/ News / 22 Sep 2020 / Katie Hickmer
PRESS RELEASE: 23 September 2020
Elevate NZ Venture Fund today announced its investment in Movac Fund 5 - a new $200-250 million venture capital fund and New Zealand’s largest ever - with funding commitments from Elevate, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Kiwi Invest, a Kiwisaver fund.
The fund is the second commitment by Elevate – the government’s new venture capital fund being run by New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP) - following its $21 million investment into the Blackbird Ventures’ New Zealand fund announced in August. Elevate has committed $10 million into Movac Fund 5 at first close with a commitment to match further private capital (up to a maximum of an additional $20 million) before final close.
James Pinner, NZGCP Investment Director in charge of Elevate, said that the establishment of new venture capital fund of this scale is great news for promising technology companies, but also achieves a number of important milestones which is positive for New Zealand’s capital markets.
“The significant commitment from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund into the earliest stage of the New Zealand investment cycle in promising high growth companies is extremely encouraging and we hope that other institutional funds will follow suit in due course.
‘Similarly, the Kiwi Invest arranged investment is the first investment from a KiwiSaver scheme at this scale into the local venture capital sector, and we hope it will demonstrate to other KiwiSaver funds that venture capital is a viable and investable asset class in New Zealand.
“What is also pleasing is the level of private investment being raised in Movac Fund 5. The government’s requirement for the Elevate Fund is that it must invest alongside at least matching private capital. Elevate’s initial $10 million has been matched by $150 million of private capital and we expect there to be ratio of over seven times as much private capital as our investment at the fund’s final close.”
Movac managing partner Phil McCaw said the Movac Fund 5 will focus on investing in the New Zealand tech sector, and will include early stage investments as well as predominantly Series A and B investments - in accordance with the Elevate Fund’s mandate and objectives to help close the capital gap in this space.
“The first and major goal is to invest in companies that become increasingly successful. We have a strong track record of success as one of the most experienced fund managers in New Zealand. Companies we have invested in include PowerbyProxi, Aroa Biosurgery, Vend, Trade Me and GreenButton.
“Alongside that, the fund will build further capacity into New Zealand’s early stage ecosystem. Movac has developed a lot of talent in the VC market and the new fund will accelerate that, which we believe will have a strong positive impact for years to come. The fund is bringing in two new partners and hiring additional investment team members which will further develop the talent in the venture capital industry in New Zealand.”
Mr McCaw said $160 million has been raised so far, and is on track to close the fund at $200-250m by final close on 23 October.
Elevate is a $300m fund of funds program which looks to fill the capital gap for high growth New Zealand businesses at the Series A and B fund raising stage. Elevate’s objectives are 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 in order to be successful. It is managed by NZGCP with oversight from the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation.
Movac was founded in 1998, and focuses on investing in NZ tech companies at seed stage, Series A and beyond. Movac is led by established investors Phil McCaw, David Beard, Mark Stuart and Mark Vivian.
Movac has deployed more than $150m into NZ tech companies via their previous four funds.
This is their fifth fund, and their second fund involving NZGCP (previously NZVIF).
Prior portfolio companies include PowerbyProxi (sold to Apple), Trade Me (sold to Fairfax) and GreenButton (sold to Microsoft).
Existing portfolio companies include Aroa Biosurgery (recent IPO in Australia on ASX), Vend, Coretex, Timely, Mobi2Go, TracPlus, Author-it, Unleashed Software and Revolution Fibres.
NZGCP media contact: David Lewis 021 976 119
Movac media contact: Phil McCaw 021 802 170
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