Growth Fund

Growth Fund Investment Thesis

Zino Growth Fund will deliver superior investor returns by taking great NZ companies to the Chinese speaking markets.

We will invest $1-$2m in companies,  generally at the pre-Series A stage or later, that have a product or service that has been validated in NZ and which is a unique proposition in the Chinese speaking markets.

We will source these opportunities from a broad range of national channels seeking companies with high-quality management teams who have the capability and ambition to manage a rapid global expansion.

Zino will add value to these opportunities by working with management to identify the optimal Asian expansion strategy and then applying our resources, including deep in–market relationships and experience to execute on these strategies.

Investment Target

  • The Fund will allocate its Committed Capital to early stage investment opportunities in a range of market sectors including (but not limited to) IT and telecommunications (digital, media, mobile and web), clean tech and renewable energy, biotech, medical devices, food and beverages, financial services, agriculture, AR/VR entertainment, and the Internet of Things.
  • The Fund seeks to invest in these sectors in New Zealand at the Seed & Series A stages with potential follow on investments in top performers.

Compelling Market Opportunity

  • High density of talent in population and culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in New Zealand.
  • Significant market gap for venture capital. Valuations at Seed and Series A levels are significantly lower in New Zealand than in China or the US, providing scope for significant valuation uplift in follow-on funding rounds, and higher multiples at exit.
  • Resourced to actively help portfolio companies get to large Series B rounds and Early Exits.

Access to network

Deep and relevant network across the Asia region and China, including venture capital funds, strategic investors, and major technology companies, opening access to funding and exit opportunities in China and Asia.

Strong Team

  • Experienced and cohesive team with strong passion and commitment to entrepreneurship, creation and innovation. They all have deep and relevant expertise and networks across the China and Asia Pacific region built up over years of being entrepreneurs and investors.
  • The directors of the General Partner of the Fund (being Zino Ventures Limited, which will manage the Fund) GPs are experienced in early stage investments, growth and exits across the region and across a range of sectors, with decades of combined early-stage investing and operating experience in these markets.
  • Between them, the directors of the General Partner have made over 50 early stage investments – including companies that have executed IPOs and major trade sales.

Supportive eco-system

  • Strategic partnerships with AlibabaCloud, Ice House, University (Uniservice) and research institutions.
  • Broad connections with Angel Association of NZ and New Zealand’s most active angel and VC investment groups.
  • We collaborate with all players in the local market and consider them partners instead of competitors. This collaborative structure allows the Fund to benefit from our networks (including connections with Jubilee Capital (“JCM”) in Singapore), experience and resources, to drive investment returns.
  • The Fund has developed a strong sourcing and co-investment strategy with co-investor networks to ensure access to the best opportunities on offer in New Zealand, China and Asia.

Target Investee Characteristics

Will have demonstrated product/market fit and credible revenue traction in NZ market

  • Most likely pre-series A and later as need local market validation to proceed
  • Will consider mature companies contemplating Chinese expansion
  • Sector agnostic in favour of sourcing opportunities that GP can add value to in targeted markets

Core value/IP proposition will be unique in Chinese speaking market

  • Proposition must be validated in-market by local expert/industry leader

The quality management team who have the personal qualities and cultural awareness to succeed in target markets

  • Demonstrated speed of execution –critical in more competitive Asian environment
  • Need to think big–must be ambitious

Committed to Asian expansion with a clear market entry strategy

  • Proceeds ( partially or fully ) from capital raise must be dedicated to funding agreed target market expansion

Target Fund Size NZ$

Enring provides Social Commerce, marketing and payment solutions for business clients, such as retailers and CBEC exporters. By implementing advanced CRM systems based on social media channels (Facebook Messenger and WeChat),

Enring’s business clients are now able to gain sophisticated user behavior insights and serve customers with artificial intelligence applications. In addition, Enring also provides internet marketing and payment services to clients such as creative and media-buying, digital distribution channels solutions and social/content marketing and FX payment services, collaborating with Wechat Pay and Pay Express.


Zino led Merlot’s USD2m ordinary share round taking up half the offer for an investment of circa NZD1.5m, alongside Merlot employees and existing investors.

Merlot supplies cloud-based airline operations solutions to second and third tier airlines operating between 5 and 100 planes.

The Company launched its first products in 2009 and today has 44 airlines with more than 1200 airplanes as customers globally.

Entry into the Chinese aviation market. China is currently the second largest aviation market globally but is growing rapidly. Penetration rates are currently greater than 1m popn per hull cf Western rates of under 100,000 popn per hull.


Zino participated in the NZ$3m equity round offered by Montoux Limited, subscribing for NZ$375,000 of ordinary shares. The offer was over-subscribed at its maximum size of $3m.

Montoux offers a cloud-based enterprise solution to the life insurance industry which optimises policy pricing, delivering margin or value increases. It is the first price optimisation solution for this industry globally. The Company is just starting to get real traction in-market having won approximately 60% of the Australasian market in FY18 and signed with some of the largest insurers in the US and Japan. The Company is raising capital to accelerate its growth into the US and Asian markets.

Motoux agree that there is significant opportunity in the Chinese speaking markets and have agreed to work with Zino in formulating its entry strategy into these markets including localisation of the product offering.