Aussie Start-up & Venture Capital Summary | 28th October 2023
G'day and welcome to Overnight Success, your weekly wrap on all things Aussie startups! 🇦🇺 An especially warm welcome to the newest 30 subscribers who join us this week.
Big thank you to 🐝 Bronte McHenry for editing this one while Gemma is on a well-deserved holiday!
Housekeeping: Does your OS newsletter get cut off by Gmail’s pesky mobile app? You can read the full version without interruption here.
📦 Hold the Providoor, this meal-delivery platform is getting a celebrity makeover!
The Providoor brand has been acquired by Sam Benjamin of Seventh Street Ventures. Under his stewardship, ready-to-eat and frozen meals will be curated by celebrity chefs and delivered via Uber Eats.
🏦 Peak XV, formerly Sequoia India and Southeast Asia, targets Australian startups with a $1.3B fund.
🖥️ Microsoft announces $5B investment in computing capacity and capability to help Australia seize the AI era (Microsoft Announcement).
The cash will be directed into hyper-scale cloud computing and AI infrastructure over the next two years. It’s the single largest investment in the company’s 40-year history Down Under.
Microsoft’s local data-centre footprint will grow from 20 to 29 sites spread across Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
📈 All four banks predict a rate rise in November.
PLUS: 5 raise announcements (are the raise turntables turning?), and Bronte McHenry returns to the newsletter and drops some KaaS. Read on! 👇️
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CipherStash snags $4.8M seed round to increase security by encrypting data at the source
Cybersecurity play CipherStash has bagged $4.8M in a Seed round led by Skip Capital, with participation from SixThirty Ventures and existing investor AirTree. CipherStash takes a unique approach to cybersecurity by encrypting data directly rather than safeguarding software applications or systems.
The approach is fresh air amid a spate of cyber breaches in Australia that have compelled firms to categorise risk-based data. CipherStash negates the need for such classifications, as encrypted data can only be accessed via its systems. While most conventional solutions currently protect the storage systems, not the data, CipherStash's technology ensures it remains secure even if data moves or is leaked, offering a more cost-effective solution than traditional methods.
CipherStash is fully remote, with a team of 16 and international growth in its sights. Collaborations with US-based organisations, including banks, helped prove the thesis as viable in the market. The fresh capital will be used for expansion and hiring. CipherStash is doubling down on the US and incorporated itself in the US after six months of operations.
"We want to stop data breaches by protecting the data itself," said CEO Dan Draper.
Due Diligence: The Australian
Factory.app closes $1.05M Seed round to streamline job management for fabricators
Sydney-based manufacturing software Factory.app has bagged $1.05M. Investible led the round with participation from TechnologyOne founder Adrian DiMarco, 1in100 Ventures, Beachhead Venture Capital, and Hugo-Hamman Investments.
Launched in 2021, Factory.app streamlines job management for small-to-medium-sized fabricators. The platform bridges the gap between essential accounting software like MYOB and Xero and more complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. For many manufacturers, the administrative burden of client contact can be challenging to manage. Factory.app reports efficiency gains, such as a 30% drop in customer service calls due to automation.
This is Factory.app’s second raise, and will fuel rapid expansion plans for Australia. The platform is well placed for growth in its blue ocean market, with 90% of the manufacturing industry owned by small family-owned businesses.
Due Diligence: Innovation Aus
Heidi Health lands $10M Series A to optimise healthcare with AI
Melbourne-based HealthTech Heidi Health has landed a $10M Series A. Led by Blackbird Ventures, other investors include Hostplus, Vesta, Wormhole Capital, Archangel Ventures, Possible Ventures and Daniel Ventures.
Formally known as Oscer, Heidi Health previously raised a $5M Seed round, aiming to revolutionise primary healthcare through AI integration. Founded in 2021, the platform is targeting the looming crisis in Australia's healthcare system. Namely, a shortage of 10,600 GPs in the next decade amplified by a 58% rise in demand for GP services.
Heidi Health's platform offers two main solutions: a transcription tool for standalone doctors and a Clinic AI solution. The transcription tool automatically generates patient files, notes and consultation letters from recorded consultations. The Clinic AI feature provides automated pre-consults, allowing doctors to prioritise patients efficiently. It also enables self-managed bookings and payments, which is particularly useful for understaffed clinics in rural areas where GPs spend much time on low-value administration.
At the core of Heidi Health is a blend of large language models, including OpenAI's GPT-4, for tasks such as transcription and pre-consults, although it plans to transition to its own models to ensure scalability and reliability. While it does use patient data to train its AI models, co-founder Dr Thomas Kelly assures that all data is double-encrypted and de-identified. The fresh funding will be used for team expansion and feature development, as Heidi Health plans to extend its reach to the UK and US, where health systems are already stretched.
