Aussie Start-up & Venture Capital Summary | 7th October 2023
G'day and welcome to Overnight Success, your weekly wrap on all things Aussie start-ups! 🇦🇺
Are you heading to SXSW Sydney? Overnight Success is hosting a panel - Mythbusters: Aussie Startup Edition.
Housekeeping: Does your OS newsletter get cut-off by Gmail’s pesky mobile app? You can read the full version without interruption here.
📊 It ‘aint all bad: Cut Through Venture released their Q3 report
The TL;DR - International investors haven’t retreated as much as you might think, investor sentiment is shifting (positively) and total YTD funding is tracking slightly ahead of that from the same time period in 2020.
Read the full report here.
🎉 Techstars Sydney Tech Central & MAP Demo Days went off
Two of the most respected early stage start-up accelerator programs put their cohorts on show this week at their respective Demo Days in Melbourne and Sydney.
Heath Evans summarised his highlights from the MAP Demo Day here.
Mark Monfort did a great write-up of the Techstars Demo Day (including plenty of pics!) here.
And now we watch and wait for what these up-and-coming start-ups will do next…!
🌏️ Coles Supermarkets’ Scope 3 emissions goals signal a positive shift for carbon accounting & sustainability start-ups
‘Scope 3 emissions’ are a subset of a company’s total greenhouse gas emissions (or ‘carbon footprint’) that are generated indirectly, or in other words, by the companies in their supply chain rather than by the company’s day-to-day activities.
Smart Company reported this week that Coles Supermarkets announced in a statement in August that it intends to set sustainability targets with at least 75% of its suppliers over the next four years.
AutoGrab nabs $7M to take smart vehicle valuation platform to US and Europe following hitting profitability
Melbourne-based AutoGrab, a subscription software platform offering vehicle valuation data, has raised $7M. The round was led by Australian venture capital investors EVP and TEN13, with participation from Melbourne-based private equity firm Nash Advisory. Founded in early 2020 by Daniel Werzberger and Chris Gardner, AutoGrab uses a pricing engine that aggregates data from multiple sources, including online car portals, classifieds, and auctions. The platform then prices every car listed online in Australia and offers predictive analytics on future valuations.
This latest investment follows a $5M Series A round in 2022. Though there is no word on the current valuation, recurring revenue has more than doubled since the Series A and the company has reached profitability. Their customers are a diverse mix of dealerships, financial institutions, insurance for rideshare drivers, and Car Subscription Enterprises.
AutoGrab currently operates in Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia. The fresh capital injection will be used to double down on international expansion plans. AutoGrab aims to launch in the United Kingdom and Europe by the end of this year, and is setting its sights on the United States and Southeast Asia for 2024.
Due Diligence: AFR
Eden Brew raises $24.4M to get animal-free dairy products to market
Precision fermentation start-up Eden Brew has secured $24.4M in a Series A funding round to accelerate its animal-free dairy products. CSIRO's Main Sequence led the round. The Victorian government-backed Breakthrough Victoria contributed $6M of the raise, and Eden Brew will relocate its headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne.
Eden Brew, a partnership between CSIRO and dairy cooperative Norco, has developed a proprietary method to emulate cow's milk proteins. This round of funding will be used for regulatory approvals, patent filings, and launching pilot projects for commercial-scale animal-free milk and ice cream. The funding comes amidst growing demand for more sustainable food choices.
Australia's precision fermentation industry is projected to be worth $1.45B by 2030, according to CSIRO.
Techni Ice lands a cool $980K to grow ice-box business
Techni Ice, an innovator in high-performance thermal products, has secured $979,774.40 (to the cent!) from 732 backers through the Birchal crowdfunding platform. Techni Ice has sold over $150M worth of durable coolers and reusable dry ice packs since its founding in 1984.
Initially aiming to reduce ice use and conserve water, Techni Ice now serves diverse sectors ranging from airlines to retail. Notable clients include Coles Supermarkets, Pfizer, and various global airlines. The company has recently established wholesale partnerships with online marketplaces Catch and Kogan and plans to expand its retail footprint in Australia.
The funds will help accelerate its global expansion and diversification into new product lines, including stainless steel drinkware and after-death care solutions.
