Press release April 8th, 2016
The Icehouse & ICE Angels from Auckland, New Zealand today announced the closing of the Tuhua Fund – which is a USD7m micro-venture fund established to invest in up to 25 Kiwi seed and angel stage startups. The Icehouse also announced its first two investments: Avertana which extracts high value chemicals from industrial waste. Among others, they have developed a unique process for titanium dioxide extraction- www.avertana.com. Nyriad which is pioneering computing software that leverages GPU processors, replacing traditional CPUs, to rapidly compress and stream data – www.nyriad.com . The third investment will be announced next week which is being led by a tier 1 US VC.
The Fund’s investors include members of the ICE Angels, NZ’s largest angel investment group together with over 100 investors from around the world. The Fund is a unique partnership between the ICE Angels and the Icehouse which was named by Forbes in 2011 as one of the top tech hubs in the world.
Andrew Hamilton, Icehouse CEO commented “New Zealand is not like Silicon Valley. For one, we are at the bottom of the world, so any design of a fund, needs to take account of how to help startups break into global markets. We created the Tuhua Fund to leverage off the significant angel ecosystem that already exists and to power up our startups.
The Fund will really speed up the path to market for these startups and it will unleash the network of investors that have come on board with the Fund.” The Fund includes 6 operating partners that is highly unusual for a micro-fund. Hamilton commented further, “Our startups need help, they need wisdom and they need connections. So we approached some of our leading angel investors and offered them a partnership with the Tuhua Fund.
The operating partners include Tim Williams, Dennis Row, Ross Peat, Richard Burns, Robbie Paul and Mark MacLeod-Smith who will create a significant resource for our investments. The other unique aspect to our ecosystem is the partnership we have with the NZ Government, that gives us a massive base of support to help the startups get out and into global markets”.