Backing the best venture capital managers to invest in New Zealand's best early-stage tech companies

Together we’re building a sustainable Kiwi VC market.

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

Elevate is a government-funded $300m fund of funds programme, investing into venture capital funds; aimed at filling the Series A and B capital gap for high-growth Kiwi technology companies.

Elevate is overseen by The Guardians of the NZ Superannuation Fund as limited partner and has appointed NZGCP as the manager of the fund.

  • The Elevate fund officially launched in March 2020 and looks to allocate up to $300 million into venture capital firms within 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.

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.

Elevate aims to stimulate a functioning venture capital industry, and make sure that high-growth Kiwi 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.

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 Elevate. 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.

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 Elevate. Therefore, those entities that do receive venture capital funding, are more likely to grow into successful and sustainable businesses.

Elevate will adapt to the market – and the needs of Kiwi 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.

As at March 2023, Elevate has allocated 81% of investible capital into 9 funds (7 fund managers + 2 follow-on investments), leaving $50.8m remaining to commit.

With the $387m invested by Elevate underlying funds, they have backed around 120 Kiwi tech companies, with roughly 38% of these being deep-tech.

To learn more about Elevate's performance, you can read the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Annual Reports.

Download and complete our application form. The supporting application guide and our FAQs will help you to navigate this form. Once complete, email the form and any supplementary information through to our team HERE.

/ Current fund investments

  • In May 2022, Elevate committed $30 million into Blackbird Ventures’ second New Zealand fund (Fund 2022) which is targeting a final close of $80 million.
  • In September 2020, Elevate announced its first investment of $21.5 million into Blackbird's recently formed New Zealand fund (Fund 2019). 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

Fund 2019: Final close of $54million in September 2020 (included $22.75million investment from Elevate)

Fund 2022: Targeting a final close of $80 million

  • 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
  • In February 2021, Elevate was pleased to announce that Pacific Channel had satisfied all of the conditions and Elevate completed its $20 million allocation into Pacific Channel Fund 2 which reached final close at $55 million
  • This was 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

Fund 2: Final close of $55 million in February 2021 (included $20 million investment from Elevate)

  • In June 2023, Elevate announced a commitment of up to $25 million into Movac Emerge Fund 4, a new deep-tech early-stage fund managed by veteran Movac partner David Beard
  • The initial commitment to Movac Emerge Fund 4 is $15 million at first close with potential to increase to $25 million based on the fund’s final close size. The fund is targeting a final close of $50 million
  • 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 on Movac Emerge Fund 4 in our press release
  • Read more on Fund 5 in our press release

Movac Emerge Fund 4: Targeting a final close of $50 million

Fund 5: Final close of $250 million (included $30 million investment from Elevate)

  • In April 2021, Elevate announced the commitment of USD $10 million (NZ$16m) into the Finistere Aotearoa Fund which will target agri-tech companies needing Series A and B investment.
  • The Finistere Aotearoa Fund is a subsidiary of Silicon Valley venture capital fund managers Finistere Ventures
  • Finistere Aotearoa Fund closed at $28 million
  • Read more in our press release

Finistere Aotearoa Fund: Final close of $28 million (included $16 million investment from Elevate)

  • In July 2021, Elevate announced a conditional $45 million investment into New Zealand venture capital fund Global From Day 1 (GD1) Fund 3
  • In August 2021, GD1 had their first close at $130 million. Final close increased to $145 million
  • This is a generalist venture capital fund, investing in a wide remit ranging from enterprise software and internet to connected hardware, deep-tech and health-tech
  • This was Elevate’s fifth and largest allocation at the time
  • Read more in our press release

Fund 3: Final close of $145 million (included $45 million investment from Elevate)

  • In September 2021, Elevate announced a $17 million commitment to Nuance Connected Capital, a newly established Auckland and Tauranga-based venture capital fund manager
  • Nuance reached final close in March 2022 with a fund size of $56.8 million
  • The Nuance fund represents a significant commitment to invest in deep-tech ventures which aim to solve large societal challenges – like climate change – using emerging technologies including advanced manufacturing, green energy, advanced materials, robotics artificial intelligence, and blockchain
  • This was Elevate's sixth investment
  • Read more in our press release

Nuance fund: Final close of $56.8 million in March 2022 (included $17 million investment from Elevate)

  • In April 2022, Elevate announced a $15 million conditional commitment to Hillfarrance venture capital fund
  • In Q4 of 2022, Elevate increased their commitment to $18 million
  • Hillfarrance’s investment focus is on machine learning, the future of media, content, gaming, and climate change solutions. With the firm’s strategy driven by founders and business models rather than particular sectors
  • This was Elevate's seventh investment, with a total commitment to date of $164 million
  • Read more in our press release

Hillfarrance fund: Final close of $36 million (included $18 million investment from Elevate)

/ 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.

Funding options

/ Process

Our investment process


Initial screening

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


Detailed due diligence

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


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.


Conditional allocation letter

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


Conditions satisfied

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


Final approval and allocation

Final documentation is agreed and allocation is confirmed.

Ready to apply? Complete our Elevate funding application form and get in touch with our team.

Apply for funding

Download our Elevate application guide to support your Elevate funding application.

/ Documents

Elevate funding documents

Elevate fund FAQs

1 Jun 2022

Elevate FAQs to help answer your questions around the fund and funding requirements

Elevate application form

1 Jun 2022

Application form for potential investment by Elevate NZ Venture Fund

Elevate application form guidance notes

1 Jun 2022

Guidance notes for completing the application form for potential investment by the Elevate NZ Venture Fund

/ People

Our team who will support you on your Elevate funding journey

James Pinner
James Pinner

Chief Investment Officer

Jason Roche
Jason Roche

Associate Investment Director

Kate Burgos
Kate Burgos

Investment Manager

Ready to speak to a member of our team? Connect with them directly, or contact us today.

Contact us

/ Independent members

Dana Settle
Dana Settle

Independent Investment Committee Member

Randy Komisar
Randy Komisar

Elevate Strategic Advisor

Danny Lee
Danny Lee

Elevate Investment Committee Member

Matt Ocko
Matt Ocko

Elevate Investment Committee Member