💌 Aussie Start-up & Venture Capital Summary | 24th June 2023
The federal government releases 5 new legislation changes that affect start-ups, the AFR hosted an entrepreneurship summit, and LaunchVic reports on Victorian Tech Jobs.
G'day and welcome to Overnight Success! A big shout-out to the 83 new subscribers who’ve joined since the last edition.
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Now, onto the news…! 💃
🏛 5 legislation changes this week that affect start-ups (Smart Company)
Skills and Training Boost + Technology Investment Boost: Up to 20% in ‘bonus’ tax deductions on eligible training & tech expenses.
Digital Games Tax Offset: 30% tax rebates for video game developers on costs over $500k.
Startup Year Program: 2,000 HECS-style loans for recent university graduates, final year undergrads & post-grad students to go towards participation in incubators & accelerator programs.
Flexible unpaid parental leave: Unpaid parental leave will expand from 30 days to 100 days & new rules will protect how that leave can be shared among parents.
Support for the arts industry: Including $69M in funding to support music-focused initiatives.
🗞 The AFR Entrepreneur Summit dominated headlines & social feeds. Here are our top takeaways…
CSIRO boss Dr Larry Marshall pushed for more science-backed entrepreneurship & the investment dollars to support it. The recent World Competitiveness report, which ranked Australia as the third-worst country out of 64 for ‘economic complexity’ hammered home that Australia still has much work to do to diversify its economy and boost entrepreneurship and productivity.
Many conversations were had about the role of VC & private equity in supporting innovation now and into the future, amidst the current “tech wreck”. The general consensus? VCs still have dry powder, but now the market has settled, they have more time to do ‘sensible’ due diligence before jumping on deals. For founders, the return to more careful & disciplined use of funds is key.
👷♀️ LaunchVic and The TechCouncil of Australia released their 'Start-up Skills Report' on the talent ecosystem in Victoria.
The report looks at the challenges associated with scaling talent, the strong demand for talent despite lay-offs and recommendations for government, investors and founders to take on board.
🔥 PLUS 6 start-up raises + 4 wins + 6 events & opps coming up across the ecosystem. Read on…! 👇
Start-up Retro: Australia's start-up raises with a smidge of context.
Crowdfunding: Synopsis of the world of crowdfunding.
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.
Frntlne finds $4.6M in Seed funding to train workers with snappy videos
Melbourne-based EdTech Frntlne has secured $4.6M in Seed funding to bolster its TikTok-like training platform for retail, hospitality, and pharmaceutical workers. Leveraging "TikTok-style" videos, Frntlne delivers product-based training initiatives to enhance customer experience and sales conversions. Frntlne has already locked in customers like Coles, L'Oreal, Swisse and P&G. The videos use the Fntline Interactive Learning Methodology (FILM) to repeat and reinforce key learning topics using video, audio, graphics and interactive questions.
The funding round, led by RealVC and featuring participation from Investible and Hoperidge Capital, will focus on Frntlne's growth across marketing, sales, and product development. Expansion plans are in place, with targets set on international markets, including Singapore, the UK, and UAE.
Due Diligence: SmartCompany
MedTech / Pharma
Midnight Health raises $15M Series B and nib nabs 77%
Online prescription and delivery platform Midnight Health has secured $15M in a Series B funding round led by nib. This is the ASX-listed insurance company's third investment in Midnight Health in 19 months, bringing their ownership stake to 77%.
The funding comes amid regulatory changes forcing MedTechs to adopt phone or video consultations before prescription issuance.
Founded in 2020, Midnight Health offers home delivery for 27 products across several brands. The MedTech start-up addresses many health concerns across its four ‘house of brands’, including STIs, weight-loss, skincare, and general health. Midnight Health has served over 85,000 Australians with e-scripts, home deliveries, and over 100,000 doctor consultations. The strategic capital will be used to develop the platform further with nib viewing the company as an essential part of helping them become a health management company as well as a health insurer.
Due Diligence: Tech Business News
EV / PropTech
Outbound charges with pre-Seed to offer EVs as amenities
Queensland-based Outbound, a provider of all-electric car clubs for property developers, has closed a pre-Seed round. The funding comes as the business closes its largest installation of EVs yet in Sydney's Salesforce Tower. The value of the round remains undisclosed but is understood to be a ‘friends & family‘ angel round by those close to the business. Outbound provides electric vehicles as an exclusive amenity to residential, commercial, hotel and retail properties. The platform allows residents and property owners 24/7 access to unlock the cars without keys by reserving them through the Outbound App. The platform works with EV providers, including Tesla, Polestar, Mercedes and Hyundai.
For landlords, the service is an easy bolt-on value add. Many landlords must now include EV chargers in new builds, and offering an inclusive EV service can help fill commercial and residential buildings. Outbound also sweetens the offer by taking on the EVs' maintenance, cleaning and insurance. Outbound has locked in traction already with notable projects, including the Newlands residential community and the $400M Merchant house redevelopment in Sydney's CBD. The company is positioning itself for another raise in 2024.
Due Diligence: SMH
If you're a founder or investor who has just closed a round, please reach out to us at [email protected]
3 well-known start-ups closed crowdfunding campaigns via Birchal this week.
Seabin raised $1.17M from 1194 investors
The start-up that previously sold floating bins to collect ocean waste is now building a software platform that sells impact data to government departments and private companies.
