About

New Zealand Venture Capital for everyone

We believe in New Zealand, in the rapidly maturing high tech economy, and the tens of thousands of people who start and grow amazing businesses here. Our mission is to ensure that every great company is well funded, and that we see vast pools of capital deployed to this highly productive and low emissions sector.

ABOUT US

History

Punakaiki Fund is one of only three venture capital firms that has been active for over 10 years in New Zealand. Co-Founders Lance Wiggs and Chris Humphreys met at Pacific Fibre, a company set up to build a US$300 million fibre optic cable between Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Once Pacific Fibre ceased operations, Lance approached Chris about establishing a new growth orientated investment company to help fund the under-capitalised NZ tech sector and help accelerate the transition to a value economy. The pair commenced working on what would become 2040 Ventures and Punakaiki Fund in late 2012. 

Punakaiki Fund made its first investment in early 2014. Since then, we’ve made over 120 investments in more than 30 companies, have over $100 million in funds under management across two funds (climatevcfund is our sister fund), and have grown the team to 10 people.     

Structure

Punakaiki Fund is an investment company owned by shareholders, and governed by a Board of Directors. Punakaiki Fund is managed by 2040 Ventures Limited (formerly LWCM Limited), where the partners are Lance Wiggs, Chris Humphreys, Nadine Hill, Jez Weston and Rohan MacMahon.

You can read more information about Punakaiki Fund in our most recent Product Disclosure Statements, annual reports and other documents on our Key Documents page.

team

We are based across New Zealand, in Te Anau, Wellington and our main office is in Auckland. We have a diverse team and Board with considerable international, multi-industry experience.

Board of Directors

 

Mike Bennetts

Independent Chair

Mike is the CEO of Z Energy, one of New Zealand’s largest retail and wholesale fuel businesses and is a director of Loyalty New Zealand Limited. He previously worked for 25 years with BP in a variety of downstream roles in New Zealand, China, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Singapore.

Mike has a BBS and Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Management; and is a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Mike Bennetts has a less than 5% shareholding and is an independent director.

 

Tracey Jones

director

Tracey is a family office advisor with a broad range of governance experience across financial services, technology and the investment sectors. She is the Chair of Nikko Asset Management NZ and a director of Harmoney, where she chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. She is also a director of Tutaneki Investments and Chair of the Petal Foundation charity. She was previously a director of New Plymouth PIF Guardians. Tracey is a Chartered Accountant, a member of the Chartered Accountants of Australia & New Zealand, and a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

 

Nigel Scott

director

Nigel has investment banking, wealth management, governance and broking experience. He held a number of roles inside ANZ, and before that was at Westpac. He assisted in the transition from Macquarie Private Wealth to Hobson Wealth, and was Head of Advice there until 2020 and today remains a director. He is also a director of Kōura Wealth, Syndex and is a Board Trustee of the Auckland Foundation. Nigel is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors and has Diplomas in Business from Massey University and CPIT.

 

Teressa Betty

director

Teressa has a wide range of experience, particularly in legal and executive-level risk management, as well as senior leadership, strategy, business management and governance. She is president and director of the NZ & Pacific Islands Chapter of the Global Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) and Vice Chair of RIMS Global Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council. She also founded NZ Diversity in Risk.Teressa brings and deep financial services experience served across the New Zealand, Australian and London markets, including work with TSB, Westpac, BNZ, ASB, Barclays and UBS. She started her career as a lawyer with Buddle Findlay, Philips Fox and Linklaters.

Teressa has a Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Teressa is an independent director.

 

Lance Wiggs

co-founder

Lance is a Principal with 2040 Ventures, the manager of Punakaiki Fund

Lance is a director of 9 of Punakaiki Fund’s Portfolio Companies. He was formerly a director of Linewize until his resignation following its acquisition by Family Zone in late 2017, of Devoli until early 2017, when he was replaced by Chris Humphreys and of NZ Artesian Water until he resigned in October 2019.

Lance combines a wide variety of global experience with helping high-growth companies in New Zealand. Lance has helped hundreds of high growth companies through his work with 2040 Ventures, via Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s (NZTE) programmes, through Return on Science investment Committees and independently prior to the formation of 2040 Ventures.

