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Angel investors are increasingly seen as the first source of outside money for promising start ups; as with the rest of the world, venture capital funds become ever more difficult to source.

And there’s some interesting numbers behind the numbers in the announcement that Kiwi angel investors ponyed up a record amount last year. (See the figures here at NZ Venture Investment Fund).

During the year, $53.8 million was invested, up 5.3% on 2009′s $51.1m. A larger amount of this was follow-on deals. That comprised almost $30m, with just under $24m were first round.

In terms of stage of investment, $5.3m was seed, $39.2m start-up, $6.6m at the early stage expansion, and $2.8m at the expansion stage.

It is also interesting to note the number of syndicated deals – those involving different groups of investors.
In 2006, just 27% of deals were syndicated. In 2010 47% of deals were syndicated and 53% were not.

Activity was also particularly strong towards the end of last year. During 2010, 103 deals were completed, compared to 76 the previous year. There were 25 deals in the third quarter, and 41 deals in the fourth quarter. The average investment declined during the two years, $522,000 in 2010, compared to $672,000 in 2009.

Since 2006, by region, 51% of angel investment has been in Auckland, 17% in Wellington, 11% in Christchurch, 7% in Dunedin and 4% in Palmerston North.

Software and services have received 26% of the amount invested, pharmaceuticals 23%, hardware and equipment 18% and food and beverage 10%