The Australian start-up scene has much to look forward to.
Australian venture capital firm OneVentures has announced the first close on its Innovation and Growth Fund II. Having already raised over $60 million, OneVentures is now well on the way to its final $100 million target with strong backing from high net worth and family office investors.
OneVentures is a venture capital firm that invests in emerging Australian companies with differentiated products in the information technology and life sciences targeting a global market. In the last year, OneVentures has reviewed over 450 companies and recently completed several significant financing rounds within its portfolio companies in excess of $10M.
According to Dr Michelle Deaker, Managing Director and CEO at OneVentures, Fund II’s investment focus includes healthcare, education, mobile, media, cloud computing and data, sensors and robotics, and food security. “The rapid rate at which the fund has attracted investment from High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) and family offices reflects the strong appetite for opportunities in high growth technology-based companies in Australia. These ventures will increasingly fill the void left by manufacturing and mining as traditional drivers of economic growth and job creation,” she said.
Venture capital for businesses beyond the start-up stage
Fund II will be focused on investing in businesses that are generally approaching profitability but need capital for scalability and growth. Often, entrepreneurs who run these companies have to look offshore in search for this type of funding. With OneVentures’s latest fund, companies can now have a professional investment option right on home ground.
The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL) has noted that venture capital and private equity funds have over the past decade invested $30 billion into Australian businesses. “This is a tiny fraction of the money sitting in the hands of the country’s HNWIs and superannuation funds,” says Dr Deaker. “There is huge potential for Australia’s economy to enter a new and innovation-based era of growth as more of the money is mobilised through vehicles like Fund II”.
Innovatively speaking, Australia is capable but inefficient
It seems like Australia has some work to do on efficiency front.
A recently published Global Innovation Index (GII) by Cornell University ranked Australia 17th overall in innovation capabilities and identified regulatory quality, secondary and tertiary education, R&D activity, ITC, and general infrastructure and trade policies as clear areas of strength.
However, Australia’s Innovation Efficiency Ratio, a measure of the innovation outputs relative to the innovation inputs is disappointingly low. Ranked 81st , Australia is clearly not delivering what it could. According to Dr Deaker: “The money is not flowing into innovation through investment in venture capital funds as it should and without this, the future of our economy and jobs will be at risk. Fund II combined with the commercial acumen of the team could really make a difference.”
“Our experience with both our first fund OneVentures Innovation Fund and with the first close on Fund II suggests to us that HNWIs and family offices in this country see the opportunity and believe they can really provide an impetus for the development of venture capital businesses through their capital and networks using the experience of the OneVentures team to deliver on the opportunity and build a portfolio of quality assets.
Dr Deaker added that while she is delighted with the successes of OneVentures to date, she encourages the government and the key stakeholders to recognise the role of Venture Capital in the innovation economy and help correct the Australian market’s structural challenges by implementing new programs that will help nurture what is a very small VC community in Australia by global standards.