The Icehouse is partnering with KiwiSaver firms Simplicity and Sir Stephen Tindall's K1W1 investment business among others to launch a $100 million startup investment arm.
Dubbed Icehouse Ventures the new company is to be launched on 1 May to accelerate the growth and development of Kiwi entrepreneurs with global aspirations.
The new partners include KiwiSaver funds manager Simplicity; Tindall’s K1W1; investment banking firm FNZC and investors connected to The Icehouse, which will have a combined 23 per cent stake in Icehouse Ventures.
Simplicity has committed to invest up to $100 million over five years into funds managed by Icehouse Ventures that go into high growth New Zealand businesses seeking the next phase of expansion capital beyond early seed funding.
Simplicity managing director Sam Stubbs said the investment represents the first example of a KiwiSaver fund manager that is investing in a business dedicated to high growth New Zealand businesses.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our KiwiSaver members to tap into a broad range of New Zealand’s boldest and brightest companies," he said.
"Given the breadth and depth Icehouse Ventures has with companies starting up and expanding, we want to provide investment options for our members."
It also means every Kiwi can be a part of New Zealand’s fast-growing entrepreneurial sector, he added.
Icehouse Ventures will offer investors unprecedented portfolio-level exposure to New Zealand’s boldest start-ups, said The Icehouse chair Chris Quin.
“Together we are unlocking KiwiSaver and managed New Zealand funds to get more capital flowing into the growth sector to provide more support for New Zealand startups taking on global markets," he said.
The move also marks an evolution for The Icehouse as it brings on the group of investors to boost an already fast developing startup market in New Zealand and allows more New Zealanders to benefit from their growth.
Icehouse Ventures CEO Robbie Paul says the company is positioned to meet the demand of top calibre founders.
“We are seeing more second and third-time founders starting new companies; and with Icehouse Ventures and our new partners, we have this fantastic opportunity to step up and be a catalyst by providing greater amounts of capital over the next five to ten years to fuel their global ambitions,” he said.
Paul said the company’s increased scale will enable startups to attract significantly more capital by tapping into strategic offshore investors and also ensuring a greater portion of the capital they need can be provided by New Zealanders.
“Our goal is to ensure a greater portion of the capital that high growth companies need, can be provided by New Zealanders,” Paul said.
FNZC CEO James Lee said partnership with Icehouse Ventures is part of the firm’s broader investment into growing New Zealand’s capital markets.