Asia-Pacific Alt Investment Management Firm Artesian Opens AKL Office with Launch of Over $ 100 Million Women Leaders Venture Fund


Asia-Pacific alternative investment management firm Artesian established its first New Zealand office in Auckland with the launch of the $ 100 million women leaders venture capital fund. The fund has attracted $ 45 million in fundamental investments from Australian industry super funds, Hostplus and legalsuper. The Female Leaders VC Fund will exclusively target Series A and B of high-growth women-led companies across the Asia-Pacific region, with New Zealand being a key region.

Ali Clunies-Ross, Portfolio Manager for the Female Leaders VC Fund, comments: “Artesian is a global alternative asset manager looking for market failures that result in mispriced or undervalued assets. Female-led startups suffer from underinvestment not due to a lack of talent, but a lack of opportunity caused by cognitive biases and role model recognition in an industry where 97% of VCs are male. Artesian recognized the possibility of investing in an opportunity hidden in plain sight: startups led by women raising Series A and Series B funding. Artesian relishes our role as pioneers and ecosystem builders and believes that you don’t have to sacrifice market-leading returns while making transformational change.

Artesian, founded in 2004, and with a MIF of $ 900 million, offers high-impact alternative investment strategies and services, including venture capital and public and private debt, to institutional investors, foundations , family offices and companies.

David Fendall, new head of business development for Artesian in the New Zealand states, “Artesian’s goal is to deliver exceptional risk-adjusted returns while addressing the critical challenges of the world that are either existential, for example the climate change and food security, be endemic, including gender, health care. , and educational inequality. Artesian believes that innovation and investment in technology facilitate solutions at a speed and scale that matches the urgency and scale of these problems ”.

The investment thesis of the Female Leaders VC Fund is that talent is evenly distributed between male and female founders (as well as investors, employees and board members). However, there is a material inequality between the opportunities available to male and female founders in the startup ecosystem.

For example:

»Startups with all-male founders receive over 85% of global venture capital funding

»95% of VCs are men

»Male founders and employees hold 89% of the total capital of startups

»Startups with female founders receive

»The average transaction size of startups founded by women is

»Women founders and employees hold only 11% of the total capital of startups

This endemic gender inequality has resulted in an asymmetric distribution of capital and an opportunity for relative value pricing. The Female Leaders VC Fund will address this market failure and target strong returns by providing financial and strategic support to the unique perspectives, unexplored business opportunities and underinvested talent of founders in Australia, New Zealand and the region. Asia-Pacific in the broad sense.

Artesian believes that strong community engagement with aspiring founders and investors, including education and mentoring, is essential to improve gender diversity and the representation of women in leadership, leadership roles and as investors. professionals. Artesian has partnered with Australia’s leading women-focused angel investor group, Scale Investors, to develop programs and support to complement the Fund’s investing activities. Artesian will seek to actively engage with New Zealand’s broad innovation ecosystem, including government organizations, universities and research institutes, businesses and industry groups, accelerators and incubators, startups, founders and investors, to identify, support, invest and develop ambitious startups led by women.

Artesian has developed a proprietary Gender Diversity Assessment Score (GDAS) for use during the procurement and pipeline process of transactions to determine which startups are eligible for a potential investment from the Fund. Artesian hopes GDAS will be adopted more widely, across the ecosystem, to compare gender diversity in start-ups, provide greater transparency and a way to measure impact and future progress.

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