Pleasant State raised $1.06M from 724 investors
The company sells sustainable 'just add water' home cleaning products and in just 3 years since launch claims to be in over 200,000 homes.
Cassava Bags raised $760k+ from 519 investors
The company is "revolutionising the world of single-use plastics" with products made from a plant-based bio-resin. This bio-resin won over investors as it replicates the properties of traditional plastic but is 100% biodegradable and compostable. Cassava Bags have been used as mailers, pet waste bags and shopping bags.
LaunchVic & the TechCouncil of Australia released their 'Start-up Skills Report' on the talent ecosystem in Victoria. Here’s a speedy summary of the 24-page report.
The Victorian start-up ecosystem employs 52,000 people, with 30,000 jobs created in the last 5 years.
The ecosystem has seen significant growth, with estimated enterprise value growth from 2016 to 2022 of $5.6B to $91B.
Due to massive growth, start-ups face unique challenges in sourcing talent for their growing team despite a huge surplus of talent able to take on the roles.
There is an estimated 25,000 Victorians capable (as defined as having the technical ability) of taking on any start-up job advertised.
Establish information campaigns to attract senior talent from non-start-up roles.
Establish a strategic advice voucher program to incentivise start-ups to engage with HR specialists.
Increase education on the benefits of working within a start-up.
Clearly, the Victorian ecosystem is going through growing pains, and many are yet to ‘see the light’ when it comes to working in a start-up. Interestingly, the report highlights start-up cultural differences and expectations, putting many potential employees off. These hesitations can be summarised by long hours, lower remuneration packages, and expectations of company failure.
Regrow Ag 🏆 Named one of the Most Influential Companies of 2023 by Time Magazine. (EIN Newswires)
Regrow Ag began life in 2016, as part of Sydney University’s “Inventing the Future” innovation program. Its Ukrainian-born founder and aeronautical engineer Dr Anastasia Volkova has a PhD in autonomous drone navigation. She moved to the US from Australia in 2020 to drive the company’s growth in that market.
JOLT 🔌 Secures a deal to roll out 5000 EV chargers in Canada. (Business News Australia)
The Sydney-based start-up has struck up a partnership with Canadian telco TELUS, which will provide free WiFi at the charging stations. They expect to start the rollout later this year.
Vaxxas 💉 The needle-free vaccine start-up was all over the news this week as it opened the doors to its new Brisbane headquarters. (Business News Australia)
Founded in 2011 the company raised $32M late last year to fund its manufacturing capabilities as well as progress clinical trials, including one for the seasonal flu vaccine.
Electralith 🔋 Is developing technology that promises to dramatically increase the efficiency of lithium manufacturing (Australian Manufacturing)
The start-up spun out of Monash University could be onto a winner with lithium being an essential component in the production of batteries for EVs and renewable energy storage.
Startmate Monthly Drinks - Thurs 29th June 📍 Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane
Register to attend this casual networking event at locations across three major cities.
HATCH Taronga Zoo Pitch Night - Wed 28th June 📍 Sydney
The six teams who have been part of the 6-month program pitch their ideas to improve wildlife conservation and create a more sustainable future. The winner will receive $50k to accelerate their venture. Register to attend here.
Founders Fireside Networking - Thurs 29th June 📍 Maroochydore
Meet the AWS team to learn about how they can support your start-up, join a founder fireside chat with Juliette Murphy from FloodMapp and top it all off with drinks & a rooftop BBQ. Register for free here.
Climate Salad Climate Tech Industry Report Launch - Tues 27th June 📍 Sydney
The Climate Salad team and community are celebrating the launch of the annual 2023 Australian Climate Tech Industry Report which contains the most comprehensive data about the demographics, climate impact, diversity, jobs, growth, technology and innovation, and capital raising within the Australian climate tech industry. General Admission tickets are $27.50 and cheaper for members.
UniversityBonfire is looking for speaker applications
“Aus’ most ambitious university student entrepreneurship gathering”, hosted by the University of Queensland Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society (UQIES) is looking for speakers to inspire its audience of aspiring entrepreneurs. Apply here.
LUNA Startup Drinks - Thurs 29th June 📍 Byron Bay
LUNA has joined forces with StartUp Northern Rivers to host founders, investors, operators and everyone in between for drinks at Bryon’s Stone & Wood Brewery. Tickets are $10 with all proceeds donated to the Byron Community Centre.
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 💁♀️ Demand Curve Growth Newsletter
This is my new favourite newsletter. It shares the top growth strategies and tactics used by fast-growing start-ups. They also have a heap of high-quality ‘playbooks’ for those looking to up-skill in marketing, such as this one on Content-Led SEO.
Will’s Pick #1 💁♂️ TDM Growth Partners: The Punch Card Mentality
TDM Growth Partners is a growth investor that focuses on later-stage private and public businesses. Since its founding, the fund has compounded at 25% for 17 years. One of their founding principles is keeping a small portfolio of 10-15 investments. This article explores their ‘punch card’ mentality and how keeping to a limited number of investments keeps them focused.
Will’s Pick #2 💁♂️ Compromised Cap Tables Create Consequences by Abhishek Maran from Rampersand
As venture exists in the private markets, we rarely see valuations in raise headlines. As a result, the founder dilution is often kept behind closed doors. Information asymmetry at its best. Abhishek runs through several cap table scenarios to help founders better understand how an investor can impact their cap table and what a standard dilution can look like.
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‘Til next time,
👋 Will & Gem