💌 Aussie Start-up & Venture Capital Summary | 10th June 2023
Public valuations are back in MedTech & Euc & Linktree make big announcements.
G'day and welcome to Overnight Success! A big shout-out to the 27 new subscribers who’ve joined since the last edition.
The final countdown: OS 1st Birthday Drinks! 🥳️
On Friday 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 the final sponsors of our birthday celebrations…. Gufy, Megamind Creations & Regional Angel Investor Network! We’re super grateful to all our sponsors for their support - these events literally would not be possible without them. 🙏
⚖️ Eucalyptus adds weight to its weight loss offering with Jenny Craig acquisition (LinkedIn Post)
The Australian arm of weight loss brand Jenny Craig announced last month that it had fallen into voluntary administration after its US counterpart filed for bankruptcy. While the company hasn’t found a buyer for its physical assets, it didn’t take long for Aussie health-tech ‘house of brands’, Eucalyptus, to swoop in and claim their digital assets.
Eucalyptus already offers online weight loss support through its brands Juniper and Pilot. It plans to combine Jenny Craig’s focus on nutrition with its existing products, including health coaching, medical advice and prescriptions. (Smart Company)
✈️ Linktree makes 27% of its team redundant in favour of attracting US-based talent (AFR)
The Aussie unicorn that created the ‘link-in-bio’ category made the huge announcement this week. At the same, Linktree announced it had acquired Berlin-based competitor Bento.
Co-Founder & CEO Alex Zaccaria said in a statement on Tuesday that the redundancies were an unfortunate necessity “in order to fully seize [their] immense opportunity” in the US, where most of its users are now coming from. The team will aim to re-grow to achieve a more even distribution of headcount across both Australia and the US by the end of the year.
🤖 23 deep-tech start-ups set to take the stage at Cicada x Tech23 (Business News Australia)
Cicada Innovations’ Tech23 conference has announced its first cohort since officially taking over the event in January this year. The lucky start-ups include Samsara Eco, Endua and ULUU, all of whom have recently raised funds, amongst 20 others (see the full list here).
The conference format will be different to its previous iterations, moving away from pitches with prizes towards more in-depth talks and panel discussions about the featured startups and their game-changing innovations. The event is on the 26th of July in Sydney - save the date!
🎇 Australia’s biggest start-up event left looking for a…spark? (Startup Daily)
Spark Festival was founded in 2016 and the event gained incredible momentum under the leadership of Director Maxine Sherrin, who last week announced she would be stepping down from her role, while the future of Spark in its current form has become less certain.
A huge shout out to Maxine (who was also one of the first-ever OS subscribers!) for her amazing contribution to the ecosystem. We can’t wait to see what she does next! ♥️
The festival seems to have fallen victim to a lack of secure funding and currently cannot confirm dates for a 2023 event, however, is seeking input from the ecosystem as to the direction it should take moving forward. You can have your say on this LinkedIn post or reach out to the team directly. We hope to see it back on the event calendar very soon!
Start-up Retro & Crowdfunding: Australia's start-up raises with a smidge of context.
New Fund, Who’s This?: Fresh funds flowing into the ecosystem.
Aussie Raisins: Homegrown startups hunting for funds.
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.
MedTech / Manufacturing
Nutromics raises $11M pre-Series A to accelerate its medical wearable
Melbourne-based diagnostics firm Nutromics has raised $11M in an oversubscribed acceleration round to support its wearable diagnostic technology. Two high net-worth family offices led the round, following the $20M round led by Dexom Ventures in September 2022. Additionally, Nutromics has signposted a potential Series A towards the end of 2023.
Nutromics have created a 'lab-on-a-patch' which combines multiple DNA sensors with micro-needles. Compared to a standard blood test, a single data point, the Nutromics sensor can track multiple targets continuously and in real-time, giving clinicians constant insights. For example, the patch can track drug levels, cardiovascular disease and acute kidney injuries. Check out this video for a high level view of how it works.
Nutromics is part of the Victorian State Government's 30X30 program, aiming to grow future unicorns. Nutromics' first human clinical studies are ongoing, and it has achieved significant progress in developing its inaugural product.
MedTech / BioTech
ImmVirX lands $15M at ~$75M valuation to develop treatments that use viruses to destroy cancer cells
NSW-based biotech ImmVirX has raised $15M in a Series A funding round led by OneVentures to advance its development of oncolytic viral immunotherapies for cancer treatment. Oncolytic viral immunotherapies are viruses designed to infect and destroy cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.
ImmVirX is targeting a $25M raise and will collect the remaining $10M from existing shareholders, including Acorn Capital. This capital will be used to extend the company's runway for clinical trials, manufacturing, and business development activities through 2026. The latest investment round has brought the valuation of the start-up to $75M. OneVentures Principle Dr Jeannie Joughin will join the ImmVirX board.
ImmVirX's therapies target several hard-to-treat cancers, such as colorectal, gastric, ovarian, and liver cancer, and its most recent oncolytic virus targets late-stage lung cancer.
