“Kiwi richlister Guy Haddleton invests $15 million in Kiwi cannabis startup Helius Therapeutics“
His interest in the little-known startup came about after reading about the ambitious plans of entrepreneurs Gavin Pook, JP Schmidt and Paul Manning to tap into a market that doesn’t yet exist in New Zealand.
Manning says the initial news coverage in the Herald sparked enormous interest and led to him receiving between 400 and 500 enquiries from investors interested in backing the idea.
“A lot of those investors were smaller investors who would’ve been more suited to a retail or an IPO scenario, but a number were also serious, institutional investors and one of those was Guy,” Manning says.
Thereafter, Manning and his partners went to meet Haddleton and his wife Sue at their home in Takapuna to further discuss the opportunity.
“We knew as soon as we met them we knew they were the investors for us,” says Manning.
“For starters, you’re talking about a guy who has played a part in building not one but several billion-dollar businesses. He’s an incredibly astute entrepreneur, so you can imagine the experience and the wealth of knowledge someone like that would bring to our business.”