According to Stats NZ, New Zealand’s two-way trade with China increased more than three-fold in the past decade. China is an important market for Kiwi businesses. Putting trade aside, however, there has been no market bridge for Kiwi start-ups to cross to access the massive market. The understanding of different Asian markets is very limited within the New Zealand start-up and investment circles, which stunts the growth of Kiwi start-ups in China. Statistically, only 1-2 out of 100 funded kiwi start-ups have actually entered China as a viable place to expand their company. This sparks obvious challenges for Kiwi start-ups and Chinese investors, as both are losing the opportunities for growth and expansion.
Eden Ventures is the largest Chinese-led angel fund in New Zealand, specialized in early-stage venture investments. It is founded on a long-term commitment to support the New Zealand start-up ecosystem. Co-founded by the Icehouse and backed by professional Chinese venture investors, Eden Ventures is aiming to empower New Zealand high-growth start-ups to tap into Chinese venture expertise and accelerate globally.
Since founded in 2017, Eden Ventures has invested more than $7m into a portfolio of Kiwi start-ups including Feijipiao, Squirrel, Nectar, LearnCoach, Gung Ho, Rocos and Dawn Aerospace.
How we tackle
To empower start-ups to succeed, capital resources are important, however, in order to support Kiwi start-ups to make the best opportunity out of the Chinese market, investors with industry knowledge and know-how in China are fundamental and more valuable than just mere capital investment.
We believe the timing is right.
The level of engagement between Chinese investors and the New Zealand start-up ecosystem has reached a whole new level, thanks to the invaluable contribution from our Chinese investment partners. At the Icehouse, we have had over 40 Chinese investors join our angel network, Ice Angels; accounting for 1/5th of our investor base and marking Ice Angels the most diverse angel network in the world. To further utilize the knowledge and connection networks of this growing investor base, we have established Eden Ventures, the largest Chinese-led Angel fund in New Zealand. Supported by three cornerstone Chinese angels and a group of Chinese investors, Eden Ventures is leading this pitch competition with the aim of supporting Kiwi start-ups to succeed in China. We have built a list of incredible partnerships with leading Chinese VCs, incubators and tech companies, who are prepared to help Kiwi start-ups to tap into the Chinese market.
We are looking for start-ups who share a similar ambition of taking on the Chinese market and possess the following qualities:
Outstanding team with the incredible track record
Proven market validation
Laser focus and speed to execute
Simply solving complex problems
Creating massive social value
We acknowledge that not every start-up who has eyes on China is ready to take on the market from day one. As per how we define ‘start-ups succeeding in China’ above, raising strategic investment from China is also a success to us, regardless of whether you are China-ready now or in a few years.