Autism 360 lands $2M at $34M valuation, prepping for IPO
Autism 360, a bootstrapped NSW-based business that supports families with neurodivergent children, has landed $2M of funding at a $34M valuation. The business was founded in 2018 and has grown revenues profitably to $5M with 65% growth last financial year. Expectations are for revenues to hit $7M next FY.
The investment comes from pre-IPO investor Bombora Investment Management. As part of the investment, Bombora co-founder David Willington will take on the role of Autism 360's chairman. The funds are earmarked to juice sales and marketing efforts with expansion into the US. A recently developed white-label option will target B2B sales. Bomdora suggests that Autism 360 is an IPO candidate for a local listing within the next 12 to 24 months.
Due Diligence: AFR
ASX-listed Nuheara raises $4.4M to expand smart hearing tech internationally
WA-based hearing technology company, Nuheara, has raised $4.4M from existing and new institutional investors. Major stakeholders include Realtek, Farjoy and Salter Brothers. Nuheara's headphones offer ‘Ear ID’ personalisation that can calibrate the earbud to the user's unique hearing profile. The company recently launched its US FDA-cleared self-fit hearing aid, the HP Hearing PRO, which has had solid demand in the US. The funding round will provide the necessary resources to scale up sales and production.
Due Diligence: The Market Herald
If you're a founder or investor who has just closed a round, please reach out to us at [email protected]
New Fund, Who’s This?
Bubs Founder Kristy Carr doesn’t knock on doors; she bashes them down ✊
Our Vibe Check feature on the ousted baby formula company founder, Kirsty Carr, received a lot of love last week, so we thought you’d like this latest update…
ICYMI, Carr was recently kicked out of her own company and the role of CEO by the Board of the ASX-listed company after publicly backing her former colleague and Chairman Dennis Lin, who was sacked first.
Carr has launched a boutique strategic advisory firm this week with, you guessed it, Dennis Lin! The firm will help ‘nanocaps’ (<$10M market cap) and ‘microcaps’ (<$30M) with securing capital and driving hyper-growth.
Jessy Wu brings the 🔥 to the AFR
SPOTTED: The infamous Jessy Wu (Afterwork Ventures) calling out the AFR for turning MILKRUN into a symbol of start-up failure and fuelling negativity in the tech industry. Our favourite line; “this photo of Dany is now used interchangeably with a stock photo of a startup Icarus that flew too close to the sun.” Pure poetry. Her comment has received almost triple the number of reactions compared to the original post!
JigSpace 🚀 Was mentioned in this week’s Apple Vision Pro announcement via a mini showcase of how they used the tech when it was released to developers pre-launch. Huge. (Watch the company’s big moment here).
Earlywork 💼 6 months since launching Australia’s “first tech sales boot camp”, the company has released data and case studies pointing to the tangible success of the program and was featured this week in The Australian. (Earlywork Announcement)
Airtasker 👼 announced it had sold a 20% stake in the company to the UK’s Channel Four for $6.5M in a media-for-equity deal. Channel Four is Britain’s largest media-for-equity investor; the move will help the company ramp up its UK presence. The deal replicates a similar strategy Airtasker ran in Australia with Seven West. (Startup Daily)
Startup Muster is back!
From 2014 to 2018, Startup Muster was the largest survey of the Australian start-up ecosystem. With support from the Atlassian Foundation and the NSW Government, it’s back! Want to support its revival? Learn more & submit an enquiry here.
Airtree Explorers Program AMA Session - Thursday 15th June
Airtree Explorers is a free program designed to help anyone learn the basics of angel investing and join a community of ‘Explorers’ all around ANZ.
A conversation with Open AI CEO, Sam Altman - Melbourne Convention Centre📍 16th June
The Startup Network (previously Startup Victoria) is hosting the only public event in the country when this high-profile tech leader visits as part of his ‘world tour’. Tickets are FREE, get them here. (And head straight to our birthday drinks at Stone & Chalk afterwards!).
Tropical Innovation Festival 2024 - Cairns 📍 17th - 21st June 2024
Were you feeling the FOMO as you watched many in the Aussie start-up ecosystem migrate up north for last week’s Tropical Innovation Festival? Make sure you don’t miss out next year. Tickets are already on sale here.
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 💁♀️ The Dark Side of Leadership by Elena Verna
Are you chasing a bigger and better title but secretly feeling like you’re on a career hamster wheel? Start-up folk tend to be ambitious with aggressive personal growth goals (I see you…👀). In this article, Elena (ex-Survey Monkey & Miro) explores the negative elements of being a senior leader inside larger organisations and why becoming a ‘solopreneur’ has led her to ultimate career satisfaction and balance.
Will’s Pick 💁♂️ EdTech Funding: What metrics do Venture Capitalists want to see? by Graham Forman
Graham, a US-based EdTech Investor, highlights the metrics and standards he looks for in seed stage and Series A stage B2B EdTech start-ups.
Although it’s a niche example, these metrics can be relevant to similar B2B SaaS companies. Interestingly, Graham also looks at PMF survey scores and NPS for internal culture.
Have we missed something? Got some feedback? We love emails, so send one over!
‘Til next time,
👋 Will & Gem