SaaS Metrics for Enterprise Software

October 2020 by Andy Hamilton posted in Growth

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Recently, I asked a couple of founders and a local M&A advisor for their views on the appropriate key metrics to track when you are an enterprise SaaS business. There may be some metrics that are missing, perfection is not what I am focused on, traction and momentum I am!

What are the key metrics for Enterprise SaaS companies to track over time?

In creating this, I received some great input from Mike Carden of Joyous, Danny Tomsett of Uneeq and Mark Clare of Clare Capital – thank you for sharing and enabling others to see this.

What key metrics?

Mike Carden manages to these 5 key metrics: 

  1. LTV vs CAC

  2. MRR & ARR

  3. Growth Rate

  4. Churn Rate

  5. Cash Runway

Read Mike’s thoughts https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-key-saas-benchmarks-start-ups-michael-carden/

Mike also is a big fan of Return on Capital Invested. The theory is that for each $ you raise, it should result in a 5x increase in enterprise value for the next round. As Mike says, “let that one sink in”.

What do investors look for?

Danny Tomsett shared some perspectives around what an investor looks for: 

  1. Revenue Growth

  2. Customer acquisition growth rate

  3. MRR net retention rate - high churn likely at early stage, however some clients growing is key

  4. MRR growth rate

  5. LTV or if too soon, average MRR per client.

  6. Sales Efficiency (showing tracking improvement ideally)

  7. CAC:Revenue ratio and/or gross margin.

  8. Conversion rates across each stage Inbound/Outbound> MQL > SQL> Closed won

  9. Sales cycle

  10. Product / Market Fit

  11. Market segmentation data / buyer persona validation

  12. Annual renewals

  13. Survey data - this method provides some key insights - https://coda.io/@rahulvohra/superhuman-product-market-fit-engine

  14. Operating Health

  15. Cash Burn rate

  16. Days to zero 

Mike and Danny also both have adopted OKRs for their teams with a focus mostly around Team, Engineering, Marketing, Sales, Product Health and Customer Advocacy.

What tools do people use for tracking?

So many different options, all use OKRs, to trail down the key metrics to everyone across the business, or One Metric (Rowan Simpson), others customise their CRM. I have also seen people work out the metrics and then just release them on a tool like Notion and let people iterate on the fly. 

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Compostic launches world's first compostable cling wrap.

December 2019 by Icehouse Ventures

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Jonathan Reed, founder of Compostic, first thought up compostable cling wrap in early 2018. With a dream to replace the plastic version in your kitchen draw, John and his team created the world's first certified home-compostable cling wrap.

The Compostic team partnered with Flux Accelerator in June 2019, shortly before moving into the Icehouse shared office space. Jon and his team literally work side-by-side, sharing the same values, vision and zeal for life.

Since launching their product range in November, Compostic has made exceptional progress, signing with NZ Wholefoods companies Foodstuffs Ltd and Huckleberry Farms. Compostic products can be found in South Island New World and Pak'nSave stores with North Island distribution coming in early 2020. Jon made an appearance on the The AM Show, Newshub, in June, where he spent some time showcasing his range of biodegradable products.

Compostic also have U.S distribution in the pipeline, which means the team stand to suitably serve the global circular economy for years to come.

Connect with Compostic here:

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/biobags/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/composticnz/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/compostic.co/

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We're Hiring an Operating Partner

December 2019 by Icehouse Ventures

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  Our team are looking to hire an Operating Partner for Flux. This role exists to deliver an exceptional UX to the founders we back, and to scale Flux as a pre-eminent first investor in kiwi startups. Our ideal candidate is an operator ready to roll up their sleeves to help find new companies, support our existing group of founders, and manage the community around Flux to maximally impact the startups within it. We've now closed our third fund to empower ambitious early stage startups around NZ.

