International angel experts descend on Summit #AANZ18

The big event in the calendar for the Angel Association New Zealand is the annual Angel Summit.

This year our Summit focuses on the power of diversity and how it delivers better outcomes.

The world has changed significantly since we began over ten years ago. This year we acknowledge the changes and discuss how we can adapt, focusing on amping up the power of angel investment through diversity and inclusion to deliver higher value outcomes. We will be welcoming aligned VCs from NZ, Australia and Singapore to join the conversation and discuss questions like;

Why and how does a more feminine approach, both as founders and investors, add value?
What values do different ethnicities bring to angel backed ventures to increase the prospect of success?
Why is it important we include millennials in our ventures?

Joining our discussion will be;

Randy Komisar
Last year Randy Komisar, managing partner from Kleiner Perkins attended the summit with support from NZTE and Spark Ventures. Randy’s fireside chat at the end of the summit was one of the top rated presentations. As a direct result of his visit Randy was inspired to write “Straight Talk for Startups – 100 rules for beating the odds”. The book is currently ranked no.1 on Kindle’s Business Technology section. His return to NZ is intended to amplify the connections he made last year and he will play a lead role in The Runway event for founders and investor directors and spend a couple of days in Wellington.

Jeffrey Paine
Jeffrey Paine is a founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures based in Singapore. Since it’s inception in 2011 Golden Gate have invested in 30 companies across Asia. GoldenGate consider any ventures expanding into Asia and will invest between $US1-10m in early stage and series A rounds.

Wendee Wolfson
Wendee Wolfson co-founded one of the first angel networks in Washington DC, New Vantage Group with ACA Chair Emeritus, John May. She has chaired the US Angel Capital Association international exchange for the last seven years. Wendee is currently working with the Next Wave Impact Fund and has worked with the predecessor fund, Rising Tide, to educate and engage more women in early stage investment and will spend time in Auckland during her visit.

Marisa Warren
Marisa Warren is from Elevacao which has gained profile and traction in Australia, San Francisco and New York helping woman founders to scale and attract investment. Marisa has deep experience in corporate M&A and extensive networks.

Dr Sean Simpson
Dr Sean Simpson is one of the co-founders and current Chief Science Officer for Lanzatech which is ‘revolutionising the way the world thinks about carbon waste’. Sean has a tremendous depth of experience and belief in New Zealanders’ ability to change the world and will talk about lessons learned along the way as he led a team taking Lanzatech to the world. Dr. Simpson served as Leader of the Biofuels initiative at AgriGenesis BioSciences Ltd.

John Henderson
John is a Partner, Head of Venture and Business Development from Airtree Ventures based in Sydney. Airtree has made over 50 investments, including a number of NZ companies and had over a dozen exits.

We will also be privy to valuable input from a wealth of local early-stage investment experts including; the experience and insight of Marcel van den Assum, former Chair of the Angel Association and currently chairing a number of high growth ventures such as Wipster and Merlot Aero; the marketing chops of Vic Crone, CEO of Callaghan Innovation; the investment strategy of Richard Dellabarca, CEO of NZ Venture Investment Fund; and insights about fast track of growth from Janine Manning, Chair of Crimson Consulting, one of New Zealand’s most highly valued angel backed ventures.

This 11th annual Angel Summit will deliver a unique opportunity to learn how to invest to create a bright future for New Zealand, its talented entrepreneurs and drive returns so we can re-invest.

What will I come away from the summit with?
Friends and super relevant contacts, pithy, practical insights on how to be an angel with more impact, a great little goodie bag, and as is customary when you descend from a summit… arms full of inspiration!!

Check out the draft programme here.

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Snowball Effect 2018 Annual Update

2018 has been a record year for Snowball Effect. We have raised more capital than any previous year and continue to grow steadily. Some of the metrics below are disclosed to the FMA as part of our compulsory reporting as a regulated online investment platform. We believe that the private capital markets in NZ can benefit from being as transparent as possible. We’ve recently been collaborating with researchers from the University of Auckland and University of Minnesota to uncover insights into investor behaviour and the growth in online capital raising around the world. Below are some of the highlights from the past year:

Larger offers
We have now raised $41.8 million in capital across 54 offers. The private capital part of the business continues to grow with $12.7 million raised privately in 23 offers. The average size of offers that we work with has been increasing and 13 offers have been over $1 million in size. We have completed 22 offers that attracted more than 100 investors.

Growing investor base
Our investor audience now includes 17,700 people, of whom 7,300 have actively indicated interest in investing in a particular offer. We’ve found that each indication of interest averages out to about $1,000 in investment in the final offer per indication of interest. One of the most important metrics for a two-sided marketplace business is “transacted users”. In our case, 3,100 people have made a completed investment on the platform.