Lance was the investment-banking advisor for Trade Me on its sale to Fairfax Media, with McKinsey & Company in Washington DC, contracted to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London and consulted to BHP Billiton plants in South Africa, Australia and Mozambique. Lance was also an elected Councillor for InternetNZ, where he was a member of the Audit Committee.

Lance has an MBA from Yale University (Strategy, Finance) and a Bachelor of Technology (Hons, Product Development) from Massey University. He has been a regular judge for the Hi-Tech Awardsand other events.

Board Responsibilities

The Board’s core responsibility is approving and monitoring adherence to the investment objectives, risk management, strategies, policies and philosophies of Punakaiki Fund, and to ensure Punakaiki Fund meets its statutory obligations. These are reviewed on a regular basis, with policies being added and extended as Punakaiki Fund grows.

Part of these core responsibilities include monitoring 2040 Ventures and Punakaiki Fund’s performance. This involves monitoring and valuing Punakaiki Fund’s investment portfolio, and ensuring that expenditure by Punakaiki Fund is made on a prudent and appropriate basis.

Fund Manager

Punakaiki Fund appointed 2040 Ventures Limited to be the manager of Punakaiki Fund. 2040 Ventures is responsible and had broad powers for investment, managing investments, fund raising and certain administrative services. It is responsible for adhering to the various policies, objectives and directives set by the Punakaiki Fund Board, including ensuring that the Board is kept fully informed about material matters relating to investments and Punakaiki Fund itself.

 

Lance Wiggs

co-founder

Lance is a Principal with 2040 Ventures, the manager of Punakaiki Fund

Lance is a director of 9 of Punakaiki Fund’s Portfolio Companies. He was formerly a director of Linewize until his resignation following its acquisition by Family Zone in late 2017, of Devoli until early 2017, when he was replaced by Chris Humphreys and of NZ Artesian Water until he resigned in October 2019.

Lance combines a wide variety of global experience with helping high-growth companies in New Zealand. Lance has helped hundreds of high growth companies through his work with 2040 Ventures, via Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s (NZTE) programmes, through Return on Science investment Committees and independently prior to the formation of 2040 Ventures.

Lance was the investment-banking advisor for Trade Me on its sale to Fairfax Media, with McKinsey & Company in Washington DC, contracted to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London and consulted to BHP Billiton plants in South Africa, Australia and Mozambique. Lance was also an elected Councillor for InternetNZ, where he was a member of the Audit Committee.

Lance has an MBA from Yale University (Strategy, Finance) and a Bachelor of Technology (Hons, Product Development) from Massey University. He has been a regular judge for the Hi-Tech Awardsand other events.

 

Chris Humphreys

co-founder

Chris is a Principal with 2040 Ventures, the manager of Punakaiki Fund

Chris brings significant corporate finance experience and rigour to the team, leading the valuation, due diligence and formal processes such as contract review for a large share of the investment placements made by Punakaiki Fund. Chris performs investment investigations independently from Lance, and investments are only made when both agree to the investment and terms. Chris is a director of two of Punakaiki Fund’s Portfolio Companies.

Chris formerly performed financial modelling, due diligence, deal structuring and deal advisory work for clients while at PwC, where he was an Associate Director.

Chris holds a BSc and PGDipCom (Finance) from the University of Otago and a BCom (Accounting, Finance and Information Systems) from the University of Canterbury. Chris is a CFA charterholder.

Lance and Chris met at Pacific Fibre, a company, where Lance was a co-founder, set up to build a US$300 million fibre optic cable between Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Following Pacific Fibre ceasing operations, Lance approached Chris about forming 2040 Ventures, with the intention of establishing a new growth orientated investment company.

Chris is based in Te Anau, travelling regularly to Auckland.

 

Nadine Hill

Partner | Senior Investment Manager

Nadine Hill joined 2040 Ventures in October 2020, and was made a Principal in March of 2022.

Nadine has a BCom from the Massy University and has 15 years of experience in international capital in Australasia and the United Kingdom. Nadine was previously an investment manager at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and a Director of Project and Acquisition Finance at Westpac.

 

Ben Kay

CFO

Ben has Bachelors of Law and Commerce from the University of Otago. He has been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and has 16 years of experience in corporate finance. Before joining 2040 Ventures and Punakaiki Fund, Ben was at SkyCity for eight years where he was responsible for driving the development and execution of group strategy, overseeing M&A activity, supporting divisional and regional strategic initiatives, reviewing and executing major investment proposals, leading special projects, and managing the investor relations programme and treasury function (alongside the Group Treasurer). He’s ambidextrous but we don’t hold it against him.

