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BusinessSeptember 16, 2021

Business is Boring: The former Apple leader helping New Zealand companies go global

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Simon Pound talks to Vignesh Kumar, a partner in venture capital fund Global from Day 1, about helping local companies scale for global success. 

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Local venture capital fund Global from Day 1 recently announced the close of its third fund – a $130m infusion of capital to invest in New Zealand companies wanting to scale to be worldwide successes. This total includes $45m from Elevate, a New Zealand Government initiative to supercharge the local venture scene. It’s the largest investment that fund has made. 

In the New Zealand context that’s a big fund, and Gd1, as they are generally called, are one of the longest running specialist VC firms here. They’ve moved from their first fund specialising in seed, or investments very early on in a company, through to fund two for companies a little further on, to this third fund designed to help local companies that have found initial traction for their product or service or idea, and want to scale to be emerging global leaders. 

To do the global bit, the company has partnered with a bunch of global experience across finance, marketing, venture, operations and hardware. Their hardware expert, Vignesh Kumar, was a hardware scaling leader at Apple. 

That Apple experience and a background at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare has helped Vignesh build a big network of companies he’s advised, invested in and supported through his work at the commercialisation agency Return on Science, and as a board member at Kiwinet, the consortium of the leading research and commercialisation agencies in New Zealand.

To talk about the VC world and partnering in Gd1, his personal purpose and what Apple was like, he joined Business is Boring via Zoom this week for a chat.

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