More money for entrepreneurial women

A government-backed investment fund has gone into partnership with ArcAngels, a group of private individuals focused on investing in female-led business start-ups.
The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) will invest dollar for dollar alongside ArcAngels through its Seed Co-Investment Fund (SCIF).
ArcAngels chairwoman Cecilia Tarrant, a director of Fletcher Building and former Morgan Stanley managing director, said it approached NZVIF to form the partnership on the back of other relationships the fund already had with angel networks around the country.
Tarrant said the deal means it would have access to more capital than the size of its membership suggested.
“That makes us more attractive for entrepreneurs.”
ArcAngels was launched in 2014 and has around 30 members although Tarrant said it hoped that would grow to around 40 by mid-year.
So far it has invested $1.6 million in eight transactions including into Pictor, Fuel 50, Acuite and Engender.
Tarrant said with the NZVIF partnership it would hope to increase its investments to around 10 per year both through new companies and follow-up investments.
NZVIF investment director Bridget Unsworth said the ArcAngel partnership was the 17th it had entered into through its SCIF.
To date NZVIF and its angel partners had co-invested around $142m into more than 150 companies.
Unsworth said the ArcAngel partnership would double the capital available to companies.
“The past year has seen continued healthy investment activity across New Zealand with more than $60 million invested by angel funds and groups.
“There is a healthy level of syndication of investments among different angel groups meaning they are likely to invest in opportunities throughout New Zealand. Early stage investing is a high-risk investment class and so diversification is important.”
Tarrant said around one-third of start-up companies in New Zealand were led by women or had a major female component but the number of female-led companies which attracted investment was lower.
At the same time the number of women angel investors was also lower.
Tarrant said the group hoped to replicate the success of the New York-based, women-led angel group, Golden Seeds, which has invested more than US$80m ($114m) in more than 76 women-led companies.
“Our principal aim is to make successful investments. But we also want to empower more women entrepreneurs, strengthen their competitiveness and maximise the success of New Zealand’s small business engine for greater economic growth in the long term.
“Many of our members are experienced angel investors with the capacity and capability to be able to provide mentoring and ongoing support to the female-led ventures the group invests into.”

ArcAngels Investment Evening

The next ArcAngels investment evening will be on May 25 at Ernst & Young.

More details of the event will be available shortly, however, the highlights will be:

– A discussion on the key points to consider when making an angel investment
– A report back from Jo Mills of Fuel 50, one of our portfolio companies
– Presentations from at least one company raising a further round of investment
– Presentations from up to two companies looking for angel investment for the first time
– A report back on the Lead Investor Forum from the day before


There have been a number of developments for the ArcAngels group.

Firstly, Cecilia Tarrant has been asked by the Committee to step into the Chair role.  Bridget Coates, while still very keen to be involved and very committed to the success of ArcAngels, has found that her work and travel schedule has been such that she hasn’t been able to give ArcAngels the time she wanted to and also feels it deserves.

Secondly, Alex Mercer, who was doing all the day to day running of ArcAngels, has similarly been snowed under by work.  Accordingly, Arc Angels have contracted the ICE Angels administration to provide some recources to run the network.  Going forward, Kate Wightman, under the direction of Robbie Paul, the IceAngels CEO, will manage Arc Angels administrative functions.  ArcAngels are really excited by this change. Among other rings it means the network will hold more frequent meetings.

ArcAngels will also be able to access stronger and more robust deal flow by leveraging ICE Angels networks. They intend to offer more deals, many of which will be syndicated with other angel groups so that there will be a wider range of New Zealand’s great entrepreneurial investment opportunities.  The emphasis, however, will continue to be on supporting women entrepreneurs.

ArcAngels are keen to build their membership and so encourage you to get in touch, particularly if you are interested in attending the May 25 Investment Evening at [email protected].

Lead Partners

NZTE NZGCP PWC “NZX” Callaghan Innovation

Expert Partner

AVID “Jarden”

AANZ Summit Sponsors

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