💌 Aussie Start-up & Venture Capital Summary | 8th July 2023
AI Property Models, Quantum Sensors, Carbon Credits & EV charging solutions all raise capital this week.
G'day and welcome to Overnight Success! A big shout-out to the 20 new subscribers who’ve joined since the last edition.
This week was NAIDOC Week; an opportunity for all Australians to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We’d like to recognise the traditional owners of the lands on which we write this newsletter, the Wurundjeri and Kaurna peoples, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who read Overnight Success. We’d love to support more Indigenous-founded and backed start-ups by covering their wins in this newsletter - if you know one (or are one!), don’t hesitate to reach out!
Enjoy this week’s edition! 🚀
✂️ The slowest start to the year in VC funding since 2019 - but that’s not the full story (Cut Through Venture)
Cut Through Venture has released its Q2 Report summarising VC funding activity.
From this latest data and commentary, as well as our own conversations with founders over recent weeks, it seems funding is more on the ‘go slow’ rather than the ‘no go’, with investors still open to making investments (particularly in early-stage companies) but opting to take longer to do more in-depth due diligence.
⚕️ HealthTech house-of-brands start-up Eucalyptus feels the heat after the decision to start distributing Ozempic (AFR)
The drug, which was primarily developed for people with Type 2 diabetes, has gained significant attention after influencers purporting the drug’s weight loss benefits (despite its potentially risky side effects) led to global shortages.
While the company has previously defended its distribution of other weight loss drugs and specifically pointed to not offering Ozempic, they recently changed this decision, which was this week met with not just one, but two critical articles from the AFR.
👀 7 early-stage Canberran start-ups to watch (Smart Company)
These start-ups were each awarded between $10,000 - $30,000 by the Canberra Innovation Network’s Innovation Connect Program to support market testing, prototyping, patenting and commercial feasibility testing for their concepts.
🔥 PLUS 4 start-up raises + 3 wins + a new fund! Read on! 👇
PropTech / AI
Inspace injects $6M to add AI to generate marketing materials for large property transactions
Sydney-based Inspace, formerly Inspace XR, has raised $6M led by OIF Ventures. The oversubscribed round also included B Capital, the VC fund of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Inspace was founded to help convert architectural designs into VR experiences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company pivoted to offer virtual inspection capabilities for property sales and leasing teams, leading to extreme success with 90% market saturation. The platform has been utilised in over $130B in real estate transactions in several countries. In the past 18 months, the platform has seen an impressive 396% increase in its SaaS revenue.
This latest funding round will enable R&D efforts with an emphasis on AI. The AI will be utilised to create marketing and sales materials for landlords and agents. For agents in particular, the tool will accelerate communications with clients, increasing the potential surface area for deal closure.
This funding follows on from a round in 2021 also led by OIF, which included Investible and Artesian. The 3D software is quite impressive; an example 3D model of 88 Walker St, North Sydney, can be accessed here.
Quantum / DeepTech
Nomad Atomics raises $12M to build miniaturised quantum sensors for massive industries
Nomad Atomics, a start-up utilising technology developed by atomic physicists from the Australian National University (ANU), has landed $12M in funding. The capital comes from Blackbird and Right Click Capital. Nomad Atomics have developed compact, state-of-the-art miniaturised quantum sensors ready for in-field applications. The sensors can be used as magnetometers, gravimeters, and clocks.
The sensors can be utilised in industries like energy, defence, resources and space. Specific use cases, as highlighted by the CTO Christian Freier, include:
Exploring deeper and smaller mineral deposits.
Improving safety in underground mines.
Reducing drought risk by mapping aquifer systems.
Increasing navigation certainty in locations without GPS.
Each of these industries has massive TAMs and provide significant opportunity.
Nomad is showing signs of traction with commercial partners and will be relocating to Melbourne. The team is expanding with over 15+ roles advertised for Business Development Specialists, Engineers and Physicists.
AgTech / ClimateTech / Web3
Sensand lands $6M to make carbon credits more transparent for farmers using Web3 tech
Melbourne-based AgTech, Sensand, has secured $6M in a single cheque from Robert Costa, chair of agricultural investment firm goFARM and his family fund Costa Asset Management. Sensand integrates agricultural land management, carbon project operations, and environmental markets onto one platform. The platform allows farmers to measure and validate the creation of carbon credits. Farmers can then go on to sell these credits on global carbon credit markets.
