💌 Aussie Start-up & Venture Capital Summary! 3rd June 2023
G'day and welcome to Overnight Success! A big shout-out to the 39 new subscribers who’ve joined since the last edition.
Just 2 weeks until we celebrate our 1st Birthday! 🥳️
On the 16th of June, we’re hosting two events simultaneously in Adelaide & Melbourne (the hometowns of Gem & Will), with the help of our friends at Stone & Chalk. Links to register below👇
We’re excited to announce another sponsor for our upcoming birthday celebrations, Nullify! 🙏
Nullify is built for devs, by devs. It’s your automated security bot for everything in your codebase, so you can spend less time finding and fixing security vulnerabilities and more time writing code. Scaleups around the world are already using Nullify as their developer teams’ security co-pilot. You can learn more and try it for free at their website here.
💊 🙅♀️ Changes in medical prescription rules put startup business models at risk (SMH)
Aussie startups like Eucalyptus, Instant Scripts and Mosh will likely need to review how they offer scripts after the Medical Board of Australia announced it would be instructing doctors not to offer prescriptions without a face-to-face consult.
The aforementioned startups have built their services on convenience, allowing customers to request medicines after completing standardised quizzes or communicating remotely with the company’s in-house doctors.
🤝 me&u & Mr Yum bring in the bankers
There have been reports of merger talks between the rivals, and this week; things went up a notch. Both companies are seeking advice from independent investment bankers to start mapping out what a merger might look like (AFR).
Want to get up to speed on the selling propositions of both scale-ups? We’ve written a handy deep-dive for you..
🍻 HairyDog acquires BoozeBud
BoozeBud was placed into voluntary administration and shut down last month, however, will soon be relaunched under the new owners. Founded in 2020, Hairydog operates distribution centres nationwide; BoozeBud will provide the company with e-commerce infrastructure for future growth. (Startup Daily)
🪃 Missing from the headlines…? Reconciliation Week + Startups
ICYMI, it was Reconciliation Week from the 27th of May to 3rd of June. You might have missed it because media and conversation marking the occasion across the Aussie startup ecosystem was notably lacking this year. One article from an Indigenous founder featured in Smart Company, outlined her experiences of online racism and the West Australian (paywalled) published an article about the importance of VC support for VC funding.
Perhaps NAIDOC Week will offer another opportunity for ecosystem players to consider the role they might play in reconciliation and closing the gap, particularly as we approach this year’s Voice to Parliament Referendum.
Start-up Retro & Crowdfunding: Australia's start-up raises with a smidge of context.
Vibe Check: Water-cooler-worthy happenings you might have missed.
Wins: Highlighting wins, big and small.
Notice Board: Signposting key events and opportunities.
(KaaS) Knowledge as a Service: Resources that make you smarter. Or for you to share with co-workers to make them think you’re smart.
Complexica lands $6.5M for growth by M&A and acquires Wave Systems.
Adelaide-based Enterprise Software company that leverages AI, Complexica, has secured $6.5M in funding from Acorn Capital. This raise comes in a short four months since its last funding round. Complexica aims to help companies make more effective sales and marketing decisions via its Enterprise AI platform, Decision Cloud. An AI engine supports the Decision Cloud software platform called Larry. Larry's goals are to optimise planning, product pricing, inventory management, resource allocation and analysis of sales performance.
The platform cuts through the noise and simplifies decision-making for companies that often have extensive SKU ranges and customer bases. Complexica has made inroads with the likes of Endeavour Group, Arnott's Group, Pfizer, Metcash, and DuluxGroup. On the cap table, Complexica has received funding from Perennial Partners, Microequities Asset Management, Flinders Ports Holdings, and MA Financial. This raise brings the total capital raised to over $31M since 2021.
Materials / BioTech
Earthodic lands $1.85M to create water-resistant compostables.
Brisbane-based Earthodic has raised $1.85M in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round. The investment was co-led by Tenacious Ventures and Investible but attracted investment from Twynam Group and USA-based Closed Loop Partners. Earthodic's flagship product, Paperbarc, is a bio-based coating solution that strengthens paper packaging and gives it water-resistant properties while also being compostable and recyclable. This is a step up from traditional wax or plastic coatings that can't be reused. Parerbarc is still pending certification for its composability in Australia but has already earned a 100% USDA Biobased Product Label certification in the US. The freshly secured funds will be channelled towards scaling the company's tech stack, expanding its intellectual property, and bolstering its sales and marketing efforts.
Due Diligence: Smart Company
Cloud / Compliance / RegTech
Citadel.Run snags $1M seed round to add better security & governance to AWS.
Sydney-based Citadel.Run, an AWS infrastructure security company, has landed a $1M seed round. The funding comes from the likes of Archangel Ventures, 1in100 Ventures and Flying Fox Ventures. Citadel.Run helps businesses build and maintain their AWS environments with systems built for regulated environments. For many teams, the value is in faster-built infrastructure, improving the speed to deploying in the market. Citadel.Run has already landed a few quality clients, including Nutromics, Karta, iSelect, ChefPrep and Tribe. This funding round will enable the team to focus on global expansion with targets for the US market. Fortunately for Citadel.Run, the tailwinds of cloud migration and new business starting offer clear white space for growth.
Due Diligence: LinkedIn Announcement
IoT / AgriTech
IoT's Thinxtra lands $5M in funding in preparation for IPO.