About Icehouse Ventures

  Icehouse Ventures is an investment group that backs New Zealand's leading high-growth companies. The group includes the Ice Angels and ArcAngels investor networks, Tuhua Ventures, Eden Ventures, First Cut Ventures, a number of passive funds and the Flux Accelerator.
We have collectively invested over $132m into 192 startups since 2001. Icehouse Ventures was capitalised in 2019 with investment from Simplicity, Jarden, Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 and private investors to scale our investment and support for startups.

About Flux

Flux is New Zealand's leading accelerator. We are a combination of an early stage fund and mentor community who provide hands on support to every founding team we invest in. Our mission is to build the ultimate place in NZ to start a high-growth, venture-backed company.

Since the inaugural Flux programme in 2017, we've backed 18 startups around NZ, including: Genoapay (acquired by Latitude), Narrative, First AML, Jasper, Rocos, Social Club, Vidapp, Compostic and more. Flux alumni employ >110 people (and counting), and have raised >$16m from investors like Founders Fund, Chris Heaslip and Elliot Crowther (PushPay co-founders), iFlytek, M7, Tuhua, Eden Ventures, K1W1, Ice Angels and many more.

About the Role

What You'll be doing:

Deal Sourcing

  • Actively source new early-stage investments around NZ. Engage founders and educate them about Flux and Icehouse Ventures. Use creative strategies or our network to identify promising early stage teams that may not have heard about us yet.

  • Evaluate hundreds of early stage startups who seek investment, help or both from our team each year. Become a first port of call for seed stage startups within our team at Icehouse Ventures. Help identify prospective investments to run through due-diligence with support of our wider team.

  • Progress prospective investments, build trust with entrepreneurs through hands on help, and activate our mentor/ investor/alumni network to support their mission. Create advocacy for our brand among founders.

Network

  • Actively seek to build new relationships with exited entrepreneurs, investors, prospective mentors and partners that can add value to our community of founders.

  • Manage existing community relationships and activate them through timely, regular connection into our companies.

Operations

  • Host weekly office hours with each new intake of Flux teams (during their first 6 months at our office). Find ways to impact our startups on a regular basis.

  • Create and manage our regular event series for Flux companies. These dinners and lunches are a focal point in bringing our founder community together, and include sessions held by alumni founders, notable entrepreneurs, thought leaders and visting VC's.

  • Foster the community connection between Flux participants, alumni and mentors. Onboard all new companies to our space, and activate our wider community to support them.

  • Manage our pipeline of Ventures Talent (kiwis applying for startup roles in our portfolio). Spot opportunities to connect relevant applicants with startups in our portfolio who are hiring.

  • Keep track of company activities, metrics and press for reporting purposes.

  • Manage our Flux social accounts and keeping the website up to date with new investments and events.

What you could bring to the role:

  • Operating experience from starting, or playing a defining role in a high-growth startup/ high performing team.

  • Infinite curiosity, eager to learn about new ideas & industries.

  • Sharp critical thinking and desire to uncover the truth in our evaluation of startups.

  • Empathy for the founding teams we work with, paired with a willingness to go above and beyond to help them succeed.

  • Ability to manage internal and external stakeholders.

  • Persuasive written and verbal communication skills.

  • An ability to juggle multiple projects, in a number of different areas, at the same time.

  • A bias for action, ownership of your work.

We are accepting applicants from all backgrounds. We encourage you to apply even if your experience isn't a perfect match with our job description. This position is a full-time salaried role in Parnell, with further upside through carry on funds invested (aligned to the success of the companies you work with).  

Apply by email before February 25th: talent@icehouseventures.co.nz

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We're Hiring an Investment Manager

December 2019 by Icehouse Ventures posted in Talent

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Icehouse Ventures Investment Manager

  Icehouse Ventures is looking to hire an Investment Manager to ensure we create and win the opportunity to invest in the best early-stage companies in New Zealand. This means building trust with founders, adding value to them in interactions, recommendations and connections and seeing the opportunity to create a deal when it presents itself.

