I really enjoyed your post. As someone who has been in Silicon Valley for 20 years and also engaged in New Zealand and watching the development of the startup ecosystem for even longer, I agree with a lot of what you've written.

I do wonder if the participation of NZVIF in the early days didn't inhibit the growth of foreign venture firms presence in NZ and at the same time encourage the growth of the local angel groups.

It seems to me that as of 2018, when I started to raise for a new NZ-based early stage fund, NZ had a distinct imbalance between angel funding sources (plentiful) and true seed/series-A sources of funding and this has held back the ambitions/achievement of some Kiwi startups.

This situation appears to be improving with the growth of new funds in NZ.

Expand full comment

Hi Rowan, great read and article series, enjoyed the thought process.

My opinion is we make it harder than it needs to be for founders. I’ll talk about tech because that’s what I know best. We expect founders to a) give up their day jobs, b) build the tech (hard) c) sell (very hard) d) supply all the vision (very hard) e) build networks (ok) and f) build a business with revenue and customers. And not get paid.

Sure, there is money, but at what point and how much? It appears to me that any tech product now would realistically take 2+person years of development, and 2 person years of sales. Say $500k. And thats the seed round. How many founders could raise that in this cash saturated environment?

And some tech would be much more expensive to develop (rocket lab, Xero, fastly, crowdstrike, datadog, ...), basically anything nowadays with a chance for the big time.

Do you see that level of seed funding? Are my numbers ballpark in your opinion?



Expand full comment