The amount of capital flowing to Australian startups is down about 50% compared to the same time last year. However, we have noticed an increase in pay increase announcements in recent weeks.
Just a few examples: Australia’s largest semiconductor company, Morse Micro, raised $140 million led by Japanese chip giant MegaChips (they also received US FCC certification), wellness and safety support platform Sonder raised $35 million led from Blackbird, the end-user device management startup Devicie raised $14 million led by Insight.
So decent money is still there. In the US, VCs have: record levels of dry powder – a minimum of $290 billion, including $162 billion set aside for new investments. The past two months have also seen a flurry of Aussie-related VC fund announcements:
Fund Freshies: Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Tattarang Investment Group Backs a New $250 million healthtech fund, tenmile. Matt Berriman has raised $20 million for a new $50 million fund, RealVC, which made its first investment in Livewire (gaming adtech). Ex-Deloitte execs launched DowntownStone Capital (also led a $10 million investment in 6clicks – GRC platform) and Azcende VCwho wants to raise $30 million.
Funds 3 & 4: Telstra Ventures closed $500 million and OIF raised $140 million for their third fund. Interesting reading on Telstra Venture’s use of data science in making investment decisions. EPPthat says it didn’t have to write off investments this year because its average investment value is 8.4x ARR, closed the first $60 million of a new $100 million fourth fund. Main Sequence Enterprises confirmed it wants to raise $300 million for its third fund.
No more media babes. Journalists targeted VCs, with the AFR criticizing them for their role in driving up valuations and fueling hiring and spending frenzy last year…[e] founders on the details of unit economics and the importance of cash flow.” Not wrong. The Sydney Morning Herald even took a look at Blackbird’s “self-mythologizing” mission and new bird vision inspired website.
Incidentally, Blackbird co-founder Niki Scevak recently stepped up his Twitter meme game:
Investor who finds out that the entrepreneur’s prediction was in fact not conservative pic.twitter.com/xfhNppY8PT
— Niki Scevak (@nikiscevak) August 23, 2022
boys club. A SBE Australia/Deloitte/Techboard Report revealed that startups with exclusively female founders received just 0.7% of private sector funding in FY22. Mixed gender teams received 14.2%. Alium and Regal have nothing but invested in startups founded by men over the past four years. Boo.
Women on the move. Gabrielle Munzer was appointed as Main Sequence Enterprises‘ first female investment partner. OneVentures also promoted Sarah Meibusch to partner. over the ditch, Movac partner Lovina McMurchy left the VC world to join Kry10 as COO (also Movac invested).
On the hunt for capital? Keep your pitch deck concise. TechCrunch Reports that investors will spend 24% less time watching pitch decks in 2022 compared to 2021. You only have 2 minutes and 42 seconds on average to convince them to meet with you.
Hosting our friends at Cut Through Venture Slept demo day on October 7, where pre-seed and seed investors will pitch their funds to founders.
Canva’s new strategy for world domination. A 44% valuation cut doesn’t slow down Canva’s drive for growth. In September, the company was number 3 in the Forbes Cloud 100 and unveiled a host of new products and features, including an end-to-end visual communication platform. Complete with documents, whiteboards, a website builder and data visualization, Canva’s Visual Worksuite will give Google Workspace and Microsoft Office a run for their money.
A lot of people missed this last week: Canva just announced a series of new products to challenge Microsoft Office + any other productivity tool.
Here’s why I think this might be one of the most significant product announcements ever: pic.twitter.com/tfaOsuOlcC
— Turner Novak ?? (@TurnerNovak) September 22, 2022
The green light of the seer. Seer will launch its home-based epilepsy monitoring technology in the US after FDA approval.
Money or the bag? New employee share scheme have come into effect in Australia, allowing companies to offer up to $30k/year in equity to employees. Related: Shopify is now let employees decide how much of their compensation they receive in cash and equity.
Heat up. Climate Salad has its report in the climate technology industry in ANZ.
Everything that glitters. Martech Metigy has been put into liquidation after it failed to raise further capital. It last raised $20 million in November 2020, when the company claimed to have $5 million FY20 revenue, $20 million forecast FY21 revenue and a customer base of more than 26,000. Regal made a significant contribution to that $20 million round when he commented on AdvertisementNews:
Regal Funds Management says there is no need to meet face to face to look at the numbers… “The most important thing about early stage investing is the person, boy or girl, you support. David has had success in his other businesses before, but he’s also just very passionate and clearly driven… We knew he would be a good keeper of newly invested money.”
did you just?? Administrators have since discovered that selling only $61k in total in FY22, claiming that Metigy became insolvent in late 2021 after providing a $7.7 million loan to director and CEO, David Faithfull, who then went on a purchase hunt.
In the trash: Optus’ reputation. ICYMI Optus was hit by a massive data breach. We’re not sure which is worse: the fact that the breach itself occurred or Optus’ response to customers.
In other hacking news, police in London arrested a 17-year-old suspected of hacking into Uber and Rockstar Games (maker of Grand Theft Auto).
Consider this a good reminder to 1. map (and secure) your data assets, 2. create/review your incident response plan, and 3. continuously inform your team to identify potential sources of danger. help identify. Not if, but when.
ASX says goodbye to three tech co’s. iSelects The board of directors approved a takeover offer from rival Innovation Holdings Australia (owner of Compare the Market), valuing the company at $72 million – just 15% of its market capitalization in 2013. Shareholders and ACCC have yet to approve the deal. ResApp agreed to a $179 million takeover offer by Pfizer and was delisted this week. ResApp claims to diagnose a range of respiratory diseases such as asthma and Covid-19 by recording a cough on a smartphone. MyDeal’s takeover by Woolies also completed, taking the market off the ASX.
MYOB acquired Flare, an HR platform that provides onboarding, benefits and retirement services to SMBs. To differentiate, MYOB wants to go beyond accounting.
french unicorn Algolia has Search.io . taken over, a tech startup in Sydney for search and discovery. Algolia is one of the largest search engines in the world.
StraxCorp merges with Philadelphia-based CurveBeam. StraxCorp algorithms (spun from Melbourne Uni) help to model a person’s anatomy and assess bone fragility. StraxCorp’s technology will be combined with CurveBeam’s next-gen, low-radiation CT machines.
ento was acquired by Humanforce, an Accel-KKR backed workforce management rival. Humanforce indicated that it is hunting down under for other acquisitions.
Ofload made its first acquisition – CIA Logistics, a freight veteran from Melbourne. Ofload’s digital freight platform connects shippers and carriers, increasing shipment visibility and reducing inefficiencies.
Figma will sell to Adobe for $20 billion – the largest deal to date. With the technical and economic downturn, Adobe found an opportune moment to attack Figma, which has won a large part of the design community with its collaboration tool. Related: awesome essay on the genius of Figma (2020).
What investors paid for first @Figmawhich @adobe buy for ~$40.20 per share:
$0.088: @dannyrimer/@IndexVentures, @semilJacobsen/OATV
A $0.199: @johnolilly/@GreylockVC
D$4,619: Peter Levine/@a16z
— Rolfe Winkler (@RolfeWinkler) September 15, 2022