Due Diligence: Birchal
Security / B2B
Apollo Secure snags $600K pre-Seed funding to help SMEs nail security compliance
Apollo Secure, a Sydney-based start-up founded in 2022, has secured $600,000 in pre-Seed funding for its SaaS platform aimed at helping start-ups and SMEs navigate the labyrinth of security compliance. The party round was led by Sydney Angels, Brisbane Angels, and a group from Angel Loop, featuring 24 investors in total.
Designed to reduce the friction of security compliance, Apollo Secure offers an arsenal of features tailored for smaller businesses. Examples include a security policies generator, vulnerability scanning, dark web monitoring, security awareness training, and a simple-to-use controls library.
With compliance demands at the forefront of the minds of many business owners, Apollo Secure is well-poised to capture a significant share of an underserved SME market.
Due Diligence: Startup Daily
Renewables / Battery Technology
Renewable Metals charges with $8M Seed to further develop its lithium-ion battery recycling tech
Renewable Metals has secured $8M in funding to advance its lithium-ion battery recycling tech. The round was led by Investible (via its early-stage Climate Tech Fund and Club Investible syndicate), the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) (via Virescent Ventures), and Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. The funds will be used to develop a pilot plant in Perth capable of processing up to 1,500 tonnes of battery waste per year.
Renewable Metals aims to fill a growing need in waste management as global demand for lithium-ion batteries soars, primarily driven by the EV and renewable energy sectors. The company's technology uses an innovative alkaline leaching process more efficient and sustainable than existing methods, cutting processing costs by up to 30%.
Renewable Metals will help disrupt the current practice of exporting batteries for overseas recycling. The process can also recycle lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are becoming increasingly common in EVs but are costly to recycle with current tech. With lithium consumption expected to grow by 20% annually and only 10% of Australia's lithium-ion waste currently being recycled, Renewable Metals' technology could be a game-changer in creating a more sustainable battery lifecycle.
Due Diligence: Waste Management Review
Spaceship is backed by high-profile investors such as Mike Cannon-Brookes (via Grok Ventures) and despite having over $1B FUM, seems to have been struggling financially for a little while now. Since its founding in 2016, the company has raised ~$60M.
🚢 Shipping container logistics software start-up Matchbox Exchange gets snapped up by logistics giant WiseTech (Startup Daily)
Matchbox Exchange matches transport companies that have a supply of empty containers with those who need them. The company was founded in 2016 and has since expanded to operate in Israel, New Zealand, and several Asian countries.
🌱 Sydney-based sustainability platform, Greener, launched their B2B offering with a bang (Tech Crunch)
Greener for Business is a free tool for SMBs to help them on their journey to net zero, monetised by a suppliers that offer exclusive offers to Greener’s members, while reducing their emissions and saving money. The start-up announced a strategic partnership with Origin Energy as part of the launch.
🤑 Blockchain unicorn Fireblocks has acquired Melbourne-based start-up BlockFold (Fireblocks)
New Fund, Who’s This?
New investors include Terry Snow’s Snow Foundation and Geoff Harris (Co-founder of Flight Centre). Mike Abbott, a founding employee of Uber Australia, joins as a partner.
Antler has already invested in over 100 early stage Australian companies, 17 valued at over $10M.
Antler has increased its initial investment to $225,000 for a 12% stake but has the caveat of a $68k admin fee, which is deducted from its initial investment.
📆 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 💁♀️ How to be the “Ryan Gosling” of your industry, by Elaine Stead
I had never thought about the "pitch" for building diverse teams like this before, and I highly encourage everyone to read this article. It's a fresh, well-crafted perspective that actually made me reflect on my own behaviour.
Will’s Pick 💁♂️ How Eden Brew was born: It ‘takes a village’ to build something huge by Phil Morle (Main Sequence)
Eden Brew just raised a mammoth $24.4M and is taking on the massive challenge of animal-free dairy products. In my research for the above write-up, I found this little blog post by Phil on the beginnings of Eden Brew. It’s super cool to see how an idea can percolate with an individual and resonate with enough key people to start something potentially huge.
Have we missed something? Got some feedback? We love emails, so send one over!
‘Til next time,
👋 Will & Gem