NZ tech companies to benefit from Facebook investor

  • Steven Joyce
Economic Development

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced that United States investor Peter Thiel has established a New Zealand venture capital fund alongside the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund and private investors.

The Valar Ventures Fund is a $40 million fund which involves NZVIF committing $20 million, $15 million from Peter Thiel, and $5 million from other New Zealand investors, including Wellington investment company Rangatira.

“The Valar Ventures fund is a very positive development for New Zealand technology companies wanting to expand into large offshore markets. These companies require not only capital but also getting access to the right offshore networks in those markets and building their customer base,” Mr Joyce says.

“Investors like Peter Thiel, who founded Paypal and was an early investor in Facebook, bring capital but also considerable expertise in building companies from start-up stage through to world-leading companies.

“Because of the small size of the domestic market, fast-growth New Zealand businesses need access to world markets a lot earlier than a similar company would in the United States. Valar Ventures’ networks to markets and access to capital will help reduce the scale of the challenge in the companies it invests in, in terms of expanding into international markets.

“Gaining better access to capital for our companies to lift their productivity and grow their exports is part of the Government’s comprehensive business growth agenda. The fact that an investor with Peter Thiel’s track record sees investment opportunities in New Zealand’s technology companies is a positive sign of confidence in our country’s innovation and entrepreneurship.”