A new online equity crowd funding platform, AngelEquity, has been launched offering wholesale investors the ability to invest in Kiwi startups alongside angel investors. It claims to provide wholesale investors with access to a broad selection of early stage investments presented by angel groups from around the country.
Bill Murphy, founder of the Bay of Plenty angel investor group and head of the team behind AngelEquity, said the platform would open these startup investment opportunities to wholesale investors on the same terms as negotiated by angel investors.
He said recent changes to the definition of wholesaler investor in the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 meant that more New Zealanders now meet the criteria. “We’re not just talking about banks or institutions. Many high net worth individuals, or people with sophisticated knowledge and experience of financial markets are now considered wholesale investors,” Murphy said.
Bridget Unsworth, investment director of New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, said the AngelEquity initiative would help deepen the pools of capital available, and provide investors with the comfort of knowing that deals had been vetted by experienced angel investors.
“Angel investment is at healthy levels, but there remains a demand for more capital, particularly as companies develop and need new rounds of investment to maintain their progress,” she said.
Suse Reynolds, executive director of the Angel Association of New Zealand, said there was still plenty of room for growth and specialisation in this end of the capital market. “It’s a highly risky part of the market to play in but absolutely vital for New Zealand’s future economic and social wellbeing. These companies are the Xeros and F&P Healthcare companies of the future. And what these companies need as much as capital is exposure and support – the expertise and connections that the capital can help deliver.”
Murphy said that angel investing was now a vital part of the worldwide economy. “For the past several years, angels have invested over $50 million a year in New Zealand companies. And it’s not just about financial return – the most important part is the skills we put in, because that’s where these companies really benefit. We are making a difference by investing our time and money in exciting young companies.”
Visitors to the AngelEquity website are able to view brief information on current and closed deals, but only registered and verified wholesale investors and angel group members are able to view full details, including due diligence summaries and investor lists.