2020: That was tough

How do you even start to describe 2020?

We’re deeply conscious of the privilege that we have to live on beautiful islands at the bottom of the world. Subject to border restrictions we are going about life ‘normally’. While in New Zealand, we have endured relatively short lock-downs, our global team members and clients are entering their 9th month of rolling lock-downs. Some of them have been directly impacted by Covid. We can only imagine how these folks are feeling at this time – Zoom is no replacement for human contact. But, we are encouraged and optimistic for 2021, particularly the back half, as the vaccines start to roll out and take hold.

So, in the middle of all this, the Movac team has managed to avoid getting Covid (as far as we know!) and arguably experienced its most successful year. Some of the highlights include:

  • Participated in the successful listing of Aroa Biosurgery on the ASX. Scheduled for March 2020, the listing took place in July and was the first listing on the ASX in the Covid environment. A terrific result for the Founder Brian Ward, the Aroa team, the Movac investors, and all the other investors that have supported the growth of Aroa over the last decade.
  • Significantly expanded the Movac team in preparation for raising Movac Fund 5:
    • Added Investment & Community Manager Cassie McAdams to our Auckland team
    • Created the Movac Advisory Board to help guide and develop our team and strategy. We welcome Lisa Nelson, Fady Mishriki, Randy Komisar, Rachel Taulelei and David Teece to our Advisory Board. Check out their profiles on our website.
    • Expanded our Operating Partner bench through the addition of Kirsty Traill, Andrew Tokeley, Alia Bojilova and Rob Shaddock. Reconfirmed Ben Anderson, Serge van Dam and Ed Robison from our Fund 4 OP team. This is an outstanding group of individuals who are all committed to helping see Aotearoa tech companies succeed on the global stage.
    • Added Jeremy Ginsberg (ex-VP of Technology at Twitter) to the team as our CTO in residence.
    • And, in the last few days, confirmed that Millie McKelvie will be joining our Wellington team as an investment analyst.
  • Raised New Zealand’s largest ever venture capital fund – Fund 5 @ $250m. We were overwhelmed by the support we received by private and institutional investors for Fund 5. A special shout-out to Kiwi Wealth, one of New Zealand leading Kiwi Saver funds, for the confidence they’ve shown in us with their investment commitment, NZ Super and all our loyal private investors for their re-ups, and to Craigs Investment Partners and JB Were for their support. We’re really thrilled to take the responsibility for investing a significant amount of New Zealanders’ savings into our high growth technology sector.
  • Made our final two investments for Fund 4 into TracPlus and Revolution Fibres.
  • Made four investments for Fund 5, welcoming Solve, Mint Innovation, Yabble and Portainer to the Movac whanau. As the year closes we have another three opportunities that we’re well advanced on and are optimistic that we will see them join us in early 2021.
  • Applauded Unleashed Software being acquired by The Access Group, recognising the outstanding performance of the Unleashed Team over many years building a world class SaaS business.

We could not have achieved these incredible outcomes in 2020 without:

a) the extraordinary work put in by our CEOs and their teams in navigating the massive disruption caused by Covid;
b) the humbling support of our fantastic investor base; and
c) the tireless and committed work of the Movac team.

Sincere thanks for the roles you’ve all played.

Ehara tōku toa I te toa takitahi.
He toa takitini tōku toa.
my strength is not due to me alone, but due to the strength of many

So, time for us all to turn the laptop off, put the mobile phone on silent, and take some time out to recharge, as we know that 2021 will be full of activity and opportunity, and hopefully, more ‘normal’.

Merry Christmas and all the best to you and your families.

Phil, Mark, Lovina, Mark, Jason, Dave, Alex, Peter, Cassie, Tania and Millie
Movac Team