About Icehouse Ventures

  Icehouse Ventures is an investment group that backs New Zealand's leading high-growth companies. The group includes the Ice Angels and ArcAngels investor networks, Tuhua Ventures, Eden Ventures, First Cut Ventures, a number of passive funds and the Flux Accelerator.
 

We have collectively invested over $120m into 180 startups since 2001 as part of The Icehouse. Icehouse Ventures was established in 2019 with investment from Simplicity Kiwisaver, Jarden, Sir Stephen Tindall's K1W1, and The Icehouse. 

About the Role

The purpose of the investment manager role is to originate new investment opportunities, lead the investment process and work with the companies post investment. The investment manager role will work across the Flux Accelerator, Eden Ventures and Tuhua Ventures.

  Here is a brief overview of some examples of work:
 

Deal Sourcing

  • Actively sourcing new deal flow from within the early-stage investment ecosystem.
  • Developing a personal investment thesis whilst synthesizing the collective views of the Icehouse Ventures team to see genuine opportunities for globally scalable companies.
  • Developing relationships with founders and adding value.
  • Negotiating deal structures with founders and leading the investment process.
  • Meeting prospective investments and giving feedback to the company.

Investor Relations

  • Building trust with investors.
  • Articulating the various funds and investment opportunities available within Icehouse Ventures.
  • Raising capital for the Icehouse Ventures funds.
  • Contribute to quarterly investor reporting for the companies you are the closest to.

Network

  • Actively seek to build new relationships with entrepreneurs and prospective mentors/advisors that could benefit our portfolio
  • Build relationships with ecosystem stakeholders and upstream investors.
  • Manage these relationships and activate them by connecting them to investee founders

Resources

  • Assist in building templates and resources that entrepreneurs could benefit from.

Position Requirements

Experiences and skills should include:

  • Experience in working on a startup or investing in startups.
  • Experience in raising capital from investors or managing investment products.
  • An insatiable curiosity and desire to learn about new industries and technologies.
  • An ability to build high-quality relationships with entrepreneurs and investors.
  • A hard work ethic and desire to go above and beyond to help build iconic companies. 

We’re looking for someone who is as passionate as us about building an iconic investment business. You must have a high ownership mentality and the ability to take responsibility for goals and outcomes.

This is a full-time role, based in Parnell, Auckland.

To apply email - talent@icehouseventures.co.nz

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We're Hiring a Head of Community

December 2019 by Icehouse Ventures

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Community and Marketing Manager

Icehouse Ventures is looking to hire a Community and Marketing Manager to ensure we deliver a world-class experience to the founders in our Icehouse Ventures family, add value through our network and events and build the Icehouse Ventures brand in the early-stage investment ecosystem.

About Icehouse Ventures

Icehouse Ventures is an investment group that backs New Zealand's leading high-growth companies. The group includes the Ice Angels and ArcAngels investor networks, Tuhua Ventures, Eden Ventures, First Cut Ventures, a number of passive funds and the Flux Accelerator.

We have collectively invested over $120m into 180 startups since 2001 as part of The Icehouse. Icehouse Ventures was established in 2019 with investment from Simplicity Kiwisaver, Jarden, Sir Stephen Tindall's K1W1, and The Icehouse.

About the Role 

The purpose of the Community and Marketing Manager is to build upon the brand framework we have as Icehouse Ventures and create a program of activities and processes to add value to our portfolio companies, share common learnings, help our founders learn from one another and demonstrate our value proposition through active engagement.

Here is a brief overview of some examples of work:

Founder Experience

 
  • Design, lead and execute an annual calendar of activities to add value to our portfolio investments and prospective investee companies.

  • Actively manage the onboarding of new investee companies into the Icehouse ventures family.

Press and Marketing

  • Lead press building activities for Icehouse Ventures and portfolio companies.

  • Oversee the execution of social channels across the various Icehouse Ventures brands.

  • Work with the team to ensure there is sufficient content planned and a high level of quality across all public facing communication.

