NZVIF and Taiwan’s National Development Fund have committed US$12 million each (NZ$15 million) to the Pan Pacific Fund. The fund has already received significant commitments from Asian institutional investors and is near to a first close of US$40 million, but will continue fund-raising towards a goal of US$70 million.
NZVIF chief executive Franceska Banga said that should Mr Bishop’s Pan Pacific Fund reach its first close, it will be the fourth venture capital fund to be established in the last two years.
“The timing for Pan Pacific Capital is assisted by the growing interest in the opportunities emerging in the New Zealand technology sector combined with New Zealand’s strengthening trade relationship in Asian markets.
“With New Zealand and Taiwan recently concluding a trade agreement, a joint New Zealand-Taiwan venture capital fund will be attractive for growth companies looking to expand into Taiwan, and from there into Asia.
“Tony Bishop’s Pan Pacific Capital is the first prospective fund to win a funding commitment from NZVIF and Taiwan’s National Development Fund through the $200 million co-investment partnership which we established last year to invest into new venture capital funds in New Zealand and Taiwan.
“From a New Zealand perspective, one of the chief benefits of the partnership is that it opens access to networks and markets in Taiwan and its Asian neighbours for fund managers and the high growth companies they invest in.”
Tony Bishop, whose first fund invested in promising companies like Zephyr Technology, said that Pan Pacific Capital has strong links in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, and so is well positioned to invest into technology companies in New Zealand, and then foster their international growth through partnerships with technology firms and funds in Asia.
“Pan Pacific has Fund executives located in Taiwan, China and New Zealand. We see significant scope for technical collaboration in an advanced economy like Taiwan. We are raising funds from across the region, and have strong networks which will assist New Zealand technology companies looking to grow in the region.
“The fund will look to link New Zealand’s strong entrepreneurial capabilities with Taiwan’s impressive expertise in hardware manufacture, design and branding, market access into China and strong capital markets. The fund’s investment target sectors span biotechnology, clean energy, food products, creative media, healthcare and technology.
“Building international connections at the fund level is critical for the success of growing New Zealand companies. The domestic New Zealand market is so small that growing companies need to find offshore markets.
“Having links to offshore capital, expertise and networks makes the challenge of growing a company in New Zealand slightly less challenging. Our aim is to build a fund which will focus on exciting young and growth New Zealand businesses eyeing market entry to China, Taiwan and the Asian region,” Tony Bishop said.