Larger investors
We are now working frequently with large family offices, institutional, and sophisticated investors. 810 people have invested more than $10,000 through the platform and 67 people have invested more than $100K through the platform. There are now 1,400 wholesale investors on Snowball Effect who are eligible to receive private offers. $27.7 million in transaction volume has come from people investing more than $10K.

Increasing diversification
A key difference between Snowball Effect and other players in the online investing space is that we want investors to take the private company asset class seriously as part of their overall investment portfolio. To that end, we’re pleased to see that 33% of our investors have now invested in more than one offer and 14% have invested in three or more offers. 30 people have invested in 10 or more offers (which research from the Kaufman Foundation shows is the base level of diversification needed to approach the underlying asset class returns for angel and venture capital investing). The most active investor on Snowball Effect has now invested in 27 offers.

Ongoing services
Our ancillary services have continued to grow with 14 companies now tracking their legal share ownership records in the Snowball Effect share registry. These companies represent 2,059 shareholding records. We also now have 163 director profiles from investors that are available as independent directors for companies that raise capital through Snowball Effect.

For more information from Snowball click here.

 

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Into the dragon’s den with New Zealand’s million-dollar investments

Hundreds of New Zealand’s wealthiest investors gathered for the 2018 Flux Demo Day last week for a night of wining, dining, and million-dollar business investments. Jihee Junn went along to watch this year’s plucky startups pitch it out.

“The first rule of investing is: don’t leave the table when the food’s being served!” a jolly looking man at my table exclaimed. We were halfway through the night’s events when platters of braised beef, roast potatoes and Akaroa salmon were brought out to the room’s 400 or so investors. As we dug into our family-style meals, passing along giant plates of food from left to right, I asked some of my fellow diners – all older, wealthier, and a lot more male than me – for their thoughts on the startups that had pitched so far. On the whole, their responses were akin to a placid shrug.

“They were okay,” said one man, who told me his day job was working at a private investment firm. Those sitting next to him nodded in agreement. “I’m not really here to invest tonight, but if I was, there probably hasn’t been anything yet to make me want to get out my wallet.”

Read more

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Why you SHOULD be an angel investor… it’s all about portfolio management

Australian early stage angel investors often treat start-up investing like horse racing. They punt with money they’re willing to lose, but this approach has led to a lack of discipline and very poor returns.

They place a few bets based on a good jockey (founder), their form (prior success), the stable (team and advisers), horse (business), equipment (technology), running line (strategy) and weather conditions (market), but start-ups should not be treated as an adrenaline-shot gamble where the majority of investors lose their money and a few “lucky” punters make a killing.

Read more

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NZ Startup Community Vibrant and internationally Competitive

The recent Angel Association and PwC release of data reveals a new record of $86 million flowing into early-stage businesses across the country.The recent Angel Association and PwC release of data reveals a new record of $86 million flowing into early-stage businesses across the country.

NZVCA Executive Director Colin McKinnon says: ‘The reported growth in investment dollars was due to an increasing number of larger deals in 2017, compared to the year before. The increased deal size indicates a maturing of the early-stage market. We are seeing angel investment building larger companies that are capable of attracting international investment.

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Cash, crypto and crowdlending: meet New Zealand’s rising FinTech future

From a platform that helps you lend support to the Māori economy to a system that allows you to donate your transactions fees to charitable causes, this year’s cohort for the second ever Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator promises big things for the future of the country’s financial system.

Sharesies was built on a simple idea: to make investing more accessible for regular people to do. It officially launched with some tentative hype in June, but by the end of the year, it was boasting more than 7,500 users on its platform — not bad for a company still in beta mode.

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Treatment of women & diversity in angel investment

Shabby, unkind and unprofessional treatment of women by men (and sometimes by other women) whether in venture capital or more broadly is unacceptable. While women have had the rough end of the stick for hundreds of years, being treated fairly and kindly should not be gender specific.

It is not about being a woman or a man or even religion or ethnicity. It’s about the values we choose to live by and which values give us a greater crack at success – however we define success!

How we treat each other and the importance of diversity is about a set of values and two values in particular – kindness and respect.

Supporting and scaling start-ups is no walk in the park. It’s often challenging and down right terrifying – for founders and investors. The fear of failure and rejection is always skulking in the shadows of fund raising, closing a sales deal and hiring senior employees. It’s anxiety inducing.

More kindness and respect would not go amiss. The AANZ believes both are key components of success, particularly when it comes to successfully scaling high growth startups.

We need to acknowledge that tough conversations are often necessary in our world. These may feel unkind but the pain can be minimised if respect and empathy – without bias – are at the heart of these conversations too.