  • Champion execution of high quality content that is generated by the Icehouse Ventures team to be shared with the early-stage ecosystem, both investors and entrepreneurs.

 

Talent Pool and Network

  • Actively manage the Icehouse Ventures talent pool, driving more in bound enquiries and matching them to prospective companies to help our companies hire high quality talent.

  • Actively seek to build new relationships with successful entrepreneurs, investors and prospective mentors that could benefit our portfolio.

  • Manage these relationships and activate them by connecting them to investee founders.

Position Requirements

Experiences and skills should include: 

  • Experience in working on a startup or with startups.

  • Experience in marketing management and building B2B brands.

  • An insatiable curiosity and desire to learn about new industries and technologies.

  • Being great at communicating both internally and externally and a hospitality mindset in dealing with all stakeholders.

  • A hard work ethic and desire to go above and beyond to help build iconic companies.

We’re looking for someone who is as passionate as us about building an iconic investment business. You must have a high ownership mentality and the ability to take responsibility for goals and outcomes.

This is a full-time role, based in Parnell, Auckland.

To apply email - talent@icehouseventures.co.nz

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10 Things The Best Founders Do

November 2019 by Barnaby Marshall

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I believe in the old adage, “If you want to be great, learn from the things that great people do.” As investors, observing 100s if not 1000s of entrepreneurs, we are at an advantage to observe what the best founders do, how they think and how they act.

As we spot these trends of what the best founders do, we can then help other founders copy those habits of success. I share these insights with founders often 1:1. But I thought it would be worthwhile to share 1: many for a wider group of founders to benefit from our learnings.

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We're Hiring Software Developers

October 2019 by Peter Thomson posted in Talent, Technology

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Icehouse Ventures is looking for awesome software developers to be part of building out our online investment services. Our ideal candidates are hands-on platform builders with experience in developing scalable data-driven platforms. 
 
We have several roles available:
  • Junior Software Developer - This is for recent graduates and non-technical people who want to learn to code. You may experience with coding but not in our core tech stack or you may be completely new (you'll have to demonstrate that you can learn fast). Key for this role is a fanatical passion about startups, finance and investing. 
  • Intermediate Software Developer - This role is for mid-career developers looking to step up and take responsibility for projects and deliverables. You will probably have some experience with Laravel or at least php and/or Vue.
  • Senior Software Developer - This role is for team leads from a startup or corporate who want to work with Icehouse Ventures to get a better overview of the tech scene in NZ, contribute to our core product vision of making startup investing accessible to the masses and making VC investment available to every startup that needs it. 

You will be working closely with the rest of the team throughout the software development life cycle. You’ll have a chance to be involved right from the conception of the product through to design, development and deployment. 

 

We’re looking for people who have an interest in finance and investing. We have an exciting technology roadmap in place that will see you working on a wide range of projects from an interactive investor portal, portfolio visualisation tools, interesting API integrations and complex CRM systems. 

Because we spend our time investing in the greatest startups in NZ we need to live our own message apply best-practises from lean startup, design thinking and agile. We are performance-focused and numbers-driven team so you’ll be working with a lot of financial data sets. 

This is a full-stack role so you’ll be working all the way from front-end design through to back-end server architecture. Your main focus will be on the core application, so a focus on logic, models, controllers and data manipulation will be an advantage. You’ll be a team player with a keen eye for detail and problem-solving skills. 

Who we are

We invest in the best startups in New Zealand and we’re determined to provide a world class experience for founders and investors. We provide a growing range of angel investing, venture capital and private equity products for founders and investors. We currently have over $150 million in assets under management.

Icehouse Ventures is the team behind Ice Angels, Flux, Tuhua Ventures, Arc Angels, First Cut Ventures and Eden Ventures. Our portfolio includes some of the best startups to come out of NZ in recent years including Face Me, Parrot Analytics, Ask Nicely, Dexibit and Sharesies. You’ll be working closely as part of our core team to build technology that delivers great experiences for investors and founders. We are part of the Icehouse community and you’ll be working with the wider community on projects to help integrate our services with other business platforms. 