Thinxtra, an Internet of Things (M-IoT) platform, has raised $5M in pre-IPO funding. Investors include a mix of new and existing, with Blue Ocean Equities and Regal Funds Management apparently taking on more significant commitments. The business found its legs in 2015 by developing devices for monitoring water tank levels. However, its technology now extends to areas such as livestock tracking, inventory management, and shopping cart tracking. Today, Thinxtra offers comprehensive M-IoT solutions, helping clients like Coles, CouriersPlease, Optus, Loscam, and Programmed generate revenue through unused data. The platform runs the only public 0G Network committed to IoT in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Due Diligence: ARN Net
Canopus Networks raises $3M to develop gaming-specific AI products further.
Canopus Networks, an AI-driven network analytics developer, raised an extra $3M in funding, bringing its Series A round to a total of $10.6M. The investment was made by Konvoy Ventures. The funds will be used to expand into new markets and further develop gaming-specific products.
Canopus offers an AI and programmable switch (P4) technology-based network visibility management solution. In simple terms, the platform allows telecom providers to better measure online experiences for gaming, streaming, and immersive environments. Telecoms use the platform to increase profits through operational efficiencies, improved customer experiences and, ultimately, greater customer spend & LTV.
Its platform is built on the bones of research from the University of New South Wales. Currently headquartered in Sydney, Canopus has grown its team internationally, with members in Melbourne, New Zealand, the USA, and the UK. The product itself already has revenue from the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and the UK.
Due Diligence: FINSMES
Mash lands a $2M pre-series A to build out a virtual creative services platform.
Mash, a Melbourne-based firm that has developed a virtual creative services platform, has raised $2M in a pre-Series A funding round. The first external capital for the company was supplied entirely by the Melbourne-based J Bell Family office. Mash was founded in 2018 and 'curates custom remote teams to address brand challenges'.
The J Bell family was impressed with 90% YoY growth and works with global brands like Netflix and Indeed across 28 countries. Presently, Mash hosts 200 creative experts worldwide and has positioned itself as a leader in the gig economy for creative professionals. To maintain quality, professionals looking to get onto the platform must be referred and past a 5 stage screening process. The investment follows increased demand for brand creatives, with many agencies needing help to keep up with the growth and fluidity in the market. Interestingly, the round attracted a heap of investors, and Mash was able to pick who they worked with ~ batting out capital from the US, Asia and other Aus funds.
Due Diligence: Adnews
If you're a founder or investor who has just closed a round, please reach out to us at [email protected]
👶 Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) Co-Founder, Kristy Carr, has been ousted as CEO while on personal leave.
The ousting follows an extraordinary general meeting called by chairman Dennis Lin who had secured the minimum 5% to call the meeting.
Kristy posted a heartfelt message on LinkedIn which sparked debate around female leaders and bullies in corporate Australia.
Essential Assessment ✏️ The ed-tech startup founded by an ex-teacher has been acquired for ~$40M by NZ-based Education Perfect. Founder Andrew Spitty bootstrapped the business over the last 12 years and was the sole shareholder. (AFR)
Morse Micro 🍟 Has partnered with Taiwan-headquartered AzureWave Technologies to produce a new Wi-Fi HaLow module that opens up new use cases and quicker time to market for IoT-connected devices.
“Think of Wi-Fi that reaches 10 times farther than conventional Wi-Fi, covering entire residential, commercial and industrial properties with a single access point”, says Michael DeNil, founder of Morse Micro. (EE Times)
Climate Salad Global Growth Program - applications are now open!
Climate-tech community Climate Salad has launched this flagship 9-month accelerator-style program offering access to mentors, industry experts and resources to guide them through navigating new markets. Learn more and apply here before this Sunday 4th June!
Best suited to: High-potential climate tech founders who are globally ambitious
CSIRO ON Program Ecosystem Mixer - 26th June 📍Adelaide
CSIRO’s ON Program helps Australia’s publicly-funded researchers and SMEs develop the skills they need to fast-track their technology and ideas to market. The program has directed $114M+ of investment capital into new companies and supported over 3300 people. Register to attend the upcoming mixer here.
Best suited to: Anyone interested in joining or supporting the program (aspiring & current founders, investors, mentors & ecosystem contributors)
Building through Adversity, Side Stage Ventures - 15th June 📍Sydney
A founder-only in-person event with Chatam House rules featuring a panel including founders Kim Teo (Mr Yum), Mark Heath (Voly) & Matt Elsey (QSic). This one is set to be a “raw and intimate discussion”. Register here.
Best suited to: Founders
NAIDOC Week with Future Women - 5th July📍Melbourne
Individual tickets & corporate packages are now on sale for this breakfast panel event to mark NAIDOC week. Attendees will hear from First Nations female founders as they tell stories, honour their Elders and imagine a truly reconciled Australia. Panel members include Mundanara Bayles, Founder and Managing Director of BlackCard and Laura Thompson, Co-Founder and CEO of Clothing the Gaps. Find out more & purchase tickets here.
Best suited to: Anyone looking to broaden and deepen your understanding of First Nations matriarchy
Have something to put on the Notice Board? We're always looking for upcoming events & opportunities across the Aussie start-up ecosystem. Reach out to [email protected] to add yours!
KaaS (Knowledge as a Service)
Gemma’s Pick 💁♀️ Pattern Recognition in Australian Angel Investing: A Double-edged Sword?
A shout-out for a recent piece from our very own Will Richards (because he’s too modest to promote it himself!). Inspired by the Angel Summit at this year’s _SOUTHSTART festival, Will explores the pros and cons of the commonly used investment method of pattern recognition.
Will’s Pick 💁♂️ 20 Years from Now, the Only People Who Will Remember That You Worked Late Are Your Kids by Tim Denning.
Tim reflects on a recent Reddit post of the same title about how he often misplaced his time focusing on work and not family. A nice read and a chance to reflect on work life balance.
Have we missed something? Got some feedback? We love emails, so send one over!
‘Til next time,
👋 Will & Gem