How it started
When Matū Karihi (the first of the Matū Group’s funds) was founded in 2018, the Directors set a goal to see Kiwi science and technology be acknowledged at home and overseas as a leading investment class. In just three years Matū achieved phenomenal success, building a diverse investment portfolio of 13 deep tech companies, raising $6 million through wholesale investors, and delivering an unrealised return on deployed capital of over 60%.
Despite their proven track record, awareness of Matū Group and Aotearoa New Zealand’s innovative deep tech sector was limited to a close inner circle of wholesale investors.
An opportunity for retail investors
In 2021, Matū Iramoe was established as a mechanism for retail investors to invest in the Matū whānau of funds – making deep tech investment more accessible to all New Zealanders.
Catalist, New Zealand’s only licensed stock exchange for SMEs, presented an excellent vehicle for Matū’s retail raise, with Iramoe’s IPO being the first on the platform.
The goal was to raise up to $2 million from retail investors over two raise periods in 2021 and 2022.
We developed a marketing strategy not just for Matū’s first IPO targeting retail investors, but with a long-term view to position them effectively for other investor audiences, future raise activity and investor retention.
Targeting retail investors for Matū Iramoe’s IPO
Guided by our investor marketing specialist, we considered both end investor and referrer pathways, and developed three retail investor personas by combining intel we had on Matū’s existing investors, New Zealand investors in general, market knowledge gained from previous investment experiences, and individuals who had already registered on Catalist. We then mapped out each persona’s acquisition journey (detailing how to reach, influence and convert them), with key messaging tailored to each stage of the journey.
Attracting the right investors was key. We wanted those who were interested in longer-term returns and also aligned with Matū’s core values and ethical investment mandate.
Positioning Matū as an attractive investment opportunity
Our positioning strategy heightened focus around Matū Group and Iramoe’s specific key differentiators which were underplayed in previous communications. Greater clarification around ‘why Matū’ was key to setting Matū apart from competing funds and alternative investment options, and building confidence and interest among retail investors who were unfamiliar with deep tech.
Our positioning and messaging highlighted Matū’s investment benefits and addressed investment barriers. We leveraged:
- Matū’s proven track record, qualified team and strong investment mandate
- Their unique relationships across New Zealand’s scientific, engineering and tech communities
- The flexibility of Iramoe being an open-ended / evergreen fund
- The addressable market size of the portfolio companies and pipeline
- Matū’s hands-on approach – providing operational and strategic support alongside funding
- The valuable contribution portfolio companies are making to society
- The opportunity for investors to access an asset class untapped by other venture capital funds.
Content on Matū’s website and the Catalist landing page was updated to incorporate our positioning and key messaging.
Marketing strategies for the short and long term
We devised a number of marketing strategies to help Matū achieve their initial retail raise target, and build long-term brand awareness in the wider market.
Our long-term strategies leveraged paid, owned and earned media to drive awareness; educational comms to build familiarity and comfort around deep tech as an investment class; content and comms to profile the positive impact Matū’s portfolio companies make; investor relations for acquisition and retention; and reinforced brand positioning across all investor touchpoints.
Prioritising activity with a short runway to launch
With a conservative marketing budget and a tight two-week delivery timeframe for Matū’s first retail raise on Catalist, we prioritised activity to drive optimal uptake from investors. Getting the foundations in place was the first priority. This included:
- Updating Matū’s website to drive key messaging and USPs earlier in the buyer journey
- Refreshing Matū’s LinkedIn company page and team profiles with our positioning, key messages, and brand imagery
- Editing and design of Matū Iramoe’s Information Memorandum to ensure it presented a strong investment proposition for retail investors.
Matū Iramoe’s Information Memorandum presented a strong investment proposition for retail investors.
Implementation throughout the raise period
Once the IPO was launched, we worked with Matū and Catalist to implement a communications and outreach plan at intervals throughout the raise period. This included:
- Leveraging Matū’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels to stimulate and drive awareness at key intervals. Analysis of results enabled us to measure engagement and conversions, providing a template that could be replicated for future raises
- Coaching and supporting Matū to prepare for their live webinar hosted by Catalist
- Preparing media statements to distribute to targeted media contacts and influencers to capitalise on Matū’s position as the first business to go public on Catalist.
Matū Iramoe successfully listed on Catalist on 15 November 2021, generating interest and awareness of the deep tech fund. Raising $573,000 from retail investors, the IPO also generated additional commitments from new and existing wholesale investors. Matū is well positioned to take this momentum forward with future retail or wholesale investment raises.
Objective’s highly knowledgeable and skilled marketers built a robust and comprehensive marketing strategy and plan to support our goals. It’s great to work with a marketing team who are able to plug capability gaps in your own team and maintain a shared responsibility to achieve targets within an agreed budget. Ken Erskine, Principal General Partner, Matū Group