Responsibilities 

We're a full-stack team so you'll have the chance to be involved in lots of areas of product development depending on what you are passionate about and where you feel you can add the most value:

  • Write clean, efficient code based on functional specifications
  • Designing and developing software systems using scientific analysis and mathematical models to predict and measure outcomes 
  • Analysing information to recommend and plan the installation of new systems or modifications of existing systems
  • Structure, manage and manipulate large data sets
  • Integrate software components and third-party programs
  • Test, verify and deploy programs and systems
  • Troubleshoot, debug and upgrade existing software
  • Gathering and evaluating user feedback
  • Create technical documentation for reference and reporting
  • Preparing reports on programming project specifications, activities, or status

Requirements

How much of these requirements you match will depend on where you are up to in your career, but this is a useful reference on what we're looking for:
  • Experience with software design and development in a user-centered environment
  • Studies in computer science, engineering or equivalent experience
  • Knowledge of coding languages and frameworks/systems
  • Knowledge of the software development life-cycle
  • Experience with data modeling and database management 
  • Ability to learn new languages and technologies
  • Familiarity with agile development methodologies
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Resourcefulness and troubleshooting aptitude
  • Attention to detail
  • Desire to work in fast-paced environment
  • Creativity is always a plus

Tools

You’ll be working hands-on with the latest versions of technologies like Laravel, php, MySQL, Vue JS, Tailwind and AWS. We’re a small enough team that you’ll also have the flexibility to decide your own IDE, text editor and to create a workflow that works best for you. We’re looking for someone with familiarity across the range of tools needed to build great software, including at least some of: 

  • Core programming languages like php, rails, python, etc. And/or an interest in learning php.
  • Front-end languages like Vue, React, Angular, etc.And/or an interest in learning Vue.
  • Frameworks such as Laravel, Symphony, Django, Rails, etc.
  • Database tools such as MySQL, Postgres etc.
  • Infrastructure technologies like Heroku, Docker, and Vagrant.
  • Building APIs and services using CURL, REST etc.
  • Interface design including CSS, SASS and HTML5. 
  • Server administration in Linux, Apache, NGINX and DNS.

Why join us

This role is a chance to be part of a fast-growing team and to make a name for yourself in the startup community in NZ. The tools you build will be used by some of the most influential investors in NZ and by the hottest startups.  

You’ll be surrounded by people who are the best at what they do and have the chance to do your best work. We’ll let you choose between a Mac and PC and set you up with all the tools you need (as many screens as you need). 

 

Icehouse Ventures is the leading investor in early-stage New Zealand companies and the team are all passionate about creating great businesses here in NZ. You’ll grow fast and benefit from mentoring, connections and resources from the whole Icehouse community. 

The vision is that this is a permanent role and you’ll be a key part of the long-term technology strategy for the Icehouse Ventures team. Depending on your circumstances we may look to structure your offer around a short-term project in the first instance and build towards a permanent role once we get to know each other.

If you are interested in applying for the role, join our talent network as a candidate: https://jobs.icehouseventures.co.nz/jobs

 

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The first startup we invested in has been acquired - exciting news for Biomatters

April 2019 by Robbie Paul posted in Portfolio

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The acquisition of Biomatters by US company GraphPad announced today is exciting news on many fronts. We are super pleased for the Biomatters team and this milestone.
 

Biomatters was among the first startups to present to the Ice Angels investment network after it was formed by its five founding members in December 2003. The Ice Angels and a handful of others provided seed funding in 2004, and we’ve invested multiple times in the company as they evolved and grew over the years. One of the members has remained a Board member since day one. 

The founders of Biomatters set out with a vision of “uncorking bottlenecks in the disease-research and drug-discovery processes.” This absolutely aligned to our desire to back ambitious startups that could add significantly to the future of New Zealand.  

