20 Dec 2016

Mixed success for venture capital and growth funds

9:38 pm on 20 December 2016

Venture capital and growth funds are having mixed success in meeting targets in what has been the best year in more than a decade for fund raisers.

The Private Equity & Venture Capital Association said funds have raised more than half a billion dollars in committed capital this year, as investors look for high growth opportunities.

The types of funds cover the spectrum in terms of scale and size, but some have been finding it more difficult than others to meet targets.

The manager of the Punakaiki Fund, Lance Wiggs, said it was close to meeting its $2 million target, with the fund set to close tonight.

But he said it had been a struggle to get the attention of investors who have been diverted by such events as Donald Trump's US election win, the Kaikōura earthquakes, and the resignation of John Key as the country's prime minister.

And while it had been disappointing, Mr Wiggs said the quality of investments on offer had never been better.

"We are looking for people who invest in us who are there for the long term," he said.

"When we make our investments, we are there for the very long term... we believe in growth," he added.

It was a different story for Tauranga-based Oriens Capital, which had raised more than $50m in its first ever round of funding, which concluded at the end of the year.

The chief executive of the fund, James Beale, said it had been fortunate in attracting large investors from the start interested in supporting regional growth companies.

"The opportunity to invest into regional New Zealand businesses has been there for a long period of time," he said.

Mr Beale said the fund was mostly interested in investing in mature growth businesses, particularly those working on succession planning.