Startup funding in New Zealand

If your business requires investment to get off the ground, one of your first jobs as an entrepreneur is to learn how to raise it. Aside from whatever personal capital you or your co-founders may have to invest, there are two broad options for funding a business.

One option is debt funding, for example asking for a loan from a bank or finance company, which you promise to pay back with interest in a certain amount of time. Due to the high failure rate of new businesses, most banks and similar financial institutions will require payment of the loan to be guaranteed by the business owner, regardless of whether the business succeeds or fails. Many such loans therefore will need to be secured against the entrepreneurs house or business assets. For this reason debt funding is most commonly used by established businesses with proven cashflow, who may be need finance to grow, acquire new assets, or refinance other obligations.

The other option is known as equity funding, whereby investors provide money in return for a share of your company (and therefore a share in any future profits, losses or capital gains you make). With equity funding, investors choose to share in the entrepreneurs risk as part owners of the business, and there is no legal obligation for the entrepreneur to pay back the investors if the company fails.

Equity funding comes in many forms but will generally be determined by the stage of the business venture and the amount of money being sought. Seed funding and angel funding are terms used to describe funding for very early stage startups. Amounts raised will generally be under $NZ1M. Venture capital, private equity and public market funding (for example, listing on the stock exchange) typically provides more developed ventures with access to larger amounts of capital for growth. In recent years, several crowd funding platforms that specialise in equity funding for startups (known as “crowd equity funding”) have emerged New Zealand.

While raising investment capital may never be easy (securing angel or venture capital typically takes anywhere from 3 months to over a year) New Zealand entrepreneurs have more opportunities to access capital than ever, with active and growing angel, venture capital and crowd funding markets.


Soda inc

Soda Inc.


Who: SodaWhat: Startup Incubation; Mentoring; Coworking; EventsHQ: HamiltonEstablished: 2009 INTRODUCTION Soda is a business growth ecosystem that provides support, programmes and connections for Kiwi entrepreneurs and businesses to grow and succeed. WHO DO YOU WORK WITH AND WHAT KEY CHALLENGES DO YOU HELP THEM SOLVE? Based in the Waikato, Soda supports a diverse range of […]



Who: New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP)What: Investment, Courses, Events & ResourcesHQ: AucklandEstablished: 2002 INTRODUCTION Bold ideas. Big dreams. Our plan is to invest in that. Established in 2002 by the New Zealand Government, New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP) invests into early-stage Kiwi companies with high-growth potential. We partner with other investors to give […]




Who: Sprout What: Accelerator & Investment HQ: Palmerston North INTRODUCTION Sprout builds agtech and foodtech entrepreneurs and companies, by allowing them to break new ground through our Accelerator and Investment offerings. WHO DO YOU WORK WITH AND WHAT KEY CHALLENGES DO YOU HELP THEM SOLVE? 1) New Zealanders who are in the process of researching […]

Enterprise Angels

Enterprise Angels


Who: Enterprise Angels What: Angel Investment, Venture Capital HQ: Tauranga Established: 2008 INTRODUCTION We believe that growing innovative, socially and environmentally responsible companies is the key to ensuring people, communities, businesses, the environment, and the economy thrive. Since launching in 2008, Enterprise Angels has facilitated the investment of over $50m in 100 different early stage […]

Icehouse Ventures

Icehouse Ventures


Who: Icehouse Ventures What: Funding & Investment HQ: Auckland INTRODUCTION Icehouse Ventures is a venture capital firm that backs brave kiwi founders with unique insights building global companies. We invest as early as the idea stage through to series A and beyond. We invest in a range of industries from space planes changing the way […]




Who: Crowdsphere What: Crowd Equity Funding HQ: Wellington Established: 2014 INTRODUCTION We started Crowdsphere to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to take control of raising funding from their own network of friends, family, customers and strangers. We also want to give people the opportunity to take charge of their own investments and build their own investment […]

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Crowd Funding

Crowd funding enables entrepreneurs and innovators to raise money from members of the public through online funding platforms, and is becoming an increasingly popular source of early stage funding. Crowd funding platforms that provide entrepreneurs access to equity funding, are known as “crowd equity funding” but there are also platforms that specialise in debt funding and reward based funding (made popular by the likes of KickStarter).

