Venture launched for small-time punters

Venture launched for small-time punters

Confirming their confidence in the long-term outlook of the local technology sector, investment company Ord Minnett and institutional fund manager Allen & Buckeridge have kicked off a new tech fund for startups in the pre-IPO stage.

The fund, known as Blue Peak, offers "mum & dad" investors the chance to take a stake in new technology companies when price earnings ratios are at more affordable levels, Chris Gorman, Ord Minnett's head of managed funds, said.

Gorman said investors would reap the advantages of Ord Minnett's marketing, distribution, and administrative capabilities, and A&B's VC expertise.

Ords, which has outsourced the fund to A&B, plans to raise around $80 million from private investors, who can spend as little as $5000 for a slice of the 10-year fund.

Allen & Buckeridge principal Roger Allen said his company took an up-close-and-personal approach to its VC investments, which included placing its own representatives on new company boards.

He said Blue Peak, which will operate alongside A&B's institutional tech fund known as AB III, would receive the benefits of the company's international contacts and "cadre" of experts.

Allen said A&B's policy was to "help companies" and not simply to throw money at them. He said A&B had received more than 500 applications in the past two years from businesses looking for financial backing; however, the company had only taken an interest in 18.

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