Due Diligence: TechCrunch
Outstaffer raises $28.2M to help companies hire globally
Outstaffer, a Melbourne-based HR and employment platform, has secured $1.5M in its debut funding round.
The round was co-led by Outstaffer's new COO Michael Locaso, Utiliti Ventures, 1in100 Ventures and Side Stage Ventures, among other contributors including Beachhead, Mondo Ventures and Perth advisor John Poynton. The investment comes after three years of bootstrapping and aims to bolster the company's global expansion efforts, particularly in the US.
Founded in 2020 in the Yarra Valley by Thomas Derum, Outstaffer allows businesses to tap into a global talent pool while handling the complex realities of compliance, payroll, onboarding and device management. Impressively, the platform can be used to manage global payroll using a single lump sum that is divided out across every team member in their local currency. The fresh capital will be funnelled into product development, team expansion and entry into new markets.
Local Measure raises $7.9M to modernise call centre software
Call centre software platform Local Measure has landed $7.9M of fresh capital. The round was led by returning investor Future Now Capita, team management and some private family offices. The raise follows an ongoing partnership with AWS.
Local Measure specialises in building customer-care software for contact centres and hospitality venues, with over 2,500 customers, including SeaWorld, Hard Rock and Coco Republic. The AWS deal, which incentivises AWS reps to shift the software, has contributed to 250% revenue growth YOY. In addition to the sales partnership, Local Measure's platform is built on AWS cloud software, which allows new customers to spin up remote contact centres and quickly scale.
The team has grown to over 50 since being founded in 2014, with offices worldwide. Since starting in the travel and hospitality sectors, Local Measure has expanded into retail, financial services and the public sector. The AWS Cloud product, Engage, was developed during lockdowns to enable call centres to work remotely.
Due Diligence: AFR
The Climate 10x Accelerator accounces first cohort of five ClimateTech startups with funding from Virescent Ventures & UNSW ($480,000 & $100k, respectively).
Climate10x targets startups whose innovations significantly impact emissions reductions or improve the resilience and adaptability of existing infrastructure to allow for a faster transition to renewable energy
SoNiA Green Tech has discovered a novel way to manufacture polymer-modified bitumen to reduce energy usage and incorporate waste plastic
WorkbenchX links companies with manufacturing capability to those without, bringing down the cost of production for startups and manufacturers and enabling sovereign manufacturing.
DeCarice uses specialised hardware to decarbonise existing diesel engines to run on up to 90% hydrogen, enabling a 70%+ reduction in carbon dioxide output.
Powour tracks, promotes, and incentivises active transportation activities, reducing environmental impact and improving public health.
Green Dynamics uses AI to automate advanced materials research, speeding up research and production cycles
New Fund, Who’s This?
Up to $100K is available for early-stage research projects and $500K is available for researchers getting products into clinical health settings.
✈️ Sunshine Coast Airport (SCA) has become Australia's first airport to install the digitally accessible wayfinding solution BindiMaps in a bid to help its 1.62 million annual passengers seamlessly navigate its facilities and become one of Australia's most accessible airports.
🟢 The Startup Network hosted its Impact Pitch Night this week with Innings, the HealthTech company enabling better aged living in their own home, taking the main prize.
La Foundary won The People's Choice Award with its mushroom-powered waste processing idea.
📆 Overnight Success now co-hosts the Aussie & NZ Startup Events calendar, created by Startmate and supported by The Community Collective.
We’re often asked what metrics we look at when assessing a startup for investment 🔢
1/ To shed some light on this, we put together guides on common metrics, including what metrics signal PMF to VCs, sales metrics for SaaS startups and burn multiples 101 🧵👇
— AirTree (@airtreevc)
Oct 22, 2023
KaaS (Knowledge as a Service)
Bronte’s Pick 💁♀️ When Words Let Us Down: The Importance of Framing from iLCP
Have you ever struggled to pick between two synonyms? Or wondered if language tweaks even matter? This article does a great job of explaining how words ‘frame’ information by placing greater weight on certain considerations and arguments. Spoiler: words have power; use them wisely.
Will’s Pick 💁♂️ The Project Managers AI Prompt Cheat Sheet from Folklore VC
GTP can be great for getting the wheels turning early on in a project, and Joe Bramwell-Smith from Folklore Product Chapter has compiled a comprehensive cheat sheet specifically for PMs looking to leverage AI. It’s a pretty useful starting point that can be used in other verticals across the startup world: marketing, ops, sales, and so on.
Have we missed something? Got some feedback? We love emails, so send one over!
‘Til next time,
👋 Will & Bronte