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Venture capital

This Month

Singapore-based Rohit Agarwal says Peak XV’s partners have travelled to Australia monthly this year to get to know Aussie start-up founders.

The $1.3b fund targeting Aussie start-up founders

The VC firm formerly known as Sequoia India is looking to place more bets on Aussie founders looking past the collapse of grocery delivery start-up Voly.

  • Tess Bennett
Jonathan Barouch’s company Local Measure has grown rapidly since a pandemic product pivot.

High-profile founders cash in as tech investor confidence returns

Big funding rounds are returning to the Australian tech centres and Local Measure and Darwinium are the latest to raise without hurting their valuations.

  • Paul Smith and Tess Bennett
Rayn Ong has already received $1 million back from his $250,000 investment in Blackbird’s first fund, but says he still has about $7.45 million of ‘on paper’ value still to receive.

Good luck, rich parents and Canva: how Blackbird made millionaires

The names of some of those making a fortune from Blackbird’s first VC fund are surprising. One of them, Rayn Ong, says his good fortune was ‘life-changing’.

  • Paul Smith

Call centre AI pivot (and AWS surge) helps Local Measure raise $7.9m

The Funded blog is the new home for news on the tech deals that are done in Australia, as soon as we hear about them.

  • Updated
  • Paul Smith
Zeb Rice, co-founder at VC investor King River Capital, says Australia is missing a golden opportunity to foster AI businesses.

Why there will never be a Canva or Atlassian from Aussie AI

“I’m seeing way more exciting stuff in the US,” says Zeb Rice, a venture capital investor targeting AI start-ups in Australia and the US.

  • Anthony Macdonald
Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX, arrives at court in New York. Scandals have taken some shine off cryptocurrencies.

How SBF ‘spent billions’ in customer funds before FTX collapse

Court documents show Sam Bankman-Fried and his associates spent voraciously on investments, donations and real estate even in the crypto exchange’s final months.

  • Yueqi Yang
Employment Hero co-founders Ben Thompson and Dave Tong have attracted more big US investment, and plan to crack the UK.

Employment Hero secures $263m in year’s biggest capital raising

The human resources technology firm has shrugged off depressed private tech market sentiment and is now valued at just shy of $2 billion.

  • Paul Smith
Doug Hilton

Big ideas trump commercialisation for new CSIRO boss

Doug Hilton has laid out plans for it to help answer the big questions facing society, while also making some money along the way.

  • Updated
  • Tess Bennett
Adore Beauty founder Kate Morris says super funds can shift the underinvestment in female founders.

Kate Morris’ goal is to make 10 other women ‘really wealthy’

Th Adore Beauty co-founder says the way to get serious about addressing under-investment in female fund managers and founders is the $3.5 trillion superannuation industry.

  • Jemima Whyte
AirTree Ventures partner Craig Blair said the firm had policies in place to manage conflicts between its funds.

AirTree bought and sold Canva in deal at market peak

The venture capital fund bought with its 2021 fund and sold from its 2014 fund at a $US39 billion valuation – a third higher than Canva is worth now.

  • Nick Bonyhady
Canva, led by co-founder and chief executive Melanie Perkins, has been one of the biggest successes for Australia’s venture capital sector.

Canva won’t list before 2025, but investors will still get rich soon

The graphic design software company is such a success that guessing when its IPO will be held has become a parlour game for the Australian technology sector.

  • Nick Bonyhady
Skykraft CEO Dr Michael Frater.

Big money is back as space tech start-up raises $120m

Skykraft, which is building satellites to communicate with aircraft in flight anywhere in the world, has closed one of the year’s biggest investments.

  • Paul Smith
Josh Foreman, founder and CEO of Indebted.

Digital debt collector counts benefits of a cost-of-living crisis

Perennial-backed InDebted has made its first acquisition since 2021 as a rise in people defaulting on payments sees it approach profitability for the first time.

  • Tess Bennett
Ben Weiss, partner at Alicorn Venture Partners working from his bedroom bomb shelter in Tel Aviv.

Bedrooms become bomb shelters as VCs do deals amid destruction

With colleagues on the frontline and international deals on the line, Israel-based VCs such as Ben Weiss are leading double lives.

  • Paul Smith
Wunala Capital managing partner Scott Wilson and investment principal Beau Huizenga.

Ex-Macquarie suit raising $30m to hunt for the next Xpansiv

Wunala’s current portfolio includes two unicorns in Xpansiv and Crimson Education.

  • Sarah Thompson, Kanika Sood and Emma Rapaport
Tracey Warren, the chief executive of F5 Collective, says tougher policies are needed to make it transparent about who venture capital funds invest in.

VCs could be told to reveal gender, sexual orientation of their picks

Australian venture capital firms talk a good game about promoting diversity through their investments, but the stats show most don’t follow through.

  • Tess Bennett
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick.

Venture capitalists Queensland-bound after govt investment fund rammed

Funds could also apply for up to $500,000 in operating expenses to establish themselves in God’s Country (aka Queensland).

  • Sarah Thompson, Kanika Sood and Emma Rapaport
Milkrun founder Dany Milham’s nous for branding gave his company a huge public profile. But the business lost millions.

Milkrun investors to get back less than 20¢ in the dollar

The company went into liquidation with enough money to repay all its suppliers, staff and landlords, unlike some start-ups that end up depending on the taxpayer.

  • Updated
  • Nick Bonyhady

Forrest, Denholm families unite to create more female millionaires

Aliavia Ventures co-founder Marisa Warren says women in venture capital are still underrepresented at the general and managing partner level.

  • Tess Bennett
Dovetail raised capital when term sheets were very “founder friendly”.

Aussie start-ups face ‘much harsher’ terms from US investors

Tougher term sheets from international investors are pitting founders against their existing investors, whose stakes could become worthless.

  • Jessica Sier