Sensand utilises data from multiple sources, including satellites, weather stations, drones and in-ground sensors. The measurement platform is called Blockbase, while the marketplace platform is called Mintly, both of which use Web3 blockchain technology.
Due Diligence: Startup Daily
MagicBrief snags a $2M pre-Seed to productise the workflow for ad creatives
Sydney-based start-up MagicBrief, a platform to modernise marketing teams' creative processes, has secured $2M in pre-Seed funding. The round was led by Nick Crocker at Blackbird VC with Archangel Ventures contributing. Angel investors include a series of founders, including Vimeo founder Zach Klein, UsTwo founder Matt Miller, Eucalyptus founder Tim Doyle, Spriggy founder Alex Badran, and Halter founder Craig Piggot.
MagicBrief's platform aims to increase the output of advertising creatives by integrating the processes of sourcing inspiration, concepting and briefing into one tool. The MagicBrief is already established in several clients, including Eucalyptus, Solawave, Lyka, and Darkroom.
The product can be broken down into its three major components. The Inspire pillar allows users to save Facebook, Instagram and TikTok ads in a single click and organise collections. The Concept pillar allows users to build storyboards for internal or client use. Finally, the Brief pillar helps marketing teams create briefs for content creators using their pre-made storyboards.
Due Diligence: Supplied Media Release
EVOS injects $5M to provide fleet energy management and more hardware options
EVOS Energy has raised $5M to boost the production of its hardware, which helps reduce the cost of charging. The charging units are complemented by EVOS’s software that helps dynamically manage load and optimise for tariffs. The company is targeting a specific problem in the adoption of EVs; suitable charging infrastructure. The company’s solutions are focused on customers who generally manage several EVs or EV chargers. In particular, EVOS targets residential property owners, EV fleet owners and workspaces.
The EVOS chargers and software utilise two unique systems to solve this problem. Firstly, the Dynamic Energy Balancing System enables an organisation to install many EV chargers without physically increasing their electrical capacity. Secondly, the Capacity Energy Matching System allows EVOS to safely over-subscribe charging units to match spare capacity in the local network. This means that the maximum available power is safely used. This capital raise follows a $1.7M raise in 2021.
If you're a founder or investor who has just closed a round, please reach out to us at [email protected]
Is the face of product management changing? 🤔
An article in the AFR this week claimed that several Australian tech companies are either removing the product management role, or merging it with more technical roles such as design or engineering. What’s your experience? Answer our poll!👇
Is the role of a product manager in Aussie tech companies...
Results will be shared on LinkedIn
New Funds, Who’s This?
FAC has an ambitious but commendable 2031 goal of tripling in size and seeing $1 billion in mainstream capital leveraged for investment in Indigenous businesses and communities.
Kynd 🙏 Has been acquired by health insurance company nib. (Business News Australia)
The company was founded in 2017 and helps NDIS recipients more easily find and book service providers.
Four Pillars 🍹 Global beverage company Lion is now the sole owner of the cult-favourite gin distillery brand after purchasing the first 50% just over 4 years ago. (Business News Australia)
The brand was founded in 2013 by three friends in Victoria’s Yarra Valley and has won international acclaim for its range of premium gin products.
The move will see the company’s refillable ‘just-add-water’ soap products repurposed and distributed across international hotel chains.
KaaS (Knowledge as a Service)
Gemma’s Pick 💁♀️ Founder from Forbes Australia
I’m (cautiously) excited about this docuseries (August release) featuring some of Australia’s most renowned start-up founders from Canva, Safety Culture, Brighte and Finder. I think Liam Potter (co-founder Beanstalk, ex-Atlassian & Mr Yum) captured my thoughts well (via Earlywork Slack): “Kinda worried this is going to be self-serving hustle porn but very excited at the same time to see a decent production highlighting some of the cool stuff happening in Australian startups”.
Will’s Pick 💁♂️ Startup equity compensation (ESOP) tips & best practices from Vow’s ESOP plan by Soroush Pour
While being a sneaky bit of recruitment marketing, this article by Soroush does a great job of explaining the positive ESOP structure to align incentives and ensure employees share in company success.
Have we missed something? Got some feedback? We love emails, so send one over!
‘Til next time,
👋 Will & Gem