Aera VC is a new kind of
venture fund.

Investing for Profit & Purpose

Aera VC backs entrepreneurs to be the best in the world and the best for the world.  We invest in early stage ventures that are defined by both purpose and profit believing that these two elements are not only equally important, but propel each other forward.

Our team has a presence in Hong Kong, Melbourne, Bangkok, Auckland and New York and is supported by progressive, socially conscious, investors.

We have both committed funds and a co-investment model. In addition to certainty of capital, we have the potential to provide material up-front and follow-on investment from our network of investors.

Our Approach

We are flexible. We lead deals where appropriate, and co-fund in others. We always look to invest alongside strong local investors with aligned interests.

Whether we take a board seat or not, we always have high expectations and push to draw the best out of the company and its founders.

Our experience shows that regular open and honest reporting, tracking and measurement is absolutely fundamental to success.

What We Look For

Early Stage: We focus on Seed Stage funding with an ability to invest at later stages where circumstances warrant.

Exceptional Founders:  We invest in outstanding people committed to building material businesses with meaningful social impact. We look for a relentless focus on being the best and challenging the status quo, while maintaining integrity, honesty and a purposeful mission. We expect founders to be open to different opinions while retaining absolute conviction in their business.

Diverse Teams:  We back diverse teams. In addition to the Founder(s), we also look to people in key business roles (if they exist), the governance or advisory board, and other funders who are backing the company.

Scalable Technology:  We invest in technology or technology-enabled businesses. The “engine” that drives the business must be scalable across its target market. The majority of revenue is likely to be derived in the developed world.

Early Traction: Beyond an idea, the business must have early customers or users. Ideally, revenue is being generated with well-understood unit economics. We fully expect the company to still be testing to see what works and what doesn’t.

Authentic Impact:  The social impact of the business is able to be described with authenticity and simplicity. Ideally, it is embedded in the product or service that is being sold.

The Aera Terms

Aera VC seeks both ambitious financial returns and significant social impact so to supplement our traditional financial term sheet, we created a new term sheet to with three key elements:

Embed Purpose

Ensures the social mission is embedded into the fabric of the company.

Measure Impact

Identifies a key social impact metric to measure (alongside the drive for financial performance).

Pay it Forward

The Founder(s) to “pay it forward” through built-in philanthropy.

Portfolio

Maths Pathway

Solugen

Our Team

Partners

Derek Handley

Founding Partner, New York

Prior to forming Aera, Derek was founding CEO of The B Team, where he worked with Sir Richard Branson to form a group of global leadership icons catalysing better ways of doing business for people and planet. Derek has helped found multiple companies in digital media and technology with successful exits (The Hyperfactory exit to Meredith Corporation; Snakk Media, NZX IPO ).

He is currently a member of the Air New Zealand Sustainability Advisory Panel (NZX:AIR), an Adjunct Professor at AUT, and a director of Sky Television (NZX: SKT). Prior to Aera VC his special purpose investment funds invested in the likes of Palantir, Facebook and Twitter as well as early stage technology businesses in Asia-Pacific. Derek focuses on North American and European deals alongside social impact evaluation and strategy.

Nick Winstone

Founding Partner, Auckland

Nick joined Aera in 2014 and established Aera VC's operations in 2016. He is an active investor with a background in investment banking, corporate finance and law in London and Auckland.

He was formerly a Director at Northington Partners and CIT, and lawyer at Buddle Findlay. Nick is the due diligence and structuring lead at Aera VC.

Keenan Kwok

Founding Partner, Hong Kong

Keenan is a Hong Kong and South East Asia based entrepreneur and active tech investor. He has significant expertise in manufacturing and technology and is currently scaling a digital e-fulfilment platform that helps brands sell into South East Asia.

Keenan focuses on Asian-based deals and on advising investee companies on strategy in the region using his extensive experience and network.

Venture Partners and Advisors

Anna Marie-Wascher

New York

Anne-Marie is the CEO and Founding Partner of Flat World Partners, an impact investment advisory firm based in New York that builds customised impact portfolios seeking to maximise both financial and social returns.

She was formerly a Director at Cantor Fitzgerald assisting funds with business development, an Analyst at Accenture focusing on environmental and social impact analysis, and a Consultant to family offices sourcing and assessing venture opportunities.

Ronan Lehane

Melbourne

An Irishman who calls Australia home, Ronan is the founder of Capital Collaboration, a corporate finance and impact advisory firm based in Melbourne.

He is also a consultant at YGAP, an organisation using entrepreneurship to impact poverty. Previous roles include providing investment and advisory services at Quintessential Equity, PPB Advisory and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Say Hello

Entrepreneurs: If you have a business that might fit our profile, are thinking about starting one, or believe there is someone in your network we should talk to, please get in touch.

Advisors and Funds: Our door is always open to hear about investment and co-funding opportunities.

Investors: If you would like to learn more about the details of our model and the benefits of being involved in joining Aera VC, please get in touch.

The pursuit of a better world makes better investment opportunities possible.