Quarterly Update

Rob Vickery

Kia ora,

We hope that you and your whānau are staying safe and well. 

As you may have realised, I am a passionate student of Te Reo Māori (I have a long way to go yet!) and I am excited to be a part of this year’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week). This celebration reminds me of one of the first Māori proverbs I ever learnt: “He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.” Translated this means; “What is the most important thing in this world? It is people, it is people, it is people.” Reflecting upon our world of startup investing this proverb embodies the very mana that runs through the heart of venture capital investing – it is the people. 

From a business perspective, Hillfarrance is continuing to execute on its strategy without delay. We have funded two new portfolio companies with a further two due to close in the next month. We have also created and filled New Zealand’s first venture scout programme, launched our Wayfinder Content Series, and are announcing the final leg of Version 1.0 of the Hillfarrance Strategy by the end of October. We are also beginning the process of identifying talent to join our team – more to follow on this in Q4. 

As we look to the final quarter of 2020, you will see that we have a packed agenda of local and international speakers for our Wayfinder Series. Please scroll down to the bottom of our quarterly update and register for as many sessions as you like. We look forward also to announcing separately our first group of Hillfarrance Venture Scouts who are signing up as we speak. 

If this isn’t enough for you, during the height of the pandemic we were working with a local South Auckland-based artist to develop an emblem for the Aotearoa New Zealand entrepreneurial community. We loved it so much that we decided to make a t-shirt out of it and we have listed it exclusively on Konei.nz, with all profits going to a local charity. We have limited stock so get your order in soon.  

My family and I will be rocking up in Auckland on the 24th of September and we hope to see you soon. 

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui

Rob Vickery
Managing Partner
Hillfarrance Venture Capital

Portfolio News

Yabble raises $1.3m seed round 

Data and insights platform, Yabble, has closed its first capital raise with Hillfarrance leading the round and Rob Vickery joining the Board.
Already one of New Zealand’s leading research and data providers, Yabble is on a mission to transform the way data is bought and sold with consumers and brands. Click here to read the full story.

Hillfarrance leads Kwotimation’s pre-seed round

We met Josh Faraimo and Jarome Cavubati, the founders of Kwotimation, through the Kōkiri incubator within Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. When we heard about their product that empowers Tradies to automate the pricing process and offers them the ability to sell products to their customers, we jumped in to lead their pre-seed round. This round is filling up fast and we will close in October.

Konei.nz creates an impact

Konei, one of our scout investments, is continuing to grow and build its identity as an ecommerce platform and a social enterprise. In addition to selling exclusive items from New Zealand’s finest small businesses, Konei’s core mission is to help entrepreneurs and communities to become more digitally savvy and we are on track for training 20 young people and women entrepreneurs on how to build a successful online business. Visit Konei.nz for more info. 

Hillfarrance launches New Zealand’s first venture scout programme

In June, we launched the Hillfarrance Scout Programme, which is designed to provide capital to the Kiwi venture capitalists of the future to invest on our behalf. We have had an overwhelming response and have selected our first 10 venture scouts. It was also featured on Radio New Zealand, NewsTalkZB, Idealog and M2 Magazine. Click here to read more about the Scout Programme. 

Hillfarrance Content

Embracing Controls

One of the greatest concerns amongst Founders is around the notion of control & losing it as a result of an investment round. Hillfarrance’s best friend and lead counsel, Phil Taylor, was a guest author on our blog and provided a really good insight into the culture of control and some suggestions on how Kiwi entrepreneurs can actually embrace it. 

Introducing the latest Kōkiri cohort of Māori startups

Hillfarrance is a partner and mentor to the latest cohort of entrepreneurs within the Kōkiri programme, which is a Māori business acceleration platform, based on kaupapa Māori values. Check out this overview of the latest cohort and learn about the solutions the entrepreneurs are building to solve hard problems that matter.  

Startup boards – when you need one and how to manage it

From non-profits to startups, we have seen board structures and meetings that are highly effective and those that have also gone spectacularly wrong. This piece explores our thoughts on when to form your board and how to manage it for your own and your company’s advantage.

The goal of The Wayfinder Series is to build bridges between the entrepreneurial communities in the Northern & Southern hemispheres. We have drawn upon our network to bring you some fantastic subject matter experts from all facets of the start-up economy; capital; strategy; and the founders themselves. Each session will feature a 30min fireside chat & a live Q&A. 

A Kōrero with Vaughn Blake – 5/10/20.

Vaughn is a long-time friend of Hillfarrance & a successful venture capital investor in Los Angeles’ Silicon Beach & beyond. He is the Founding Partner of Autochrome Ventures and a Partner at Blue Bear Capital. He is joining us for an in-depth kōrero on his venture capital philosophy & what is is exciting him in today’s startup economy. 

A Kōrero with Mark Wald – 12/10/20.

Mark Wald is the Founder of Supporting Strategies, which provides financial accounting and leadership to startups in Southern California. Mark has already helped Kiwi startups to establish a business in the US and he is joining us to share his thoughts and take your questions on what it takes to set up in America. 

A Kōrero with Sam Ramlu – 19/10/20.

Sam is the Co-Founder of Method, which is one NZ’s leading digital creative agencies. She is also the co-founder of Wanderer, which is a joint collaboration with award-winning creatives & developers to push the boundaries of immersive storytelling. Sam will be joining us to discuss her career and startup brand strategy.

A Kōrero with Anna Barber – 26/10/20 

Come and join us for a chat and Q&A session with Anna Barber, Managing Director of Techstars Los Angeles. Anna will be discussing the Techstars mission, what she looks for in portfolio companies, and how Kiwi startups can apply for Techstars.

A Kōrero with Alicia Hanf – 2/11/20

 Alicia is a 6 year veteran within the US Army. Her perseverance through her military training, as well as overcoming a major loss in her life has helped her to be a successful business consultant today for fast-paced startups and international celebrities. Come and meet Alicia and learn about her latest Ted Talk; Last Known Point strategy. 

A Kōrero with Kathryn Topp & Rachel O’Shea – 9/11/20 

Kathryn and Rachel, the founders of Yabble, will be sharing their experience of raising a $1.3m seed round and offering some advice for other founders who are already or thinking about fundraising. We will make sure there is plenty of time for Q&A!

Create Hope. Love Hustle

The moto for 2020.

During the height of the pandemic, we worked with Jacob Sua, a South Auckland-based artist, to develop an emblem signifying the startup grind in Aotearoa & to celebrate the hard work that goes into building an early stage company. We loved the design so much that we decided to create the Create Hope. Love Hustle t-shirt which is exclusively available at Konei.nz. All profits generated will be donated to the Ngahere Foundation, which is a non-profit tackling inequality & social issues amongst the Māori and Pasifika communities of South Auckland through education and enterprise.