Values complimenting kindness also support the importance of diversity. Kindness requires open-mindedness, curiosity and exploring different points of view. Successful founders live these values and these values are at the heart of the informed pivot and the ability to create and build value.

Kindness must underpin ensuring there is diversity in our deal flow, at our events and in our governance. Diversity mustn’t be about tokenism or ticking a box. Delivering diversity is about trying and looking harder to ensure it exists. It’s about valuing people to create value. We should select women (or Maori or Chinese or Buddhist) founders, speakers and board members based on their ability to shine and help others to shine. To do anything other than this is unkind – to everyone, and especially to the ‘box tickee’.

The AANZ Code of Conduct can be found here. We have added two clauses to the behaviours we expect. They are to be:
– Kind and respectful, and
– Supportive of diversity

As an industry we take responsibility, individually and collectively, for reflecting the behaviours set out in the Code of Conduct. We will talk quietly to those we are worried might not be reflecting these. We are not advocates of naming and shaming. That’s not kind or respectful.

The AANZ Constitution, however, makes it clear that our members must be “of good standing in the angel investment community” and there is provision for members to be expelled when this is no longer the case. The profound potential for common good inherent in angel investment is squandered when the self-interest reflected in unkindness is prioritised.

We all have circles of inspiration and impact – we must be the change we want to see – it’s powerful stuff.

Onwards…

Suse Reynolds
Executive Director

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” – Albert Schweitzer

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Exiting the Exit

Below please find a guest column that Nino Marakovic and Elizabeth Clarkson contributed to Fortune Term Sheet, in which they debate what makes for a better exit — an IPO or acquisition?

Everyone in the venture-backed technology industry — entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and limited partners — can probably agree that a healthy exit market is critical. Without sufficient exits, there would be a liquidity gap, which would negatively impact everyone. Yet not all “successful exits” affect all the players in the venture world the same way. Accordingly, there are different views on the best path to liquidity.

Take IPOs. They’ve historically generated amazing returns for employees and investors — more than M&A exits.

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‘The jockey’ key for angel investing

Investing in high growth companies is like a long horse race and understanding the jockey you’re betting on is key for angel investors, says veteran Canadian angel investor Ross Finlay.

Finlay, co-founder and director of the First Angel Network Association in Atlantic Canada, is one of the international speakers at the annual Angel Summit in New Zealand underway in Napier.

He said before angels commit their money they have to pick the right jockey and the earlier stage the company is, the more that matters.

Read more

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NZ-born LanzaTech makes biofuel breakthrough for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic

New Zealand-born company LanzaTech has made an aviation biofuel breakthrough with partner airline Virgin Atlantic.

The company has produced nearly 5700 litres of low-carbon ethanol produced from waste gases for the airline, founded by Sir Richard Branson.

The company was founded in New Zealand 11 years ago and the parent company remains New Zealand-registered while its headquarters have moved to Illinois.

LanzaTech and Virgin Atlantic say they will work with Boeing and others in the aviation industry to complete the additional testing that aircraft and engine manufacturers require before approving the fuel for first use in a commercial aircraft.

“Assuming all initial approvals are achieved, the innovative LanzaTech jet fuel could be used in a first of its kind proving flight in 2017,” LanzaTech and Virgin Atlantic say.
The two companies have been working together since 2011.

The Lanzanol fuel was produced in China at the RSB (Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials) certified Shougang demonstration facility. The alcohol-to-jet process was developed in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Lab with support from the US Department of Energy and with the help of funding from HSBC.

Sir Richard Branson said: “This is a real game changer for aviation and could significantly reduce the industry’s reliance on oil within our lifetime.”

In 2008 Virgin Atlantic was the first commercial airline to flight test bio-fuel flight – derived from coconut and babassu oil.
“We chose to partner with LanzaTech because of its impressive sustainability profile and the commercial potential of the jet fuel,” Branson said.

The airline’s understanding of low carbon fuels had developed rapidly over the last decade.

The company, which has received more than $14 million in New Zealand Government funding, shifted much of its previously Auckland-based research and development workforce to Chicago in 2014.

LanzaTech has raised more than US$200m from investors including Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures and the NZ Superannuation Fund, which has invested US$75m. Other investors included Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 fund and Mitsui.

Its technology is based around steel production, which produces waste carbon monoxide (CO) gas, frequently flared to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

The process involves capturing carbon from the waste gas via fermentation to ethanol, which is recovered to produce ethanol feedstock for a variety of products, including aviation fuel.

Other airlines have trialled biofuel made from waste cooking oil, and in the case of Air New Zealand the Jatropha plant.

 

First published – NZ Herald 15 September 2016

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Lead Partners

NZTE NZVIF PWC

Expert Partner

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AANZ Summit Sponsors

Callaghan Innovation “UniServices” Kiwinet “Spark”