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.
Solid progress continues
We have now received over $1 million in applications for the the December 2015 Offer, with over $800,000 received directly and $231,000 via the Snowball Effect Wholesale Platform.
Offer Extended until 31 January
We had a good number of investors and financial advisors, along with Snowball Effect, ask us for more time. Some investors want to read the material over the break, others have found that their advisors have taken the normal extended kiwi summer break until late January and others need to move funds which are tied up elsewhere. Given the length of the summer break the directors of Punakaiki Fund agreed to extend the offer until 5pm on 31st of January.
We’ve just launched a new wholesale offer to investors for Punakaiki Fund. It’s available only to Exempt investors, as we hit the legal limit of $2 million for crowd-funding investors back in June.
There are two ways to invest. The easiest for new investors is through Snowball Effect’s wholesale platform, or you can download the Information Memorandum and the Application Form and apply directly.
The directors have elected Mike Bennetts as Chair of Punakaiki Fund. Mike brings considerable governance and executive expertise to the boardroom, and, along with the other directors, is an investor in the fund.
The board also determined that the Net Asset Value of the fund at the end of September was $12.3 million, or $14.60 per share, up from $14.14 at the June fundraising.
We are very happy to announce our latest investment — Mobi2go, where we have invested up to $1 million — with $500,000 invested immediately and an additional $500,000 only if and after we raise a certain amount of additional funds.
Mobi2go helps food service businesses sell more by adding an ordering function to their marketing website. Customers can order their food and beverages online and either pick up in person at the restaurant, or, in some cases, arrange delivery. Mobi2go integrates with many POS systems and generally sends the order directly to the kitchen. The customer turns up, picks up the food (which has their name on it) and walks away — having already paid. It’s a winner — saving time for the customer and increasing same-store sales, often by 20%, without adding front of house staff for the restaurant.
Punakaiki Fund press release today, marking the beginning of a new era for the fund. Chris Humphreys and I are very happy to be able to welcome such an excellent set of directors.
Three new directors bring wealth of experience
Auckland, 13 October 2015 – Punakaiki Fund Limited, an investor in growth stage technology and software companies, has appointed three new directors at its recent AGM. As it gears up for growth, its 475 shareholders have appointed Mike Bennetts (CEO of Z Energy), John Berry (co-founder of Pathfinder Asset Management) and Bryan Hutchins (director of Real Journeys). All three are shareholders in Punakaiki Fund.