About Lance

Independent investment and business advisor providing investment readiness consultancy through Better by Capital and Return on Science investment committees, direct investments through LWCM and Punakaiki Fund and advice and directorships through LWCM and Lance Wiggs Consulting.

Punakaiki Fund

Punakaiki Fund invests in with New Zealand based high growth companies. We target early stage investment, look for existing revenue and ongoing growth and believe in the time value of money – that holding for a long time reaps the greatest rewards. Our philosophy is to be founder-centric, and to offer advice only where desired.

Punakaiki Fund is a company structure with qualified and public investors (via a $2 million snowball Effect crowdfunding offer), and managed by Lance Wiggs Capital Management (LWCM). If you would like to invest please email me at lance@lwcm.co.nz or sign up to the email list on the Punakaiki Fund website.

Punakaiki Fund investments include:

Timely, which provides smart appointment booking for small businesses.

InfuxHQ, which is a beautiful app for running fitness facilities. (Director)

Vibe Communications, a wholesale ISP providing simpler, better and faster services to retail ISPs, ICT service providers and companies with technical staff. Their Intellipath on-demand bandwidth product allows you to connect data centres in seconds. (Director)

Raygun, which provides real time error reporting you can set-up in under 5 minutes.

Melon Health assists with better health outcomes for individuals by giving them on-line platforms providing tools, support and information to help manage their condition. (Director)

Weirdly helps companies that actively recruit people to find better applicants, and also reduce the effort required to manage applicants through the use of innovative software. (Director)

Boardingware helps boarding schools manage their students’ movements and pastoral care using a SaaS product accessable by schools, teachers, parents and students. (Director)

Onceit is New Zealand’s premier flash sale site for designer fashion and accessories. (Director)

RedSeed helps large retailers and suppliers train their staff by combining professionally created training videos with a SaaS Learning Management System. (Director)

ThisData offers an audit, monitoring, security and backup system for enterprises.

EverEdge IP is a global intangible asset advisory and transaction specialist providing advisory, transaction and investment services to intellectual property owners. (Director)

Vend provides cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management software which includes ecommerce, inventory management, customer loyalty and analytics, and integrates with payments, accounting and other business applications.

Mindfull resells, implements and supports IMB’s TM1 business intelligence software, and has developed and sells worldwide their own software (including QubeDocs) that supplements TM1 and other software. (Director.)

Mobi2Go helps food service businesses sell more by adding an ordering function to their own marketing websites.

Populate helps companies manage their staff planning processes, particularly during periods of high change.

Linewize helps schools manage their student’s internet activity, starting with the premise that access should be allowed and viewed rather than locked down, and that teachers should be in control. They also provide their highly regarded open-source firewall. (Director.)

New Zealand Artesian Water sells pure NZ water domestically and to a number of offshore markets, primarily under their E’Stel brand. They have developed a water product that, based on MIT research, delivers the right mix of nutrients for use with infant formula. (Director.)

Better by Capital

Better by Capital is an NZTE service available to all New Zealand companies with an NZTE relationship. Get in touch with (preferably) your NZTE Customer Manager or the Capital Team and ask about how they can increase your understanding of the capital process, help your company become investment ready and find investment from NZ and offshore.

I am one of a handful of external providers to the Better by Capital service, which focusses on helping companies become investment ready. I have held workshops with 100 companies, as at June 30, 2016. The workshops usually start with an assessment of the business using the lenses of End User (target and products), Customer (sales), Company (the team and leadership) and Investor (proposition). I’ve also helped companies craft their story and prepare for presenting to small and large groups.

Return on Science

Return on Science is a research commercialisation programme available across New Zealand. It helps turn research, from universities, research institutions and private companies, into valuable companies or licensing. While the four investment committees do authorise funding of commercialisation grants (PSAF), the focus is on helping the inventors and other founders to learn and progress their offering.

To find out more and start the process contact one of the ROS Channel Partners.

I am the Chair of the ICT  Investment Committee and a member of the Physical Sciences Investment Committee.

Investments and Directorships

I now only invest in private companies through Punakaiki Fund, but have a legacy of personal investments, as well as on-going advisory work and directorships. I estimated in February 2014 that my private portfolio had a (largely unrealised) CAGR of over 70%.

Investor and Director for Define Instruments, an Auckland based electronics OEM designer and manufacturer and producer of electronic transmitters, controllers, meters and mini-PLCs, and Lingopal Limited, a Perth based mobile translation venture capital funded start-up.

Co-Founder and Director of MyTours, a do it yourself iPhone app tour creator aimed at Museums, cities and regions.

Investor and Director for Pocketsmith, which is a comprehensive personal financial management SaaS too that includes powerful yet simple financial forecasting.

Investor and Director for 200Square, which uses a SaaS platform to remove the pain, and the expense, from selling houses.

Investor in Taggle, former investor in Syft and former investor in Vend (the shares were purchased by Punakaiki Fund in exchange for fund shares).

