to market is seen as critical,” he says.

gbond@nbr.co.nz

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