Their tenacity, commitment, and world-leading team has flown under the radar for more than a decade. The acquisition offers Biomatters the firepower they deserve to help them shine on the global stage. It is an exciting next step for the company and the team as they join forces to create a life sciences software platform with technology and data analysis at the core of scientific research around the world.

It is also good news for New Zealand’s fast-growing entrepreneurial sector. As we have seen with other investor returns of this magnitude, the capital, confidence, and expertise is often recycled into the startup ecosystem. Good ideas breed other good ideas; company founders breed founders; confidence breeds confidence, and capital breeds capital. It is very virtuous.

Ice Angels invests in startups knowing their journeys are risky and can be long. It’s fantastic to have the risk and patience rewarded in this case.

As we power up the new company next week, Icehouse Ventures (which includes Ice Angels), with our first official day being 1 May, we look forward to meeting more entrepreneurs with the potential to make their mark on the world stage like the Biomatters team.

Congratulations to Brett and the Biomatters team. Thanks for your hard work and contribution to the future of New Zealand.

- Robbie Paul

CEO of Icehouse Ventures

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The Launch of Icehouse Ventures

April 2019 by Robbie Paul

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I joined The Icehouse ten years ago. The first thing that inspired me was the calibre of the people involved. 100s of entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders lined up to contribute to our mission of creating a high performing New Zealand economy where ideas and businesses thrive.

Our opportunity (& challenge) has always been to truly harness the expertise and resources of our network. We have leveraged many tools to do so. We incentivise them, inspire them, provide them an identity, and simply beg them.

As an investor in >80 startups, I have seen ample evidence that the most effective tool to harness the firepower and willpower of others is to align them with equity. That has not been an option for us. Until now.

Today we announce the establishment of Icehouse Ventures. As the investment arm of The Icehouse, the Icehouse Ventures group includes the Ice Angels and ArcAngels investor networks, Tuhua Ventures, Eden Ventures, First Cut Ventures, a variety of passive funds, and the Flux Accelerator. We have collectively invested >$100m into 165 Kiwi startups. 

Icehouse Ventures is launching with $3m in investment from Simplicity Kiwisaver, FNZC, and Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1. I cannot imagine a more iconic and aligned set of lead investors. We will raise an additional $1m from the amazing angel investors within our community.  

The investment is about enabling us to significantly increase the support we provide to startups. This capital will afford more resources and templates, a larger and more relevant global network, increasing investment for startups by growing our community of active investors and our managed funds, and more high pedigree team members and fund Partners to provide hands-on support.

However, this capital raise is not just about financial capital. It’s about intellectual capital. Financial capital keeps the lights on. Intellectual capital underpins bold missions. Financial capital seeks an ROI. Intellectual capital creates an ROI. Financial capital is finite. Intellectual capital is infinite.

I have always admired the virtuousness that founders benefit from when they raise capital: they start with a bold vision and through the process of convincing investors and team members to believe it they become more emboldened. As a result, they are better able to harness the intellectual capital of their investors and team members. This has absolutely been our experience launching Icehouse Ventures. We are better off having simply gone through the process.

This is an exciting new chapter for us.

It was inspired by watching founders establish and pursue massive visions. It was enabled because founders gave us the chance to support and invest in their journeys. It was funded because Simplicity, FNZC, and K1W1 recognise the amazing impact founders can make on New Zealand’s future. Thanks to you all.

Ten years into this journey with The Icehouse I can conclude this: patience and persistence is highly rewarded in the startup ecosystem. It takes a ridiculously long time to build anything of meaning.

The support of Simplicity, FNZC, and K1W1 provides us the ability to remain patient and persistent. It positions us to build an institution that thrives by investing in and adding value to New Zealand’s leading startups over the coming decades. I feel super privileged to be a part of this mission.

