Seed co-investing critical to early-stage environment

As NZVIF celebrates its 100th investment in early stage ventures through the SCIF fund, the government is casting a critical eye over its future.

In my view, SCIF contributes a lot more than capital.

It enables Angel investors and companies to go further.

Since its inception in 2006 it has been instrumental in establishing crucial, professional, early stage investment disciplines and process that added credibility to an evolving sector.

The 100 investments it has made to date have provided a goldmine of early-stage benchmarking data that otherwise would not have developed.

And, having SCIF as a shareholder investor has given additional credibility to New Zealand start-up deals because it only co-funds with certified angels (with established professional disciplines).

It is too early in the life of SCIF to draw any RoI conclusions from current performance, which is indicative of any portfolio of high risk / high reward companies. Another 3-5 years of sustainability is critical to enable the portfolio to achieve its full potential. SCIF has extended the capital angels could put into deals, and like the members of the Angel Asociation’s groups and funds, being consistent with its support will help it realise greater returns.

Further more, growing the number of NZ angels requires certainty in terms of government policy levers. Our’s is an environment that by its very nature is dynamic, the support SCIF has provided thus far has helped New Zealand’s early-stage investment community to flourish.

I applaud the recent media profile through articles in Business Day by Andrew Duff and Fiona Rotherham in support of the significant value SCIF has generated for the NZ start up eco-system.

I look forward to reading more from the members of AANZ groups and funds providing their views.

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