Hong Kong VC firm looks to NZ companies
Hong Kong-based investment firm Horizons Ventures has announced plans to invest in New Zealand companies.
The company is giving six New Zealand technology-focused companies the chance to secure capital for their busineses.
Horizons, started in 2006 to manage the private wealth of tycoon Li Ka-Shing, has more than 40 start-ups in its portfolio spread over 10 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Israel, China and soon New Zealand.
The company has funded technology innovations such as Skype, Facebook, Waze, Summly and Spotify.
A Horizons Ventures spokesperson said the company visited New Zealand earlier in the year to meet with more than 80 companies. Six of them were picked to pitch their business plans to investors in a Dragons' Den-style panel in Auckland this afternoon, she said.
Horizons would not disclose the names of the six companies being considered for investment.
During a presentation on the future of technology companies preceding the pitching event, Nick D'Aloisio, claimed as the youngest person to secure venture capital investment, spoke about how he turned his idea into a company.
The 17-year-old Londoner sold his smartphone application Summly to Yahoo for US$30m (NZ$36.9m) in March.
Horizons invested US$300,000 in the development of his mobile app in 2011, when D'Aloisio was 15, which condenses text for ease of access on mobile device.
D'Aloisio said he had taught himself how to write computer code from the internet. His success came from being curious.
"Continue to stay curious, stay constantly wanting to learn new things."
It was important for entrepreneurs to put themselves in uncomfortable environments to learn to adapt and branch out, D'Aloisio said.
The high school student said he was able to run his business for a long time without having a telephone conversation.
Communication through email rather than over the phone meant he was judged on the quality of his ideas and his product rather than his age, he said.
Age, money and geography were no longer barriers to learning and success, he added.
- © Fairfax NZ News