Indirect shareholding in Performance Labs, which raised investment from Intel Capital.

Academic and Professional Memberships

B Technology (Honours) (Product Development) 1989, from Massey University.
MBA/MPPM (Strategy, Finance) 1998, from Yale University.

McKinsey Mini MBA corporate finance faculty tutor, 2000.
Former Member of NZ Institute of IT Professionals.
COMU NZ Corporate Governance course, 2011.
Member of Institute of Directors
IOD Chairing the Board course 2014.

Prior Investments and Directorships

Councillor for Internet NZ. Member of Audit Committee and Chair of Investment Committee.

Co-Founder of Pacific Fibre, which aimed to connect Australia and New Zealand to the USA with a very high capacity Fibre. Some advice I wrote for following players.

Founder and director of PowerKiwi, which supplied Flower Power, Tree Power and carbon neutralised Green Power to Powershop, an online electricity retailer. Power Kiwi was 2nd in the Deloitte Fast 50 and 18th in the Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500. Power Kiwi sold the contract back to Powershop and has ceased to trade.

Co-Founder of AllAboutTheStory.com, a marketplace to help editors fill the gap and quality journalists and feature writers sell their stories. We folded this business after failing to get critical mass of buyers and sellers.

Co-Founder of Groupy, which was sold to Yellow then Daily Do.

Former Independent Director of Cadimage Group.

Investor in Valuecruncher (closed down) and Chanui Tea (investment exited). I was also part of an informal advisory board for PlanHQ and advised on the sale to one founder.

Selected Prior Work

I was part of Equip Design Integration, working with Ray Labone, Peter Haythornthwaite and Andrew Jones, one of three accredited Design360 teams that performed the design assessment and planning phases of the Better by Design programme.

The Better By Design programme subsequently restructured to be far more hands-on, and I trained and used the Stanford d.school methods during the transition and the first year, after which I switched efforts to the Better by Capital program.

I’ve consulted to Syft, PL Tech, ASB and sporadically to a number of other and medium sized small New Zealand and Australian clients, in the media, e-commerce and entertainment industries.

I worked with BHP Billiton Stainless Steel Materials in Perth and Kwinana Nickel Refinery, through Lodestone, a consulting group that specializes in operational improvement work. Later I led a team for almost 2 months in Mozambique consulting to BHP Billiton’s Mozal Aluminium smelter, and a few years earlier I was site leader for 10 months on a successful effort at BHP Billiton’s Bayside aluminium smelter in South Africa.

I was the adviser on Trade Me’s sale to Fairfax Media for NZ $750m, and before and after that helped with ongoing valuations, pricing, strategy and coping with growth. Later I acted as Head of Group Digital at Fairfax Media NZ.

I was an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company in Washington DC.

I was a summer associate for a Dallas Private Equity Firm, and prior to that was at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a founder of Panic Music in Montreal.

Before my OE I had various roles at Mobil Oil New Zealand and Mobil Oil Australia, including territory manager (resale representative) for the top third of the South Island, and was a member of the team that rolled out EFTPOS at Mobil service stations in Australia and NZ.

Motorcycle Travel

Several major motorcycle trips, starting in 1996, including around Europe, Europe to Singapore, North and South America, New Zealand, Southern Africa, and big parts of Australia.


J Brown, D Gross, L Wiggs: “The matchmaker system: creating virtual eco-industrial parks”, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Bulletin Series 106, 2002

Wiggs, G Lance T: “Corporate Performance and Corporate Governance”, Working Paper Series C, Number 57, February 1999, Yale University

(Major contributor to the book) William Joyce, Nitin Nohria, Bruce Roberson: “What Really Works : The 4+2 Formula for Sustained Business Success”



There is a bit out there – here is a rather random assortment from a quick google search.

I think and write about safety – sadly the writing is often motivated by a fatal or near-fatal incident.

When people die at work it’s always a safety issue (NBR)

Lance Wiggs: Cycle safety needs to become a political issue (NZHerald)

I wrote a column for Idealog for a number of years.

Two profile articles – by the Sunday Star Times and NZHerald.

There was plenty of coverage on Punakaiki Fund launch and on Pacific Fibre, such as Boutique VC revels in strong New Zealand deal flow (ZD-Net), and on Pacific Fibre, including The Cable Guys (Idealog).

Here’s a video of a presentation I did at the IITP conference on the day we unsuccessfully closed (and returned funds) our 2013 Punakaiki Fund public offer. It was humbling, but ultimately an experience that made us come back stronger and better.

Whale Oil doesn’t like me – which is a good sign. Here’s a ridiculous false post purporting  to be a picture of me. I have no idea who it is.

Dave Farrar, NZ’s leading political blogger, announced that he is an investor in Punakaiki Fund. Dave gets little credit for the amount of excellent work he has done for the Internet NZ community btw.