We're rounding out the year with a stellar panel of VC gurus to discuss the successes, failures and lessons learned in 2018, and what the future holds for the Australian ecosystem in 2019.
According to KPMG's Venture Pulse Report, Australian venture capital invested hit a record US$630 million in the 2017/18 financial year, with startup heavyweights Canva, SafetyCulture, Powerwrap, Clinical Genomics, Certa Therapeutics, Brighte, Athena and Propeller Aerobotics all raising significant later stage rounds.
In the past 2 years we've seen the formation of at least 15 new venture funds, an increase in appetite from Super funds like HostPlus to make major investors into local VCs, and continued interest from overseas capital. Has there ever been a better time for tech startups to raise capital in Australia?
A healthy VC ecosystem is critical to helping startups be successful so for our final Sydney event we're brining in the heavyhitters to look back at the year in VC and what trends we should be looking for in 2019.
On the Panel
Daniel Petre - AirTree Ventures
Daniel is Cofounder and Partner at AirTree Ventures. He's worked in technology and investment for more than 30 years, spending time as a VP with Microsoft in Seattle and going on to found two of Australia’s most successful venture capital companies – ecorp and netus. With AirTree he is on a mission to invest in ambitious founders who are looking to transform industry’s with software. The first fund in 2014 was $60M included early cheques in some of Australia’s startup darlings, like Prospa, Canva and Expert360. The second fund increased five-times to an incredible $250M in 2016, with 15 investments made so far.
Niki Scevak - Blackbird Ventures
Niki is Cofounder and Partner at Blackbird Ventures, a venture fund that exists to supercharge Australia's most ambitious founders. They provide equity capital for Seed, Series A and later stage – no cheque is too early. With a portfolio of over 40 companies, Blackbird has backed some of Australia’s startup powerhouses like Canva, Safety Culture, BugCrowd, Culture Amp. Blackbird is on its third fund of $250 million ($100M for new investments and $150M for follow on). They are focused on investing earlier and writing smaller cheques to back founders all along their journey.
Tony Holt - Square Peg Capital
Tony is the Cofounder and Partner at Square Peg Capital, an emerging global VC fund with US$300m under management, focused on Asia Pacific and Israel. They back outstanding entrepreneurs solving important problems in a differentiated way, with a portfolio including Stripe, Uber, Canva and Vend and teams in Sydney, Melbourne, Tel Aviv and Boston. Tony has over 20 years experience in finance and principal investing in Australia, New York and Asia with industry leading organisations Macquarie, Citi and Merrill Lynch.
And finally, we have a very special guest:
Katherine - founder of Brighte
Katherine is the founder and CEO of Brighte, Australia's leading on the spot finance platform for solar, batteries & your next home improvement. Brighte's growth and Katherine journey over the past 3 years is impressive, earlier in the year they announced a Series B funding round raising $18.5 million which included high profile investors: AirTree Ventures, Grok Ventures, retail entrepreneur Naomi Milgrom, and Skip Capital. McConnell started her journey at fintech hub Stone & Chalk after a 16-year career in investment banking and financial services.
Doors will open at 7:30am for a 8:00am kick off.
Start your day with a coffee, croissant, lively discussion and meet someone new in the community.
Supported by KPMG High Growth Ventures, Macquarie Bank, AWS and CommBank.