The Icehouse is powering up its impact on New Zealand entrepreneurs by announcing new investment partners have come on board to form ‘Icehouse Ventures’, a new company to be launched 1 May that will accelerate the growth and development of Kiwi entrepreneurs with global aspirations.
The new partners include KiwiSaver funds manager Simplicity; Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment company K1W1; investment banking firm FNZC and investors connected to The Icehouse that will have a combined 23% stake in Icehouse Ventures.
Further, Simplicity has committed to invest up to $100 million over 5 years into funds managed by Icehouse Ventures that go into high growth New Zealand businesses seeking the next phase of expansion capital beyond early seed funding.
A defining moment for New Zealand
Icehouse Chair Chris Quin says creating Icehouse Ventures is a defining moment for New Zealand’s startup sector: “This is a massive boost for entrepreneurs and innovation in this country. Together we are unlocking KiwiSaver and managed New Zealand funds to get more capital flowing into the growth sector to provide more support for New Zealand startups taking on global markets.
“Today also marks an evolution for The Icehouse as we bring on a group of investors who share our vision. We are excited about the potential of this partnership, and the opportunity to boost an already fast developing startup market in New Zealand that creates more local companies, jobs and allows more New Zealanders to benefit from their growth.
“Further, Icehouse Ventures will offer investors unprecedented portfolio-level exposure to New Zealand’s boldest start-ups.”
Fuelling more founders
Icehouse Ventures CEO Robbie Paul says the company is positioned to meet the demand of top calibre founders who have raised the bar in New Zealand: “The founders and leaders of our fast-growing young companies are understated heroes of this country, the backbone of the economy and the creative fibre of our future, solving real problems for better futures and better lives.
“We are seeing more second and third-time founders starting new companies; and with Icehouse Ventures and our new partners, we have this fantastic opportunity to step up and be a catalyst by providing greater amounts of capital over the next five to ten years to fuel their global ambitions.”
Closing the funding gap
Mr Paul says the company’s bigger scale will enable startups to attract significantly more capital by tapping into strategic offshore investors and also ensuring a greater portion of the capital they need can be provided by New Zealanders.
“Our goal is to ensure a greater portion of the capital that high growth companies need, can be provided by New Zealanders,” says Mr Paul. “We are delighted to share the ownership and commitment to this opportunity for New Zealand with our new partners in Simplicity, K1W1, FNZC and the other investors that join us on this journey.”
Simplicity Managing Director Sam Stubbs says the investment represents the first example of a KiwiSaver fund manager that is investing in a business dedicated to high growth New Zealand businesses.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our KiwiSaver members to tap into a broad range of New Zealand’s boldest and brightest companies. Given the breadth and depth Icehouse Ventures has with companies starting up and expanding, we want to provide investment options for our members. We also think this is the beginning of significant investments by KiwiSaver managers into high growth New Zealand companies. It means every Kiwi can be a part of New Zealand’s exciting and fast-growing entrepreneurial sector.”
FNZC CEO James Lee said: “Our partnership with Icehouse Ventures is part of our firm’s broader investment into growing New Zealand’s capital markets. FNZC has a long history of supporting entrepreneurs and we’re excited to support a wider group of companies and people, connecting into our network of expertise and capital. We’re passionate about helping New Zealanders to succeed domestically and on the global stage.
Posted: 16 April 2019