Aussie Start-up & Venture Capital Summary | 23rd September 2023
G'day and welcome to Overnight Success, your weekly wrap on all things Aussie start-ups! 🇦🇺
This week saw the release of our second article written as part of our soon-to-be-launched Guest Writer Program. Check it out! 👇️
Housekeeping: Does your OS newsletter get cut-off by Gmail’s pesky mobile app? You can read the full version without interruption here.
OS Exclusive Angels line up to invest in Techstars Tech Central Sydney cohort
At an exclusive pitch night and mixer held on Thursday night, the current Techstars accelerator cohort gave a room of angel investors a sneak peek at what they’ve been working on, ahead of the official Demo Day on 5th of October.
Also announced was a new syndicate led by Cut Through Angels, designed to funnel investment into the cohort. We’ve got all the juicy details here!
🍲 Mr Yum and me&u confirm their suspected merger is going ahead! (AFR)
The once-competitors will officially join forces in the new year, pooling their cash reserves and industry firepower to help fuel international expansion plans.
Check out this analysis we did a few months ago when the merger w was first rumoured where we compared their offering, investors and product suite.
🎤 You get a conference, everyone gets a conference!
GEC2023 (Global Entrepreneurship Congress) also attracted quite the crowd in Melbourne with start-up folk from over 200 nations coming together to ‘Transform Your World’. Check out Dan Stangler’s takeaways from the event.
🤑 Breakthrough Victoria has announced it will pump in $43.5M into research commercialisation partnerships with a matched total of $87M (InnovationAus)
Participating universities include Deakin, La Trobe, Monash, RMIT and Swinburne. Each uni has committed $9M to the partnership, except RMIT who’ve chucked in $7.5M.
Start-ups spun out of the universities will have access to pre-Seed funding expected to be worth around $500K.
📣 New Report Alert 📣 Community Manager Snapshot: Startup Space 2023
The Community Collective & Australian Community Managers surveyed 100+ community builders about the realities of what it’s like to build community in the ANZ start-up space. Download your copy of the report to read the insights.
🔒 Software cyber security in focus for the Federal Government (AFR)
Lack of transparency in software development processes has led to cyber security breaches like the SolarWinds hack and has caught the attention of governments worldwide, including in the US and Europe.
Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, Claire O’Neil, announced plans this week to collaborate with political allies of the Quad (India, Japan & US) to address this issue through tighter regulations and adherence to global standards.
🥝 Stone & Chalk sets up shop in New Zealand (The Australian)
One of Australia’s biggest tech innovation hubs & co-working spaces, Stone & Chalk, has struck up a reciprocal partnership with Kiwi counterpart GridAKL to help Aussie and Kiwi start-ups fast-track the expansion of their operations “across the ditch”.
Fetch finds $3.2M Seed round to help young pet owners insure their pups
Sydney-based pet insurance provider Fetch has landed a $3.2M Seed round led by AirTree Ventures. Founded by Phil Wilson-Brown, George Lewis, and Foo Shen Xin - former executives from IAG - Fetch has engineered a unique tech stack to oversee and manage pet healthcare.
Fetch's model focuses on younger pet owners who prefer to pay a monthly subscription to protect against growing vet bills. The monthly premiums average $50, with variables like breed, age, and customer-selected excess and contribution affecting the final amount.
Aiming to make pet insurance more user-friendly, Fetch plans to abolish waiting periods and simplify product disclosure statements. The company has removed sub-limits on coverage. Fetch directly settles bills with veterinarians to ease the payment process, ensuring customers don't bear upfront costs.
The start-up is underwritten by Pacific International Insurance, which provides an annual cover of $30,000 and add-ons like physiotherapy, behavioural training, and dental care.
Due Diligence: AFR
Enterprise Employee Engagement
Traffyk.ai lands $1.8M Seed round to improve internal enterprise communications
The Sydney-based employee engagement company founded by the former Head of Communications at CBA, Kate Abrahams, has landed a $1.8M Seed round.
Traffyk.ai launched in 2021 and aims to revolutionise internal enterprise communication by implementing targeting, measurement, and accountability. Essentially, the software determines the optimal recipients for internal messages and gauges the effectiveness of those communications.
Matt Williams, Head of Australian Equities at Airlie Funds Management, spearheaded the funding round. The investment will help Traffyk.ai refine its offering with capital being invested in their product.
Due Diligence: AFR
Avasa secures $1.55M to transform reconstructive microsurgery
New Zealand-based medical device start-up Avasa has successfully closed a $1.55M funding round. The investment comes from New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, Pacific Channel, Booster Innovation Fund, Brisbane Angels, and Cure Kids Ventures.
