$100 mil­lion for start-ups ‘mas­sive boost for in­no­va­tion’

The Press - - Business - Rob Stock

Sim­plic­ity Ki­wiSaver has com­mit­ted to in­vest­ing $100 mil­lion over the next five years into New Zealand com­pa­nies seek­ing ex­pan­sion cap­i­tal.

It will in­vest the money into funds man­aged by Icehouse Ven­tures, a new com­pany to be launched in May, de­signed to ac­cel­er­ate the growth and de­vel­op­ment of Kiwi com­pa­nies with global as­pi­ra­tions. Icehouse Ven­tures will be co-owned be­tween

The Icehouse start-up ac­cel­er­a­tor, Sir Stephen Tin­dall’s in­vest­ment com­pany K1W1, Sim­plic­ity and in­vest­ment bank­ing firm FNZC.

‘‘This is a mas­sive boost for en­trepreneurs and in­no­va­tion in this coun­try. 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,’’ said Icehouse chair­man Chris Quin.

The Sim­plic­ity Ki­wiSaver money will be in­vested into funds man­aged by Icehouse Ven­tures, and will ul­ti­mately be in­vested into high-growth busi­nesses seek­ing cap­i­tal to grow.

Icehouse Ven­tures chief ex­ec­u­tive Rob­bie Paul said: ‘‘Our goal is to en­sure a greater por­tion of the cap­i­tal that high growth com­pa­nies need, can be pro­vided by New Zealan­ders.’’

Sim­plic­ity man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Sam Stubbs said it was the first time a Ki­wiSaver fund man­ager was 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.’’

The cap­i­tal Sim­plic­ity is pledg­ing will en­able The Icehouse to rapidly ex­pand its work. Since it was founded in 2001, The Icehouse has over­seen the in­vest­ment of $106 mil­lion into 165 New Zealand com­pa­nies with more than half this amount raised within the past four years.

Chris Quin

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