Investing Today for a Better World Tomorrow

People:  We invest in outstanding people who are striving to build their business to be the best in the world and the best for the world.

Simplicity:  We invest in complexity made simple. The engine to do this is invariably scalable technology.

Stage:  We invest in high growth, earth stage businesses around the world with the potential to deliver material financial returns.

Better World:  The product, service or business model will be transforming the status quo to a fundamentally better outcome for the world.

Our Team

Founding Partners

Derek Handley

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.

Nick Winstone


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 also a Director at NineNinety which advises on and invests in small and medium enterprises in the food, beverage and FMCG market in New Zealand.

Keenan Kwok

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.

Venture Partners, Principals and Advisors

Anna Marie-Wascher

Venture Partner - 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.

Ronan Lehane

Advisor - Australia

An Irishman who calls Australia home, Ronan is the founder of Capital Collaboration, a corporate advisory business that builds value through long term relationships with its clients and partners. Capital Collaboration has recently advised across a diverse range of sectors, including global health, smart city infrastructure and education.

Rosie Bosworth

Venture Partner - Auckland/San Francisco

Rosie joined Aera VC in 2018 as a specialist to assist with pipeline and analysis of revolutionary food, agriculture and synthetic biology businesses.

Based in New Zealand and San Francisco, Rosie brings specific in-depth international insight and experience in alternative protein and food systems. She has a PhD in environmental innovation and sustainable technology development and is a regular keynote speaker and advisor on the future of food and agriculture.

Janet Kim

Principal - Hong Kong/Korea

Janet joined Aera VC in 2018 to assist with our Asia coverage. Janet brings expertise in the consumer and retail industries, strategic partnerships, and business development. Her most recent role was as Chief Marketing Officer in a successful e-commerce start-up in Korea.

Janet divides her time between Hong Kong and her native Korea.

Michelle Leibowitz

Principal - Los Angeles

Michelle joined Aera VC in 2016 to help with operations and administration and communication.

Previously, Michelle spent 9 years in the Executive Office of Goldman Sachs. She helped manage the office of the Chairman & CEO and later transitioned into the firm's Brand & Content Strategy Group. Michelle received her MBA from NYU and is a native New Yorker who now lives in sunny Los Angeles.

Investing for Profit & Purpose.