Robbie Paul

CEO of Icehouse Ventures

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Icehouse Ventures a huge leap forward for New Zealand entrepreneurs

April 2019 by Icehouse Ventures

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  New investment partners join The Icehouse to give massive boost to entrepreneurs and innovation
AUCKLAND, April 15, 2019: The Icehouse is powering up its impact on New Zealand entrepreneurs by today announcing new investment partners have come on board to form ‘Icehouse Ventures’, a new company to be launched 1 May that will accelerate the growth and development of Kiwi entrepreneurs with global aspirations.
The new partners include KiwiSaver funds manager Simplicity; Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment company K1W1; investment banking firm Jarden and investors connected to The Icehouse that will have a combined 23% stake in Icehouse Ventures.
Further, Simplicity has committed to invest up to $100 million over 5 years into funds managed by Icehouse Ventures that go into high growth New Zealand businesses seeking the next phase of expansion capital beyond early seed funding. A defining moment for New Zealand
  Icehouse Chair Chris Quin says creating Icehouse Ventures is a defining moment for New Zealand’s startup sector: “This is a massive boost for entrepreneurs and innovation in this country. Together we are unlocking KiwiSaver and managed New Zealand funds to get more capital flowing into the growth sector to provide more support for New Zealand startups taking on global markets.
  “Today also marks an evolution for The Icehouse as we bring on a group of investors who share our vision. We are excited about the potential of this partnership, and the opportunity to boost an already fast developing startup market in New Zealand that creates more local companies, jobs and allows more New Zealanders to benefit from their growth.
  “Further, Icehouse Ventures will offer investors unprecedented portfolio-level exposure to New Zealand’s boldest start-ups.”
Fuelling more founders
Icehouse Ventures CEO Robbie Paul says the company is positioned to meet the demand of top calibre founders who have raised the bar in New Zealand: “The founders and leaders of our fast-growing young companies are understated heroes of this country, the backbone of the economy and the creative fibre of our future, solving real problems for better futures and better lives.
  “We are seeing more second and third-time founders starting new companies; and with Icehouse Ventures and our new partners, we have this fantastic opportunity to step up and be a catalyst by providing greater amounts of capital over the next five to ten years to fuel their global ambitions.”
Closing the funding gap
Mr Paul says the company’s bigger scale will enable startups to attract significantly more capital by tapping into strategic offshore investors and also ensuring a greater portion of the capital they need can be provided by New Zealanders.
“Our goal is to ensure a greater portion of the capital that high growth companies need, can be provided by New Zealanders,” says Mr Paul. “We are delighted to share the ownership and commitment to this opportunity for New Zealand with our new partners in Simplicity, K1W1, FNZC and the other investors that join us on this journey.”
  Simplicity Managing Director Sam Stubbs says the investment represents the first example of a KiwiSaver fund manager that is investing in a business dedicated to high growth New Zealand businesses.
  “This is a fantastic opportunity for our KiwiSaver members to tap into a broad range of New Zealand’s boldest and brightest companies. Given the breadth and depth Icehouse Ventures has with companies starting up and expanding, we want to provide investment options for our members. We also think this is the beginning of significant investments by KiwiSaver managers into high growth New Zealand companies. It means every Kiwi can be a part of New Zealand’s exciting and fast-growing entrepreneurial sector.”
FNZC CEO James Lee said: “Our partnership with Icehouse Ventures is part of our firm’s broader investment into growing New Zealand’s capital markets. FNZC has a long history of supporting entrepreneurs and we’re excited to support a wider group of companies and people, connecting into our network of expertise and capital. We’re passionate about helping New Zealanders to succeed domestically and on the global stage.
For more information, please contact:
Julie Landry
  Ph 021 895 098

FAQs


What is Icehouse Ventures?

Icehouse Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm. The firm includes all of the previous startup related activities of The Icehouse including the Flux Accelerator, partnerships with angel networks Ice Angels & ArcAngels; and funds Tuhua Ventures, Eden Ventures and First Cut Ventures, which collectively manage $50 million in funds. Tuhua Ventures second fund, Tuhua II is more than 75% subscribed and will close shortly.

