In the past few years, New Zealand technology companies have received record levels of foreign investment, according to a new report.

The third annual Investor's Guide to New Zealand was released tonight by Technology Investment Network (TIN) and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Data from the report showed, in the past three years, New Zealand tech companies received $265 million in funding from overseas companies.

TIN managing director Greg Shanahan said local investment was creating more opportunities for follow-on international investment.


"New Zealand tech companies received around $41m in foreign investment [in the 2018 financial year]," Shanahan said.

"This followed an extraordinarily strong prior financial year when a number of very large investments were made, including Rocket Lab's capital raise of over $100m.

"The number of US backers continues to grow, underscoring the emerging confidence in New Zealand tech companies."

Between 2015/16 and 2016/17, overseas investment jumped from $51 million to $173m - up 239 per cent.

This dropped back to $41m for the 2017/18 year, but was still significantly higher than in previous years, according to TIN.

Shanahan said a growing number of companies were chasing larger foreign investment early on, choosing to sell a stake of their business rather than the whole company.

In the past five years, 62 overseas companies and individuals had invested in New Zealand tech companies, including high-profile names such as movie star Ashton Kutcher, Samsung, Vinod Khosla, of Khosla Ventures, Viacom chair Shari Redstone and Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Of these investors, 56 per cent were based in North America.

Ashton Kutcher has invested in New Zealand's tech sector. Photo / AP
Ashton Kutcher has invested in New Zealand's tech sector. Photo / AP

Statistics from TIN showed the country's top 200 technology companies had increased revenue by 8 per cent in the past year with more than $7 billion coming from overseas revenue.

"High-performing technology firms are not just an urban phenomenon, they exist throughout New Zealand," Shanahan said. "Tech revenue growth was evident across every region in 2017."

Technology is New Zealand's third-largest export sector and 21.5 per cent of tech companies have annual revenue of more than $50m.

Source: Technology Investment Network
Source: Technology Investment Network