Why the combination works
There was almost immediate agreement, at the start of negotiations, that the combination of Linewize and Family Zone was good for both businesses. Linewize provides world-leading technology for firewall, filtering and classroom internet management tools, and has 260 New Zealand schools on board. Family Zone has a disruptive business model (selling on-device filtering software to parents via school mandates) and is growing very quickly in Australia, and can rapidly expand the use of Linewize’s technology. They have also signed deals with large telecommunications providers. The combination is a strong sales and marketing engine on top of some excellent technology, and better geographic coverage for all.
We are very happy to present our 2017 Annual Report, complete with audited accounts.
A press release from Punakaiki Fund. Punakaiki Fund Limited is raising capital through a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Investors may apply at Punakaikifund.co.nz/InvestNow or via Snowball Effect.
We have upgraded the Punakaiki Fund website to reflect the content of our two offers.
The New Zealand Offer is lodged, and will be available to accept applications from November 9th. In the meantime the Product Disclosure Statement makes for good reading, and is the only pathway to make a decision about investing. We will accept applications directly, through Snowball Effect and wholesale distribution channels, both from the 9th.
Punakaiki Fund Limited is investigating making an offer to retail investors in New Zealand, through a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), which is the prescribed approach under the Financial Markets Conduct Act of 2013.
We’ve seen a little press about our proposed offer to raise money from the public. As this is a regulated offer under the FMCA 2013, we do need to be careful about what we say and do.
We held our Annual General Meeting for Punakaiki Fund on Thursday last week, with over 70 people attending and chaired by Mike Bennetts.
The group saw presentations from founders or senior staff from Weirdly, Vibe Communications, Vend, Onceit, Timely, Mobi2Go, EverEdgeIP, Mindfull, Redseed, Populate, and Linewize. We also presented briefly on the other companies where we have invested.
New Investment: NZ Artesian Water
We’ve seen plenty of headlines recently about offshore companies bottling our water and making fortunes. So when I met Nelson-based Kiwis Andrew Strang and Wayne Herring through a Better by Capital engagement, I was eager to see how their New Zealand Artesian Water business (NZAW) was progressing. The answer was “very well”, and that they were actively looking for funds to grow.
We are very impressed by their supply strategy – working closely with the Tasman District Council – their product and their plant, as well as their plans for expansion. Their premium alkaline water, E’Stel, comes in elegantly designed bottles and also in boxes, and is mainly sold into China, although NZAW has supply contracts across the world. They have also developed a new blended-water product for China aimed at mothers using infant formula. For now their primary challenge appears to be scaling the business to deliver on sales demand. Investors living in or visiting the South Island can help with that demand – E’Stel is available at selected retailers there.
New Investment: Linewize
Managing Internet access is hard — do you allow staff or your family to view the unfiltered internet, or block everything except for approved sites? It’s even harder at schools. On the one hand, you don’t want students accessing inappropriate content, or spending their time and the school’s bandwidth frivolously. On the other hand, you don’t want to restrict their learning opportunities, for example by blocking information on breast cancer. You also want to teach students how to think critically about their own activity so that when they leave the protective environment of the school they’ll have the skills to keep themselves out of harm’s way.
That’s where our latest investment, Linewize, comes in. Their internet firewall, management and control service is easy to use, administrated centrally and gives teachers discretion about what is or isn’t allowed. It runs on just about any hardware, integrates with Google Apps For Education, is really cost effective, and most importantly, help students learn from their choices.
New Investment: Populate
One of our core motivations at Punakaiki Fund is being able to help and watch companies create a large number of sustainable new jobs. And one of the best people around at hiring new people is Kirsti Grant, who was in charge of the rapid ramp-up of Vend’s team, and who is a director with me, Lance, on the board of Weirdly.
So when Kirsti and her partner Lance Hodges told us they were developing a new product that would make it easier for companies to manage hiring, we knew this was a real problem that she had felt. She and Lance backed up that experience with over 100 interviews and tests with prospective clients, and only started coding when they were sure their product had both end users who were demanding it now, and paying customers who would be willing to buy.
New Investment: Mindfull Group
At the end of last year we invested into Mindfull Group, and Punakaiki Fund now holds 20% of the shares. I have joined the owners Belinda Johnson and Richard Johnson on the board of directors.
CEO Belinda Johnson and CTO Richard Johnson are a high energy duo, and I have been very impressed at the pace of change that they are leading with the company. That includes a restructure of the firm to be based around their core business lines, moving their Auckland offices to consolidate into one location, restructuring the balance sheet and making a senior hire to drive US sales.