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Australian Angel investors have a growing taste for Cleantech, at the expense of internet plays

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A national survey, released this week by capital raising magazine Wholesale Investor, suggests that Australian private investors have a growing preference for Cleantech, at the expense of Internet and IT plays.

According to the survey, compiled from a registered database of 5,400 high net worth, wholesale, professional and international investors for the second quarter (April to June) of 2010, the sectors that investors are seeking to invest in right now are:

  • Cleantech (42.7%)
  • Mining (30.0%)
  • Internet/IT (28.2%)
  • Property (27.3%)
  • Biotech/Life Sciences (22.7%)

This represents a significant shift from the January to March quarter survey, which indicated a greater preference for Internet/IT investments, at 25.3% and Cleantech at 22.1%.

The study also indicates that angels may, indeed, ‘travel in flocks’. According to the survey, 35.5% of investors have over five (5) people in their networks who have also invested in private companies.

While the private investors naturally seek a high return, other considerations also affect their investment decisions:

  • 46.9% of investors surveyed are targeting an IRR of over 25% when investing into Private and Pre-IPO opportunities.
  • 20.8% said their investments are strategic in nature.

Asia was identified as the most attractive growth market according to the investors surveyed:

  • Asia is overwhelmingly believed to have the greatest export potential for Australian companies (83.2%).
  • The Middle East second (23.8%).
  • Asia and North America were the top two (2) geographical regions for Australian investors.

More generally:

  • 60.4% of investors are seeking to invest into Private companies, with 50.5% seeking Pre-IPO opportunities
  • Most investors are looking to contribute intellectual capital and business networks, along with their financial capital, to their investments
  • 61.4% of investors believe now is a good time to invest
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