Aussie Start-up & Venture Capital Summary | 29th July 2023
There’s a common theme inside… can you guess it?
G'day and welcome to Overnight Success! Special announcement day has arrived. Introducing our new website, overnightsuccess.vc!
Over the coming months, we’ll build out more databases as free ecosystem resources that we’ll keep up to date. Kicking off, we’ve launched the ‘Funding database’, which includes VCs, Venture Debt, Accelerators and Grants available for Aussie start-ups. Each database has some nifty filtering tools to find relevant resources for you.
Got feedback? Found a broken link? Give us a holla. 👋
💃 Who (should) run (more of) the (start-up) world? Girls.
The need for increased focus on supporting more diverse start-up founders, especially female founders, has been a hot topic for (too) many years.
This week 13 Australian VCs, including major players AirTree & Blackbird, have agreed to disclose more comprehensive data about their screening process and final investment decisions for women-led businesses, broken down into three categories of; all-women teams, mixed teams and all-male teams. (Smart Company)
A recent report from The Federal Department of Industry, Science and Resources highlighted low female participation in STEM high school and tertiary education, which could contribute to the lack of women starting their own tech ventures. (Startup Daily)
Meanwhile, UQ Ventures has launched its Empower Women’s Accelerator. Participants will receive support through mentoring, weekly seminars, network building, promotional opportunities, co-working space, and $10,000 in equity-free funding. (Business News Australia)
On the latest episode of The Fin Podcast, the hosts discussed the potentially positive impacts of Nicola Forrest, a long-time supporter of female-founded ventures, recently becoming one of the wealthiest individuals in Australia. Take a listen here.
It’s a good time to be in AI & ClimateTech (Smart Company)
According to KPMG’s Q2 Venture Pulse Report, investment in Aussie start-ups fell by ~US$2.5B in the first half of 2023. However, securing funds hasn’t been so tricky for AI and ClimateTech companies, with funding into both sectors remaining relatively stable.
Cartelux raises $3M 'post-Seed' to help global brands manage their digital marketing
Queensland-based Cartelux has secured $3M in a post-Seed funding round backed by the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) and TEN13, the syndicated investment group. Cartelux automates digital ad processes for global automotive brands, providing a centralised marketing platform for large networks and franchisees. Cartelux already counts Ford, BMW, Nissan, Mini, Aston Martin and Toyota as clients.
The Cartelux helps simplify creating, localising, amplifying and measuring a marketing campaign. Cartelux focuses on localising and amplifying with simple tools that enable marketing teams to run effective campaigns at scale.
After working with Mini Australia, the original platform served a diverse range of clients but pivoted into automotive after seeing a clear pain point. This capital injection will help fuel the development of its software solutions and support the expansion of its sales, engineering, and product teams.
Q-CTRL adds another $3.83M to its now $80M Series B
Sydney-based Q-CTRL has secured an additional $3.83M for its Series B funding round, bringing the total raised to $80M million (US$54). The recent financing saw the involvement of US-Australian VC Morpheus Ventures, adding to a cap table already boasting Salesforce Ventures, Airbus Ventures, and Main Sequence.
Q-CTRL's software helps stabilise quantum hardware, overcoming some major challenges in the quantum computing field. This stabilisation will allow for quantum computing in real-world applications. Recently, Q-CTRL partnered with Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) to improve algorithmic performance for quantum developers and researchers. It is also planning new offices in the UK and Berlin following a 40% annual growth in staff. Q-CTRL also received a $2.4M grant from the NSW Government’s Quantum Computing Commercialisation Fund last week. Read more in last week's edition here.
Due Diligence: Startup Daily
Silicon Quantum Computing secures $50.4M Series A at a $195.3M post-money
Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) has secured a $50.4M Series A funding round. This raise included existing investors such as the Australian government, Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Despite the softened funding environment, SQC's valuation doubled from $82.8M to $195.3M post-raise. The round comes after a thirteen-month process from its initial announcement, which originally sought $130M.
Founded in 2017, SQC is developing the world's first integrated circuit at the atomic scale. It does this using proprietary technology to build quantum models for various materials and is in the process of developing a 'full stack' quantum computer.
The funds from the round will support the development of SQC's second technical milestone - a 100-qubit quantum device. The company aims to deliver commercially practical quantum computing by 2028.
Due Diligence: Business News Australia
Techstars unveils its latest accelerator cohort with capital injections of $180k+
🐕 DogBase: Redefining working dogs' interactions through AI.
💍 Femtek: The first menstrual health focused smart ring.
🚨 Gecko: Make renting event items 10x easier.
🛠️ GoTradie: WeChat for the blue-collar world.
🏠 LARKI: AI-powered collaborative 3D survey data & models.
📔 Latent Knowledge: Research tools leveraging artificial intelligence and natural language processing to find better results in academia, bio-med and law enforcement.
🌲 Mantaray Climate: Enabling climate-friendly purchase decisions.
📜 Outread: Influential research papers summarised using AI.
🧑💻 Pico: Learn coding the fun way by building games.
👋 SeenCulture: HR tool that helps promote diversity, equity and inclusion by illuminating untapped potential.
🛒 some.place: Immersive social commerce using virtual reality experiences.
⚰️ Violet: Helping people navigate the last stage of life.
Due Diligence: Techstars Announcement
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?
Founded in 2017 to address the ‘valley of death’ between research and commercialisation, it appears science-backed ideas have good chemistry in the market, with the fund’s portfolio companies reportedly now valued at $6.8B.
This is their largest raise to date, including $150M from the Federal Government.
Sapia.ai is an AI-powered chat interviewer that can interview thousands of candidates simultaneously via chat to curate a shortlist of talent.
Founder, Barb Hyman, will fly to Portugal in November to represent Australia at the KPMG Global Tech Innovator competition.
Mums & Co, a female-founded business network for mums & women, has been acquired by IAG.
The community has grown to 28,600 users and focuses on helping women in business grow.
KaaS (Knowledge as a Service)
Gemma’s Pick 💁♀️
Almost every business has a newsletter, but unfortunately, most of them are boring 🦇💩. The resurgence of the email newsletter as a business of its own (or the beginning of a larger one…) shows that newsletters can be great when done correctly. This piece I wrote recently for Leedr. outlines my top tips for writing a newsletter people want to read from our experience at Overnight Success!
Will’s Pick 💁♂️ Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny - 2016 Profile in The New Yorker
I found this long-form profile on Altman immensely interesting. It was mainly because it was written in 2016, and a little NFP was founded called OpenAI. Additionally, the article shines a light on how Altman thinks and how he thought about YC and early-stage companies in general. Long one, but worth it!
Have we missed something? Got some feedback? We love emails, so send one over!
‘Til next time,
👋 Will & Gem