More than $106 million has been invested into 165 New Zealand companies since The Icehouse first began channelling capital to startups with the establishment of its incubator in 2001 and Ice Angels in 2003, with more than half this amount raised within the past four years. In 2018, the Icehouse community invested $22 million into 56 startups.

Icehouse Ventures will continue to be majority owned by The Icehouse Limited. New shareholders will include KiwiSaver funds manager Simplicity; Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment company K1W1; investment banking firm FNZC and a group of other investors and staff that will join with the partners.

How much are the new partners investing in Icehouse Ventures?  

The Icehouse is raising $4 million to power up Icehouse Ventures and grow its business. The investing partners have committed $3 million of investment into Icehouse Ventures between Simplicity, FNZC and K1W1, leaving $1 million of investment to be raised from interests associated with The Icehouse. The investing partnership has also indicated they will be investing in Icehouse Ventures’ funds and investing platforms in their own right. Simplicity will start by investing $2 million into Tuhua Ventures’ second fund, Tuhua II and it expects to invest up to $100 million over the next 5 years in other Ventures funds that are funding emerging high growth New Zealand companies. FNZC will also be investing across the platform and also releasing products that enable its clients to access the portfolio opportunities of Icehouse Ventures best companies.

What is the ownership structure of Icehouse Ventures? 

The new investing partners will own 23% of the company. The Icehouse owns the remaining shares and will be launching an employee share ownership programme.

Who is Robbie Paul? How did he become CEO?

Robbie joined The Icehouse in 2008 and trained under former US Angel Capital Association Director Dan Rosen and New Zealand Angel Association Arch Angel Bill Payne. He became CEO of Ice Angels in 2015. He is the Managing Partner of Tuhua Ventures and was a founding investor in 2016. He will take on the role of CEO of Icehouse Ventures from 1 May. You can find out more about Robbie here - https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertjpaul/

How many people does Icehouse Ventures employ?

Icehouse Ventures will initially employ 8 full-time executives who were previously employed by The Icehouse which now falls under the umbrella of Icehouse Ventures. More staff will be hired as the company grows.

How does the Icehouse work with Icehouse Ventures?

The Icehouse retains majority control of Icehouse Ventures and in simple terms, it is sharing a load of investment with its new investment partners to create more impact and returns. Everything else says the same, the organisation will work from the same place, acting as one business focused on supporting New Zealand’s founders and SMEs to reach their potential. The Icehouse will have a shared services contract with Icehouse Ventures to deliver its back office and compliance together with the support of marketing and executives such as The Icehouse CEO, Andy Hamilton who will continue to be actively involved in the Icehouse Ventures business and operations. This shared services arrangement has an initial period of five years. See diagram below.

What is The Icehouse?
Founded in 2001, The Icehouse is owned by a not-for-profit charity, The International Centre for Entrepreneurship Foundation and is tasked with enabling a material impact on New Zealand over generations through enabling entrepreneurs and business owners to reach their potential.
Over the last 18 years, The Icehouse has principally focused on two target markets to achieve its vision. The first market it has worked with are established owner-manager firms or SMEs. The second market it has worked with are high-tech/high-value startups.
  As the majority owner of Icehouse Ventures, The Icehouse will work closely with Icehouse Ventures while continuing to focus on the learning and development and coaching programmes developed for established SMEs. This includes a range of programmes such as the Owner Manager Programme and the Leadership Development Programme for owners and leaders of established SME businesses in the $3-100 million revenue category. The Icehouse is also expanding its regional footprint for support of established SMEs through its presence in Hawkes Bay.
Since 2001 its customers have created 27,285 new jobs and generated $15.5 billion of new revenue of which $3.7 billion is from international markets.
  For more information visit https://www.theicehouse.co.nz/
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