Movac moves to make more IT investments

Partnership with NZ Venture Investment Fund will see tech firms funded

Wellington investment firm Movac is teaming up with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund to invest in young IT companies. Movac partners, a group of former early-stage Trade Me investors, will contribute $10 million, while the NZ Venture Investment Fund will put in between $10 million and $20 million. The move represents a shift in focus for Movac, which has previously funded start-ups at an angel level, but will now also target firms that are ready for a further round of funding. In a statement announcing the launch of the fund, Movac managing partner Phil McCaw says start-ups that have had angel funding, but are ready for a further round of investment, will be targeted. “The new fund represents a shift in focus for MOVAC from start-up angel investment to early expansion," Movac managing partner Phil McCaw says. "There is a considerable pipeline of very promising companies which have had angel investment capital over the past few years and have proven their proposition," McCaw says. "We aim to invest with eight to 10 young technology companies and connect them internationally to drive offshore expansion. We expect to make these investments in the first four or five years of the fund." McCaw cites the example of PowerbyProxi, which Movac has invested in as an angel, as the kind of company the new fund will be targeting. PowerbyProxi provides wireless mechanisms for delivering electricity, and is the result of the commercialisation of technology developed at Auckland University. It is expanding into North America and Europe. NZVIF chief executive Franceska Banga says NZVIF’s commitment to the new fund is up to $20 million and that NZVIF will invest up to $1 for every $1.50 Movac raises from private and institutional investors. McCaw says MOVAC is now actively raising funding commitments from institutional and private investors. It aims to complete a first close of the Fund and start investing in late May.

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