About Aaron Bhatnagar
Aaron Bhatnagar is a venture capitalist, value investor and director based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Through the Bhatnagar family owned investment vehicle, Alliance Equities Limited (and associated entities), Aaron invests significant funds in early-stage high-growth businesses ready to commercialise their offerings to the market. He likes cloud and SaaS based companies, and companies with recurring revenue, quality management, a scalable product that solves a problem, and a team that focuses on sales and customer service.
He also invests in New Zealand and global equities markets according to "value investor" principles.
He served on the board of the Real Estate Agents Authority between 2013-2018, was a committee member of the NZ Shareholders Association Auckland Branch 2012-2017, and has been a chartered member of the Institute of Directors. Aaron has a Master of Arts degree with Honours from the University of Auckland.
Aaron was elected as an Auckland City Councillor during 2007-2010 for the Citizens & Ratepayers ticket, serving as the Chairman of the City Development committee responsible for economic development, town planning, and infrastructure, and the Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee. He was also an accredited Hearings Commissioner for resource consent hearings. He did not stand for election to the new Auckland "Supercity" Council in 2010.
Aaron's investments in venture capital projects include companies like Pushpay, listed successfully on the NZX in August 2014, and the unlisted The New Zealand Abalone Company, Goodycard Ltd, Unfiltered Media, Dairy Farms NZ Ltd, Ask Nicely and Designer Wardrobe.
Aaron and his family have also been in the fortunate position of engaging in some Auckland based philanthropic projects.
He welcomes contact from businesses seeking capital to commercialise and scale their proven ideas. Please note Aaron's criteria for investing next to the submission box.
Aaron is often asked about his favourite books and podcasts - you can read a list of them here.
About the Bhatnagar Family
In 1980, the Bhatnagar family immigrated to New Zealand from Canada. Roger (Rajeshwar) Bhatnagar started a small electronics retail business called Sound Plus which grew over the decade. In 1991, Roger bought the Noel Leeming electronics retail chain from the receivers of Smith City Group, and after turning the business around, floated Noel Leeming Limited on the NZX in 1993.
Under Roger's leadership, Noel Leeming Ltd experienced considerable growth. In 1995, the business was merged with competitor Bond and Bond Ltd to create "Pacific Retail Group", which was New Zealand's largest electronics retail business. Other group businesses included Pacific Retail Finance and Computer City.
With his success in business, Roger was able to engage in philanthropy, a little bit of art collecting, as well as his passion for automobiles. Pride of place in his collection for a number of years was a McLaren F1 road car, the first to arrive in New Zealand in 1994.
Roger was knighted by the NZ Government for services to business and charities in 1998. Sir Roger Bhatnagar's interests in Noel Leeming were bought out in 2000, and he became a passive investor focused on commercial property. He has been retired from all business since 2007. You can read more about Sir Roger Bhatnagar's cricket memorabilia collection here.
Since 2011, Sir Roger's son, Aaron Bhatnagar, and Aaron's brother-in-law Blair Wolfgram have actively driven the Bhatnagar family's wealth management through listed equities, commercial property investment and venture capital. They formed Alliance Equities Limited (and its associated companies) in 2013 to pursue venture capital opportunities.