Collinson Crowdfunding






Lending Crowd


Snowball Effect

Angel Investment Groups

Angel investors are individuals or groups who help entrepreneurs fund the early stages of a new business by using their own hard earned private capital. Many angel investors are or have been successful entrepreneurs themselves, and they are the main source of equity capital for startup businesses around the world. Some angels may like to have an involvement in the the business beyond just the money they invest, offering entrepreneurs their time, business building expertise and connections if they feel they would be useful.

While informal angel investment has happened here in New Zealand for decades, there has been a steady increase in the number of formal angel syndicates (such as those listed below) throughout New Zealand since the mid-2000’s.

Angel investors understand that investing money in startups is highly risky, as most startups will not succeed. Therefore angel investors will generally want to see that your business has the potential to earn them at least 10 times their investment, within the next 5 years. Angels will generally invest $NZ 50,000 – $NZ 500,000 per deal although some recent angel investment rounds have hit $NZ 1,000,000+.

Most angel investment groups are members of the Angel Association of New Zealand, which aims to support and grow the angel investment community, establish best practise, and educate investors and entrepreneurs alike on the “in’s-and-out’s” of angel investment.

Angel Association NZ Nationwide

Arc Angels Auckland

Cure Kids Ventures Auckland

First Cut Ventures Auckland

Flying Kiwi Angels Auckland

ICE Angels Auckland

Knox Investment Partners Auckland

K1W1 Auckland

New Zealand Venture Investment Fund Auckland

Pacific Channel Auckland

Zino Ventures Auckland

Enterprise Angels Tauranga

Launch Taranaki Taranaki

HB Angels Hawkes Bay

MIG Angels Palmerston North

Angel HQ Wellington

Nelson Angels Nelson

AIM Angel Investors Marlborough Marlborough

Canterbury Angels Christchurch

Powerhouse Ventures Christchurch

Otago Angels Otago

Mainland Angel Investors South Island

Venture Capital

Venture capitalists typically invest larger amounts of money than angel investors. In New Zealand this might start at around the $5M mark at the lower end of the scale. While they may invest in companies at the seed or early development stages, they are generally only interested in opportunities who can demonstrate significant and rapid international growth potential, with a clear exit pathway to crystalise investment profits.

Unlike angel investors who typically invest their own personal funds, venture capital funds often invest money on behalf of institutional investment organisations, for example, pension funds or other commercially or publicly traded investment funds.

Their primary job is to make money for the people and organisations who have invested in them, and therefore venture capital will often be accompanied by more stringent requirements than angel investment. For example, they will often require representation on your board of directors or the ability to appoint (or remove) key members of your team.

Alliance Equities Auckland

Artemis Capital Auckland

Business Bakery Auckland

Direct Capital Auckland

Global from Day One Fund Auckland

Hunter Powell Investment Auckland

Icehouse Ventures Auckland

Maui Capital Auckland

New Ground Capital Auckland

NZ Super Fund Auckland

Pioneer Capital Auckland

Spark Box Auckland

Venture Capital Association NZ (NZVCA) Auckland

Waterman Capital Auckland

Tainui Group Holdings Hamilton

Oriens Capital Tauranga

Quayside Holdings Tauranga

Endeavour Capital Wellington

Green Investment Fund Wellington

Infratil Wellington

Movac Wellington

Pencarrow Private Equity Wellington

Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu Christchurch

Punakaiki Fund West Coast

Invest South Invercargill

Grants, Foundations & Scholarships

ICE Foundation


Dream Believe Succeed Foundation

Learn more

What Government funding is available for startups in New Zealand?

Understanding pre-money and post-money valuations

9 alternatives for raising capital

Raising seed capital? Be sure to cover these points

Choosing winners: Finding the right investor

Bootstrapping: How to start a business with no money

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