News

Punakaiki Fund to Sponsor Hi-Tech Awards

Great news! Punakaiki Fund, New Zealand’s premier venture capital tech fund, is proud to announce it is sponsoring the ‘Start-up Company of the Year’ category in the 2021 Hi-Tech Awards.

The category covers companies under $2 million in revenues and was previously sponsored by NZ Growth Capital Partners, the $300m government-owned fund of funds.

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What we like to invest in (hint: it’s people)

People often ask us, how do we choose our investments. It’s a good question and we’re pretty open about the response. We do have investment criteria (see below for more) but, actually, the most important is what’s sitting at the top table: people. The quality of the management team, especially the founder, is critical to the success of high-growth companies.

Yesterday a ton of potential investors and shareholders dialed into a webinar about the 2020 Retail Offer. It was great to have so many join us – and there were some excellent questions, two of which were answered by Lance below.

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Chris’s Ramblings: Core Schedule’s medical adventure

Every quarter our principal Chris Humphreys does a deep dive into the back story of one of our founders. This quarter, it’s about Stephen Pool, CEO of Core Schedule.

Let me introduce to you Stephen C. Pool: entrepreneur, Alaskan Malamute owner and the founder of Core Schedule. But that’s not all, Dr Pool is also an Emergency Medicine Specialist. You know – the guy that patches you up when you have an accident, or in my case, when your oldest son accidentally guillotines the end of your youngest sons finger in a door (I won’t go into the gory detail, but we did need a helicopter ride to the hospital).

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Quarterly Report shows revenue growth despite COVID-19

Despite the effects of COVID-19, our portfolio companies’ revenues have largely recovered, or improved. Some, like Quantifi Photonics, saw demand shift to the future, while others saw an immediate drop and then a return.

Overall, COVID-19 accelerated the shift to digital services, benefiting all companies in our portfolio.

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On the road with our 2020 Retail Offer

In the past week we’ve hit the road with our Retail Offer, launching in Auckland and then zooming around to see investors in Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and today in Christchurch.  We’ve enjoyed meeting so many of you and presenting the 2020 retail offer, so we thought we’d share some photos – as well as links to the PDS and investment details.

The 2020 Retail Offer is open, and investments are coming in! You can subscribe at any time, so long as payment and application are both in before the Offer closes at 11:59pm on the 17th of December.

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Sale of Everedge Shares

We are happy to report that we have exited our equity investment in EverEdgeIP Global Limited (Everedge).

The $1.45 million deal has two parts – the sale of our shares in Everedge to a new investor for $550,000, and a related medium and long term debt agreement with Everedge. This has no material impact on the value we hold for Everedge in our portfolio.

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2019 Offer Results, Interim Accounts & Quarterly Report

1: Interim Accounts
We have just published our September 2019 Interim Accounts. These are the results for the half-year to the end of September 2019. They are prepared with accounting policies consistent with our annual accounts, which were prepared in accordance with NZ IFRS (Tier 1). The Interim Accounts comply with the New Zealand’s equivalent to the International Accounting Standard 34 (NZ IAS 34) Interim Financial Reporting, but unlike the year-end accounts they are not audited.

As well as long term performance of the portfolio, I always say to judge us on our efficiency through the ratio of our net operating costs to our assets. In this 6-month period we had net cash used in operating activities of $750,000 and assets at the quarter-end of $49.3 million, giving a ratio of 1.52%. This was up from $349,000 in net cash used in operating activities in the same period last year, and, with $42.2 million in assets reported, a ratio of 0.8%.
The net operating costs to assets ratio of 1.52% for the 6-month period would annualise to 3.04%, which is the highest result we have experienced. This was due to higher than expected net cash used in operating activities, which increased due to three factors.

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LWCM Submission on the Venture Capital Bill

The New Zealand Government has previously announced its intent to create a $300 million venture capital fund of funds – dubbed the Venture Capital Fund (VCF).

Over the last few weeks and months Treasury, NZ Super Fund, Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), NZ Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) and the government have been working on three key pieces of work:


The first piece of work is the legislation – the Venture Capital Bill. This allocates $300 million to the Guardians of the NZ Super Fund (the Guardians), who will manage and administer the VCF, and also requires the Guardians to contract with NZVIF to run the VCF.

The bill is at the Select Committee stage, and LWCM completed our own Venture Capital Bill Submission last week, and I (Lance) appeared in front of the Committee yesterday (Tuesday 1 October).

Note that submission and my appearance were on behalf of LWCM, not Punakaiki Fund. We did not consult the Punakaiki Fund Board for our submission.

The second is the Policy Statement on the Venture Capital Fund Act 2019. A draft of this Policy was shared with industry, and submissions were made to that draft by last Friday. LWCM’s submission for the draft Policy document is attached to our submission to the Venture Capital Bill. Chris and I also attended a workshop in Auckland facilitated by the players above.

The third piece of work has not been made public, and that’s the draft Contract between the Guardians and NZVIF to manage the investment of the VCF’s capital. We would like to see the contract made public for comment, and certainly once it is in effect. Our understanding is that the Guardians, Treasury, MBIE and NZVIF have been allocating substantial resources to negotiating this document.

As part of the third piece of work the Guardians will review the suitability of NZVIF to run the VCF, and perhaps NZVIF will make internal changes to be ready to run the new fund. 

This matters to Punakaiki Fund as some of the VCF funds could potentially be placed with Punakaiki Fund, and VCF funds will obviously be placed with venture capital funds that both compete and collaborate with us.

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