The capital will be used to fast-track the company’s go-to-market plans, which include manufacturing and animal trials, with plans for a US FDA submission by early 2025.
Avasa eliminates the need for intricate, risk-laden hand-sewing of veins and arteries. The traditional method takes 40 to 60 minutes per arterial connection, while Avasa's implant streamlines the procedure to under 10 minutes. Beyond the immediate applications in microsurgery, the technology can expand into other surgical fields, including organ transplants and vascular surgery.
"We want to keep innovating at the intersection of medicine, design, and engineering to improve health outcomes," said Dr. Abeysekera.
Due Diligence: Press Release
LawTech / SaaS
LawVu lands $15M to help in-house legal teams manage contracts
New Zealand based LawVu, the cloud-based software provider for in-house legal teams, has bagged a $15M investment from Wellington-based Movac. This latest funding boosts LawVu's total capital raised to ~$55M, aiding its global expansion goals, particularly in Australia, the US, and the UK. Previous investors include AirTree Ventures, Insight Partners and Icehouse Ventures.
Movac will also secure a seat on LawVu’s board as part of the investment. The Tauranga-based company has a substantial international presence, already generating 93% of its revenue from overseas with clientele in 15 countries. Its clients include PWC, Telstra, Estee Lauder, and Linktree.
LawVu allows teams to create a ‘legal workspace’ where in-house lawyers spend all their time. This space enables lawyers to interface collaboratively across matter management, contract management, spending and reporting.
Due Diligence: RNZ
🍹 Refilled looks to raise $1.5M as they launch their BYO-Bottle Vending machine that creates custom drinks as per customers’ specifications.
Refilled just launched in two universities with their vending machines offering free still water and flavoured drinks available for purchase. Read the full article on the OS website here.
🏆 Biotics AI win the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield event in San Francisco, winning US$100k (TechCrunch)
The company has built an AI-based platform that connects to an ultrasound machine to prevent fetal malformation misdiagnosis. You can watch their pitch here.
While they hail from the US, the founding team are currently based in Australia to build out their networks here and take part in the Startmate Winter ‘23 accelerator program.
💼 My Startup Gig’s Top Startup Employer Awards
AssuranceLab, ProcurePro and Honey Insurance were awarded the ecosystem’s “Top Employers” on Thursday night as part of a review of ~70 start-ups by the Aussie start-up jobs board, My Startup Gig. See the full list of finalists here.
There were also some really interesting insights gathered by the team throughout the review process about what makes a great start-up employer. Check out the report here.
💸 Steppen, the creator-fuelled video fitness app for Gen Z, has been acquired by Alta (LinkedIn Post)
Alta is focused on martial arts and combat sports and will use the Steppen tech platform to convert MMA fans into participants.
🍿 Foodbomb has been acquired by Ordermentum while raising $16M 🍽️ (Startup Daily)
The 6-year-old wholesale food marketplace, Foodbomb, has been acquired by Ordermentum for an undisclosed amount.
Ordermentum also raised $16M as part of the acquisition, giving the combined businesses a valuation of $100M.
🏆 Earlywork, the tech careers platform and community, was named ‘Best New Idea’ for 2023 in the Startup Daily ‘Best in Tech’ awards
To read the full list of winners and runner-ups, head here.
📆 Overnight Success now co-hosts the Aussie & NZ Startup Events calendar, created by Startmate and supported by The Community Collective.
If you’ve got an event coming up - add it to this awesome crowd-sourced resource. It could end up on our Noticeboard!
KaaS (Knowledge as a Service)
Gemma’s Pick 💁♀️ A key ritual: Forest time, by Oji Udezue
When working as an operator (or a founder working “on” your business) it can be incredibly difficult to achieve the objectivity and clarity required for strategic thinking. You often can’t “see the forest from the trees”.
The solution? Forest time; regularly scheduled days “off” from BAU work for intentional reflection to avoid running fast and hard in the wrong direction (saving time and money in the long run). This article provides his reasoning as well as a link to a worksheet template which is designed for product managers, but contains questions anyone could use as a framework.
Will’s Pick 💁♂️EBITDA Gymnastics by The Secret CFO
This is a great piece for anyone keen to understand how valuations can shift as buyers and sellers review the same data differently. It’s definitely more relevant to later-stage companies but is an easily digestible explanation of how a CFO or M&A team will review financial data (in this case, focused on the EBITDA).
Have we missed something? Got some feedback? We love emails, so send one over!
‘Til next time,
👋 Will & Gem