About Us


Management Team

Las Weeraratne
Managing Director
BCom (Auckland)
Las is the Managing Director of AlphaCrowd in New Zealand. He was formerly a Manager at Samsung Electronics. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland. He is an entrepreneur at heart and is passionate about start-ups, capital raising, early-stage investing and technology in New Zealand.

Board of Directors

James Liu Xin
Grad Dip Law (UNSW), MCSE
James is the President of AlphaCrowd, and is in charge of our premier offshore business relationships with Chinese technology investors including angels, corporates and venture capital funds. In addition to his law qualifications he is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

External Consultants

Alicia Pevely
Licensing and Compliance Manager
LLB (Wollongong), BA (Wollongong), Lawyer (NSW)
Alicia is the Manager of Licensing and Compliance at Sophie Grace, a firm providing legal and compliance services to the financial and credit industries across Australia, New Zealand and other jurisdictions. Sophie Grace enables its clients develop and maintain industry best practices in regulatory compliance. Alicia and the team at Sophie Grace worked with AlphaCrowd to achieve the grant of a market service licence from the Financial Markets Authority in 2015. Since then, Sophie Grace continues to assist the internal compliance team at AlphaCrowd meet their licence obligations.

Industry Advisors

Dr James Jardine
Entrepreneur and Inventor
PhD (Cantab), MSc (Cape Town), BSc (Hons) (Wits)
Dr Jardine is an independent advisor to AlphaCrowd. Dr Jardine holds a PhD in Computer Science and Machine Learning from the University of Cambridge. He also holds an MSc in Mathematics of Finance from the University of Cape Town and a BSc with Honours in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is an inventor, serial entrepreneur, algorithmic trader. He has worked at Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and is currently leading his own entrepreneurial ventures.

Jethro Marks
E-Commerce Entrepreneur
BCom (Hons) (Auckland)
Jethro is an independent advisor to AlphaCrowd. Jethro is Co-founder and Director at The Nile, one of Australia and New Zealand's largest online department stores. He is a Board Member of the National Online Retailers Association and was part of the Australian Prime Minister’s ad-hoc advisory group on e-commerce. He was named one of the Top 50 People in E-commerce (2015) by Deloitte/Inside Retail. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from the University of Auckland.

Daniel Plimak
Software Engineering Expert
Daniel is an independent advisor to AlphaCrowd. Daniel is the Development Manager at ERM Power. He is also the owner of Systematik who specialise in converting complex business requirements into working systems.

Igor Portugal
Telecommunications Entrepreneur
BSc (Auckland)
Igor is an independent advisor to AlphaCrowd. Igor has over 25 years experience in information technology having worked at numerous companies including BHP Steel before founding Asterisk, New Zealand’s first Linux specialist company, which was sold to Gen-i in 2003. He then went on to found business communications specialist Vadacom in 2011. Vadacom subsequently received a Callaghan Innovation Growth Grant and has won numerous industry awards and accolades. Four projects based on his ideas have won Computerworld Excellence awards. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Auckland.

Lachlan Hughes
Venture Capital Analyst & R&D Consultant
MBioEnt (Hons I), BSc (Physiology & Biochemistry)
Lachlan holds a Masters in Bioscience Enterprises with first class honors from the University of Auckland and a BSc majoring in Physiology & Biochemistry from Massey University. Lachlan has worked as an analyst in several venture capital firms in both Australia and Sweden, with a focus on biotechnology. In these roles he has gained practical experience in reviewing investment opportunities, due diligence and deal execution. Lachlan spent several years in Hong Kong in the financial services sector prior to taking a role within PwC’s R&D consulting practice in Australia. Lachlan is passionate about working with start-ups and emerging technologies particularly in biotechnology, ITC & Fintech.


Nathan Rose
Independent Advisor to Issuers & Investment Banking Analyst
BCom (Otago), Post Grad Dip Finance (Otago)
Nathan is an independent advisor to Issuers via his business Assemble Advisory. He previously worked at Forsyth Barr as an Investment Banking Analyst. Nathan can help Issuers prepare their Offer by formulating strategy, determining valuation, drafting of Offer Document and providing advice. Contact him at Assemble Advisory.

Peter Christo
Independent Advisor & Mentor to Startups and Growing Businesses
MEI (Swinburne), BBus (Swinburne)
Peter is an independent advisor that works with Issuers via his business Christo Partners. He holds a Masters Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He assists entrepreneurs bring order to the chaos of creative ideas and perceived opportunities to deliver commercial outcomes. Industries he has worked in include communications, technology, financial services, electronic security and defence. He is the founder of a number of start-up ventures and is also an adjunct lecturer in entrepreneurship, strategy and innovation at a tertiary level. He was a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship development at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference. Contact him at Christo Partners.