New Zealand investors are enthusiastically supporting an expansion fund designed to help some of the fastest growing ventures go global.
The fund called Icehouse Ventures X (IVX) was launched to the public in July with an initial $50 million of committed funds, but has since grown to nearly $85m, exceeding its $75m target.
IVX also had recently established a number of other smaller funds totalling about $54m, which brought the total raised to $139m over the past 12 months or so.
IVX chief executive Robbie Paul said the fund had already made 15 investments in New Zealand startups.
Those included Dawn Aerospace and Shuttlerock.
"IVX is investing in high growth technology-based companies that are based in New Zealand and taking on the world. And so that's a mix of software, hardware, medical devices and a variety of other sort industries," Paul said.
A further four investments were underway, with a total 30 companies expected to receive funding over the next three to four years.
The money had been raised from about 200 investors and did not include any government matching funds from New Zealand Growth Capital Partners.
The minimum investment in the fund is $50,000.
"The reality is by having people invest $50,000, it does open it up to a wider audience of folks who are aligned to back great Kiwi companies but have other obligations and other places for their money at the time so would previously have not been able to participate in this asset class with the larger requirements," Paul said.
The pandemic had benefited New Zealand entrepreneurs by levelling the playing field when it came to making pitches, he said.
"The virtual setting that we've been forced into is in many ways a great thing for Kiwi companies and in many ways has enabled more investment to take place in Kiwi companies and in our funds.
"New Zealanders are now competing on a level playing field with those people who had geographic advantages in the past."
The fund closes at the end of September.