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River City Labs raises $150,000 investment fund for its inaugural accelerator program, powered by muru-D


Start-up hub and co-working community River City Labs has recently successfully raised and closed an investment fund totalling $150,000, to sit behind its inaugural, three-month ‘River City Labs Accelerator’ program, powered by muru-D.

Twelve local investors have contributed to the fund, including several mentors and advisors from the Accelerator program, as well as angel investors and investment fund managers, Black Sheep Capital and Blue Sky Venture Capital.

Entrepreneur In Residence for the program, Aaron Birkby (pictured), said, “The interest shown in the investment fund was incredible, with new investors wanting to come on board even after the funding round had closed.”

“It has allowed us to activate new, invaluable relationships with angel investors and will give us the opportunity to further collaborate with Blue Sky Funds as they’ve now volunteered their services to manage the fund.

“I have no doubt that incentivising investment for future programs will be even easier as the Brisbane ecosystem continues to grow from strength to strength,” Aaron added.

Founder of River City Labs, and one of the fund’s investors, Steve Baxter, said, “What an encouraging sign for both the community here at River City Labs and the wider Brisbane startup scene.”

“The success of this capital raise over such a short period of time is testament to the quality of the five startups – I have high expectations for all the teams involved in the Accelerator program and am looking forward to seeing what level they are at following the completion of the program.”

Who is taking part in River City Labs Accelerator?

The five start-ups participating in the River City Labs Accelerator program are:

  • ProcessPA– Software­-as­-a­-service that takes all the anxiety and time out of your minutes, motions and meetings for School Parent Bodies and Incorporated Associations.
  • GreenSocks– The easiest way to get your lawn mowed by people who want to make money, mowing lawns.
  • Outbound– Provides a simple, efficient and safe social network for travellers to connect.
  • ParkFit– The mobile app that helps you discover nearby crowd-sourced and publicly available workout structures, making it easy to workout outdoors for free.
  • Puntaa– A peer-to-peer social betting platform, allowing custom bets between friends on anything, social sharing of those bets, and bets to be paid out, all on mobile.

Each start-up began their 14-week residency at River City Labs earlier in September, receiving $20,000 of seed investment funding upon their commencement ($10,000 each from River City Labs fund and muru-D).

Those teams that meet their traction targets following the completion of their residency will receive a further $20,000 in funding from the River City Labs fund.

How is the accelerator going so far?

“We are currently in week four of the River City Labs Accelerator program and already the teams have participated in eight masterclasses, have heard from a multiple number of guest speakers, and have publicly pitched to over 500 people,” Aaron told Anthill.

“The teams are now reaching that point where they realise just how much they don’t know, and how much more there is to do and learn.

“Every week the five teams are running multiple experiments to test and validate the different aspects of their business model.

“In light of this, they are changing pricing, targeting new customer segments, and in one case, pivoting their product to a new area of focus.

“Last week Puntaa went live with their social betting service on Android, and in the first launch event there were 70 transactions made through their app.”

One of the teams, GreenSocks, has been posting weekly wrap-up blogs, and they make for some pretty interesting reading. Check them out here, here and here.