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Finding 1000 Angels

Finding 1000 Angels

A campaign is underway to ‘find one thousand angel’ investors - the term given to wealthy people investing in early stage businesses.

Investors are known as ‘angels’ because they invest not just money but also advice, knowledge and experience to help start-up businesses to grow.

New Zealand Venture Investment Fund chief executive Franceska Banga said angel investing is a small but growing investment category and is becoming a key source of early stage capital for new firms in New Zealand.

“New Zealand produces great research and innovation but our high potential start-up companies struggle to commercialise many of these great ideas because of the difficulty in finding investors with capital and the capability to assist these companies to grow.

“Overseas, angel investing has become a vital source of capital to start-up companies. For example, in 2007 in the United States, $25 billion was invested by angels in early stage companies. Our angel market is growing, but we would like to see significant expansion.

“We estimate there to be around 250 professional angel investors, although many more will be doing it on an ad hoc basis. A pool of around 1000 active angel investors would greatly expand the capital available to young companies.

“NZVIF, in conjunction with the Angel Association NZ and established angels, is launching a campaign to identify and educate prospective investors. We will be using established business networks and professional services companies, like accounting and law firms, to assist in finding new angel investors and promoting the asset class.

“The angel market in New Zealand is being transformed from a predominantly informal market to an increasingly professional and structured industry.

“There are now around 15 established angel groups seeking out, making and managing investments. The recently formed Angel Association NZ is also providing a key role in assisting the market to become a more established asset class,” Franceska Banga said.


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