 

Rohan MacMahon

partner

Rohan has a BEcon and a LLB from Sydney University. Rohan has 25 years’ experience as a management consultant, strategic planner, and corporate executive with deep expertise in the impact of changing technology on business. Rohan performed investment analysis and project investment viability for private investors and the Provincial Growth Fund, led commercial analysis and due diligence for major climate-oriented projects for two well-known major New Zealand headquartered entities, and performed future strategy and analysis for a heavily climate-exposed Australian industrial company.

 

Jez Weston

partner

Jez has a Ph.D. in Engineering from Cambridge University, a BEng in Materials Science, and a GradDipComm in Economics. Jez has 15 years’ experience in policy and climate advice with the Royal Society, the Ministry for Primary Industries, and the Ministry for Business, Innovation & Employment, including translating climate science into mitigation and adaptation policy advice. Jez has 5 years of research investment and commercialisation experience as manager of both the Commercialisation Partner Network and the PreSeed Accelerator Fund as well as designing and supporting MBIE’s COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund, a rapid turn-around $25 million fund.

Jez is a member of the Return on Science Physical Science Investment Committee for the past four years, reviewing 30-40 applications each year.

 

Cormac McCullough

Senior Investment Analyst

Cormac joined the 2040 Ventures team having spent the prior three years working with Snowball Effect to raise growth capital for kiwi companies. Before Snowball Effect, he was involved with a number of engineering businesses that ranged from early stage start-ups to global conglomerates. Highlights include carbon fibre structural design and project management with a global consultancy, design engineering for an early stage marine technology start-up, and project management work with Rocket Lab. Cormac received a BE(hons) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Canterbury and spent time after university sailing around various parts of the world aboard superyachts. In his spare time, Cormac can generally be found in and around the ocean or trying to entertain a very energetic Australian Shepherd.
 

Andy Magness

Operations Analyst

Andy joined 2040 Ventures after applying for an administrative assistant role in 2021–a significant departure from his prior work in the outdoor industry.  His lack of a finance background has been bolstered by his affinity for learning and a Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of Oklahoma in the United States.

Andy is also a former teacher and an amateur author. His communication and writing skills, along with his ability to perform research, has made him a valuable part of the operations team.

 

Tom Culley

marketing director

Tom comes to 2040 Ventures after seven years in the U.K. Whilst in London, Tom worked for NZ-founded startup, Publons, as their Head of Marketing. Publons went on to be acquired by Clarivate in 2017, a NYSE-listed data and analytics company. Tom worked in several marketing leadership roles at Clarivate, managing global demand strategy teams before deciding to move back to New Zealand with his young family in 2022. We’re glad to have him back in New Zealand.

 

Angela James

Finance Analyst

Angela joined 2040 Ventures after recently moving with her family from the North Island to Te Anau, subsequently finding her place in their second office location. Angela is creative, adventurous, and gregarious. She has a varying background in sales, operations, and project management from a diverse range of industry sectors, including hospitality, dairying, and construction. Angela is engaged in many community projects in Te Anau and brings positive energy, confidence, and pragmatism to her role and to the team as Punakaiki Fund’s Finance Analyst.

 

Vincent Heeringa

Advisor

Vincent is a writer and communications consultant specialising in the tech, food and
sustainability sectors. He is a venture advisor at the Punakaiki Fund and Climate VC Fund, the co-
founder of TheFeed.co.nz, a blog about the food sector, and host of mildly popular podcast 'This
Climate Business'. In a previous life he has been a maths and science teacher, a journalist and co-
founder of media brands such as Idealog, Stoppress, Good, The Register and Taste magazine. He
was founding chair of the Science Media Centre and was a publisher at AUT Media. He is on the
board of Adventure Specialties Trust, a charity dedicated to inspiring young people through outdoor
adventure and is married to Sarah, with whom he has four adult children.

Governance & policy documents

Punakaiki Fund Limited is committed to the highest standards of corporate governance and uses the Punakaiki Fund Board Charter to guide the Board’s behaviour. We have a number of policy documents, which are each regularly reviewed. Many of these, linked here, are publicly disclosed.