Chinese angel investment fund backs migrant-led start-up

Last updated 05:00 08/10/2017

E-commerce start up Enring's chief executive Rock Zhao.

Zino Ventures was created by a group of 18 Chinese migrant investors

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A migrant-led tech startup has won fresh capital from New Zealand's first Chinese angel investment fund.

Zino Ventures, headed by David Wang, was set up through The Icehouse business hub to back Asian entrepreneurship. 

 ​The fund set up before the New Kiwis Challenge earlier this year to encourage new companies who had at least one immigrant in the founding team and was aimed at taking on the Chinese market.

Social media e-commerce startup Enring was the winning business, receiving $100,000 of investment from Zino.

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Enring offers Kiwi retailers and exporters selling to Chinese consumers a one-stop-shop platform to sell, gather customer data, track sales, engage in customer service and process payments via WeChat and Facebook.

The startup's founder, Rock Zhao, moved to New Zealand three years ago on an entrepreneurship visa.

He set up the company last year, after settling in New Zealand with his family. 

Zhao said migrants faced a large knowledge gap about how New Zealand businesses worked and where they could add value.

"The competition helped us gain a stronger understanding of the New Zealand market and our cross-border business model means we can build here and grow in Asian markets," Zhao said.

Wang said the biggest challenge for Enring was the small market in New Zealand. 

But business mentor and judge Debra Hall said Enring could use New Zealand as a case study market while marketing itself overseas.

Hall said Enring provided a solution to the challenges of connecting customer touch points from awareness to purchase that many businesses growing their e-commerce faced.

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In its first year of business, the startup's revenue has been $350,000. 

It is also looking to raise a further $2.5 million to take the business offshore. 

The business has over 100 clients around the world and by the end of this month plans to set up shop in Sydney.

Wang also hoped to take the business in Japan, Canada and South Korea.  

- Sunday Star Times


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