Bridge to investment widening

Peter Ramsay, Network manager of Mainland Angel Investors. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Peter Ramsay, Network manager of Mainland Angel Investors. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The angels are aligning.

Mainland Angel Investors (MAI), an organisation launched in the South in 2020 to make it easier for founders of new companies to get investment, is teaming up with Canterbury Angels to help pave a more efficient road to early-stage capital in the South Island.

MAI network manager Peter Ramsay said it had traditionally been challenging for companies to raise capital in the lower South as most of the focus had historically been in Auckland.

That was further highlighted by a recent Startup Genome survey which indicated only 7% of the country’s investments were made from the lower South Island.

Since its inception, MAI had seen some "fantastic traction" in its regions; Wanaka, Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill. But bringing Canterbury Angels under the MAI umbrella would create a more significant impact.

It was about a year ago that Canterbury Angels approached MAI to ask if it was interested in working together and what that might look like. Canterbury was a big part of the South Island with lots of capital and lots of startups.

It made sense to create more economies of scale. New Zealand was a small country and no-one really benefited from having a few small angel groups operating, he said.

Now MAI would be looking to reinvigorate the angel investing ecosystem in the South Island. It would have a Canterbury representative on the board and it would also continue to work closely with the Marlborough Angels.

While there was definitely capital out there to be spent, investors were "a bit more stand-offish". There were some good deals being invested in but it was "just taking a bit longer".

Mr Ramsay was confident a "bit of a bounce" would be seen in the next six months.