New Zealand's startup ecosystem was ready to grow more 'tall poppies' - TechCrunch

New Zealands startup ecosystem was ready to grow more tall


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    New Zealand, country of just under 5 million people, historically flying under the radar of venture capitalism. A remote country with "no worries!" culture and economy based on raw materials, Aotearoa did not stand out for investors in the Asia-Pacific region, especially not when they could put their sights on larger markets in China and the rest of the world. southeast Asia.

    Now, investors see New Zealand as a country with a history of construction companies with a global revolution in SaaS, healthcare technology and deep technology. Well-known and revolutionary companies like Xero, Pushpay, Aroa Biosurgery, Vend, Seequent, Halter and Rocket Lab have put a local start on the map, but the scene is still unconventional and will require steady direction before it will become a globally competitive ecosystem. That said, all the signs indicate that technology is New Zealand's next export business, while everyone keeps pushing in the same direction.

    “For a long time, startups in New Zealand had been screaming for capital,” said Imche Fourie, co - founder and CEO of Outset Ventures, a deep tech incubator in Auckland that invests in seed science and seed companies. -seed and engineering. . "That has changed so much in the last two years partly as the government has stepped up its efforts to attract international capital. He has laughed at the amount of money flowing into the country right now. ”

    Despite the pandemic, enterprise and early stage in New Zealand are reaching the highest levels. In 2022, VC investments amounted to NZD $ 127.2 million (USD $ 86 million), up from NZD $ 112.2 (USD $ 76 million) in 2022, resulting in a nearly doubling of transactions from 46 in 2022 to 92 in 2022. According to Crunchbase, money raised by New Zealand's start-up rates increased by 30%, from about $ 1 billion to $ 1.3 billion, from Q1 2022 to Q4 2022. In addition, in 2022, -invest more follow-on capital than ever before at 56%, or NZD $ 109 million (USD $ 79 million), reflecting a commitment to support start-ups to exit, according to a PwC study.

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    New Zealand investors say most of the money comes from either international VCs (mostly US or Australian) or the government. In March last year, the New Zealand government launched the NZ Venture Elevate Fund, a $ 300 million (USD $ 203 million) NZD fund program that invests in VC firms targeting the Tier A capital gap and B to fill for New Zealand’s high-tech tech companies.

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    The new capital marks a shift in both the country's economy and mindset around export diversification and GDP consolidation at a time when the cost of living is rapidly becoming unsustainable for many Kiwis.

    Housing prices in New Zealand are among the most unaffordable among OECD nations, and a supermarket executive duopoly sees Kiwis spend the fourth - largest per capita on grocers in the world. Not to mention the banking and electricity oligopolies that run the country. Taken together, you have a society for wealth inequality.

    For a country with limited resources that relies on trade, it may not be a good idea to develop a successful tech export - it may be necessary to survive.

    “We have long had a strategic focus in New Zealand on moving away from the export of commodities such as timber, wool, milk powder, and attracting more value for our contribution. Outbound, ”Phoebe Harrop, a partner at Blackbird Ventures, New Zealand and Australia — into VC, told TechCrunch. “Technology start-ups are the key to that strategy. And it's something we should be good at because we have a really good education system and we have this extraordinary cultural dynamic of people going out and spending time abroad in Silicon Valley, London , Amsterdam, Berlin, gaining experience at a global level, and then usually wanting to return home and do something here. "

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