Angel investment activity has risen, with individual investors doing more deals to help businesses starting up, though at lower amounts.
A record $53.8 million was invested in 2010, an increase of 5% on the previous year.
More than 100 deals were completed, mainly in the second half of the year, with most of the cash being a follow-up to the initial investment.
But the average amount invested fell by 22% to $522,000 compared with 2009.
The chief executive of New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, Franceska Banga, says the record level of activity makes it crucial that new venture capital funds are established.
Ms Banga says it is needed to ensure companies continue their growth and development.