Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Icehouse Ventures announces $20m Sustainable Technology Fund

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Twenty million dollars is available to New Zealand startups committed to tackling global sustainability challenges thanks to the new Icehouse Ventures Sustainable Technology (IVST) fund launched today.

Established in partnership with a team from sustainable finance company SDG Impact Japan, who have anchored the fund with $10 million, the IVST fund will invest from $250k to $2.5m in up to 30 Kiwi startups that have the potential to create a more sustainable world as a result of their commercial successes.

The fund’s first investment is Nilo, a startup conquering the global plastic waste problem by converting waste plastics into commercially viable resins that replace harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, still commonly used as a binding agent in engineered timber manufacturing.

IVST has invested $1.5m into Nilo’s Series A funding round, alongside Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 and a number of global family offices. Co-founded by New Zealand technology entrepreneur Tim Williams, who currently serves as Nilo’s Managing Director, the Auckland-based company is led by CEO Glen Willoughby, the CIO of Singularity Labs and an Advisor to the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Icehouse Ventures CEO Robbie Paul says the company’s previous investments in Mint Innovation and Avertana, which are both making significant global gains transforming waste streams into wealth, are among the type of sustainable tech companies the IVST fund will support. Others include startups pioneering technology-based solutions for sustainable manufacturing, food production, transport, energy, and health.

"The world is facing significant challenges and we believe brave founders are best suited to address them," says Mr Paul. "We also believe teams and founders with missions bolder than making money are more likely to build New Zealand’s next iconic startup."

Global sustainable finance experts join IVST fund team

The IVST fund is lead by a team that includes the two co-CEOs and Chair of SDG Impact Japan: Bradley Busetto, who previously led the UN Development Programme’s Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainability; Mari Kogiso, who pioneered the $100m Asia Women Impact Fund to improve the lives of women and remove gender barriers in Asia; and Chair Mamoru Taniya, an Edmund Hillary Fellow and leader in venture investing in Japan and beyond.

They believe the IVST fund is among the first in the world to rigorously apply the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) Impact framework for managing and amplifying sustainability for the global good, with the aim of achieving competitive venture returns while increasing sustainability.

"New Zealand is showing the world how to live sustainably and is driving sustainable tech innovation for the world - and this is why we created this fund, to scale such technologies around the world," says Mr Taniya.

Mr Busetto adds: "The global pandemic has reminded us how fragile the planet is - and has accelerated the world’s shift towards sustainability. We have reached a tipping point, where consumers and investors are shifting money into new technologies that are eliminating e-waste, building more sustainable food systems, and reducing carbon emissions.

"Lower-carbon technologies, including cleantech like Mint Innovation, will help drive the post-pandemic recovery while addressing the world’s most pressing problems."

A recent global PWC report shows "climate tech" is growing five times faster than overall VC investment.

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.