/ Blog + Insights / 18 Aug 2021 / Nic Anderson
New Zealand venture capital firm Global From Day 1 (GD1) has announced the first close of its Fund 3, over target at $130 million. GD1 Fund 3 is now looking to quickly accelerate toward its cap of $160m, giving additional investors an opportunity to stake their claim in a fund with a proven team and capability for successfully backing New Zealand’s tech future.
Fund investment was led by large institutional funds and top tier investors (including private wealth platforms and noteworthy tech-founders). The raise is one of the biggest injections of capital for the New Zealand start-up ecosystem so far this year. With this fund, GD1 will continue to support high-growth New Zealand origin companies going global.
Underlining their confidence in the fund, New Zealand Growth Capital Partners identified GD1 as an institutional grade VC fund manager, making a $45 million investment from the Elevate NZ Venture Fund (Elevate) - the fifth and largest allocation the Government entity has ever made to a VC fund manager to date.
Additional backers of GD1 Fund 3 include private wealth platforms and institutional fund managers such as Harbour Asset Management, alongside community trust and iwi investors. Strong support also continued from Fund 2 via several of New Zealand’s preeminent family offices. Significant investment came from founders who expressed their confidence in the GD1 team, this includes founders of recent major tech exit success stories.
As with Fund 2, Fund 3 is a generalist B2B VC fund. GD1’s team has also expanded with new firepower including a number of operating partners with extensive international experience and connections. This has enhanced the firm’s depth and breadth of skill to provide serious value-add to founders and teams across a wide remit, ranging from enterprise software and SaaS to connected hardware, deep-tech, and health-tech. Additionally, GD1 has brought on team members and advisors with deep expertise in ESG, furthering the firm's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. GD1’s team is gender balanced, with females representing 50% of the organisation.
GD1 Partner Vignesh Kumar comments “Since 2012, GD1 has been a proud partner of ambitious Kiwi founders and teams poised for global growth. Our focus has always been on supporting the next generation of New Zealand-origin B2B technology companies that are focused on global expansion from day one. The ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem that continuously fuels the New Zealand economy. Fund 3 builds on this core mission and represents one of the largest injections of capital into the New Zealand start-up landscape so far this year.”
Kumar continues, “We believe our growing track record of success is a testament to one of our driving values: We dive in deep to support our portfolio companies. With Fund 3, we’ve added new, top-tier talent to the team covering investment, operating expertise, and ESG, as well as best in class domestic and international advisory boards which we believe will be extremely valuable to our founders and management teams in their growth journeys.”
GD1 is moving fast to deploy Fund 3 capital to high growth companies, with Runn.io, Dawn Aerospace, and JunoFem already locked in to receive not only funding but also further guidance and support from the GD1 and its partner network. GD1’s pipeline is strong, with additional marquee deal announcements anticipated in the upcoming weeks.
Tim Copeland, co-founder of Silverstripe and GD1-backed Runn.io has experienced this first hand: “GD1’s team are well-known for offering incredible guidance and support to portfolio companies, including a deep level of operational insight that solves the most challenging roadblocks to growth. Their unique access to in-market talent and extensive global contacts are a game-changer for companies looking for rapid expansion into major offshore markets.”
Jennifer Kruger, co-founder and CEO of Junofem has also had a positive experience with the GD1 team. She states “GD1’s unparalleled support for JUNOFEM has given the team confidence to take the necessary steps for real growth of the company. As a technical founder, the team has been given invaluable advice, from go-to-market strategy to governance structure, which continues to ensure that we are well prepared for our next round of investment.”
GD1’s Fund 3 is led by Partners Chintaka Ranatunga, John Kells and Vignesh Kumar and follows on from GD1 Fund 2 which was backed by New Zealand Growth Capital Partners’ Venture Investment Fund in 2016. Noteworthy Fund 2 investments included Shuttlerock (recently raised $20m led by Trade Me founder Sam Morgan); StretchSense (recently closed an $8m follow-on round); UBCO (closed $15m in funding led by offshore investors) and Spotlight Reporting (now Xero's number one reporting and cash flow forecasting app).
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