Young, dynamic companies play an important role in building and transforming our economy to become more productive, sustainable, and inclusive. Agile by nature, they’re the ones who introduce disruptive and innovative technologies – which large corporates are often not well suited to achieve.

To ensure the long-term growth and profitability of these companies, our Elevate fund is specifically designed to support and drive investment in New Zealand’s venture capital market.

Elevate is a $300m fund of fund program, investing directly into venture capital firms; aimed at filling the Series A and B capital gap for high growth NZ tech companies.

/ Overview

Elevate at a glance:

  • The Elevate fund officially launched in March 2020 and looks to allocate up to $300 million into venture capital firms over the next five years.
  • It is a fund of funds programme, designed to increase investment into venture capital funds, specifically Series A and B rounds, for New Zealand high-growth tech businesses.
  • Established by the Crown, under the Venture Capital Fund Act 2019, which was passed into legislation on 13 December 2019.
  • Originally tasked to the Guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, who have appointed NZGCP to manage this fund of funds in accordance with best-practice investment management approaches.

Our why:

  • Many young companies struggle to fully develop in New Zealand because of the shallowness of the specialised domestic early-stage capital markets – especially a lack of venture capital.

    The Elevate fund aims to stimulate a functioning venture capital industry, and make sure that high-growth New Zealand businesses have access to the capital and connections that they need to be successful.

    We won’t be involved in the day-to-day decision-making; our job is to find the most appropriate venture capital fund managers – and give them the flexibility to do their jobs.

How our Elevate fund works:

Elevate will invest into venture capital funds that are primarily looking to make Series A and B stage investments (round sizes of $2-$20 million) directly into high-growth New Zealand entities. Most of the underlying funds will be funds with a New Zealand connection, while some may be invested alongside offshore funds that are investing into New Zealand businesses.

We will monitor those funds’ performance and ensure that they are investing based on the guidelines we set out when we allocate funds to them.

All underlying funds will need to raise matching capital from other investors that is – at least – equal to the commitment from our Elevate fund. This is how we aim to stimulate approximately $1 billion of investment into Series A and B stage New Zealand businesses over the next 15 years.

We're playing the long game:

It’s expected that the underlying funds will then invest their capital over a similar or longer period from when they receive their allocation from Elevate, and over time, more venture capital will become available to New Zealand businesses from sources other than our Elevate fund. Therefore, those entities that do receive venture capital funding, are more likely to grow into successful and sustainable businesses.

The Elevate fund will adapt to the market – and the needs of New Zealand businesses – as the venture capital ecosystem evolves. This will be achieved by:

  • Undertaking market development activities to support the New Zealand venture capital market.
  • By investing into venture capital funds that have the capability and connections to help New Zealand businesses achieve success

For more details on the purpose and structure of the Elevate fund, refer to the Venture Capital Fund Act and associated Policy Statement.

Current fund investments

Blackbird Ventures NZ

blackbird.vc

  • In September 2020, Elevate announced its first investment of $21.5 million into Blackbird's recently formed New Zealand fund
  • The investment was increased to $22.75 million at final close
  • Blackbird is Australia’s largest venture capital fund and has made a strong commitment to New Zealand’s venture capital ecosystem and the increasing diversity in this industry is evident with the establishment of their female-led Auckland office
  • Read more in our press release

 

Movac Fund 5

movac.co.nz

  • In September 2020, Elevate announced an investment into Movac's $250 million Fund 5
  • This is New Zealand’s largest ever fund - with funding commitments from Elevate, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Kiwi Invest, a Kiwisaver fund
  • Elevate committed $10 million into Movac Fund 5 at first close, which was increased to $30 million at final close
  • Read more in our press release

 

Pacific Channel

pacificchannel.com

  • In October 2020, Elevate announced a conditional allocation of $20 million into a $50 million fund managed by leading New Zealand deep-tech venture capital firm Pacific Channel
  • This is Elevate’s first allocation to a first time venture capital manager
  • Pacific Channel is New Zealand’s first deep-tech focused venture capital manager
  • Read more in our press release

/ Criteria

Our selection criteria

Elevate will allocate capital to fund managers on a best-practice commercial basis that considers the objectives of the programme.

Potential fund managers will be assessed based on:

  • Intention to allocate most of the capital to Series A and B stage New Zealand businesses
  • Track record of success as a venture capital fund manager and/or investing in early-stage companies
  • Connections and capability to support their portfolio companies on their growth journey
  • Fund fit within the wider Elevate fund portfolio
  • Ability to source matching capital from private investors
  • Commitment to developing the New Zealand venture capital industry

Not sure if this is for you? Check out the options for capital in New Zealand.

/ Process

Our investment process

1

Initial screening

NZGCP makes an initial assessment of whether an allocation to a potential fund manager would meet the objectives of the Elevate fund.

2

Detailed due diligence

Subject to the Elevate fund investment committee approval, potential fund managers are assessed against a conviction review framework and Elevates' portfolio allocation framework.

3

Investment committee approval

The investment committee review the outcomes of diligence and potential portfolio allocation.Those approved will be provided with conditional approval for an allocation.

4

Conditional allocation letter

Proposals approved by the Elevate fund investment committee will be issued with a time bound conditional allocation letter.

5

Conditions satisfied

Fund manager provides evidence of external capital and satisfaction of any other conditions.

6

Final approval and allocation

Final documentation is agreed and allocation is confirmed.

Ready to apply? Check out the application form and get in touch with our team.

/ Documents

Additional information

Elevate Fund FAQs

8 Jul 2020

Download the FAQs to find answers to frequently asked questions

Elevate Fund Application Form

23 Mar 2020

Application form for potential investments by Elevate NZ Venture Fund

Elevate Fund Application Form Guidance Notes

23 Mar 2020

This document provides guidance to completing the application form for potential investments by Elevate NZ Venture Fund

/ People

We can help you take the next step in funding.

James Pinner
James Pinner

Investment Director

Jason Roche
Jason Roche

Investment Manager

James Palmer
James Palmer

Investment Manager

Ready to speak to a member of the team? Contact us today.

/ Independent members

Danny Lee
Danny Lee

Investment Committee Member: Elevate

Matt Ocko
Matt Ocko

Investment Committee Member: Elevate

Dana Settle
Dana Settle

Investment Committee Member: Elevate

Randy Komisar
Randy Komisar

Strategic Adviser: Elevate