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$200 million bounty awaits startups as Innovation Investment Fund picks 3 venture partners


The Australian government has named Carnegie Venture Capital Pty. Ltd., GBS Venture Partners Pty. Ltd. and Innovation Capital Associates Pty Ltd. as the latest beneficiaries of its Innovation Investment Fund.

Carnegie will receive matching grants of up to $40 million while GBS and Innovation Capital will receive $30 million each.

With total matching funding of $100 million coming from Tranche 4 and Round 3 of the 15-year-old Innovation Investment Fund, Australian early-stage startups can expect to raise $200 million.

Funding, and mentorship, too

“This is a huge boost for Australian start-ups,” Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet said. “These new fund managers will provide crucial equity capital and essential management expertise to a whole range of promising companies across the economy.”

Combet also pointed out that the government, as part of its Plan for Australian Jobs, has announced a new $350 million round of the IIF Program. The IIF, which began funding startups in 1998, has established 16 funds over three prior rands. It has co-invested in companies such as Seek, Bionomics, Pharmaxis and Benthic Geotech.

“Successful startups are essential to creating new products, jobs and economic growth. The IIF will continue to co-invest government capital with private investor capital into early-stage Australian technology based companies,” he said.

Carnegie’s Innovation Fund No. 2 focuses life sciences, information technology and Internet-enabled sectors, clean technology and other industries. The GBS BioVentures V IIF fund will be a specialist one on life sciences; and Innovation Capital’s proposed general fund will back services and high-margin manufacturing companies.