While it always feels like day one, 2019 marked seven years into our journey at Square Peg. Smash-cut from 2012, and we've come a long way from those first few days with our laptops open in a small office in Melbourne. Our greatest privilege continues to be working with the founders we do - and to all of them, we say thank you.
This year, we welcomed five new companies into our portfolio of 34 — 🇮🇱Aidoc, 🇦🇺Amber, 🇦🇺HealthMatch, 🇸🇬Neuron and 🇦🇺Q-CTRL — all working on ideas that in success, will move humanity forward. We also marked significant IPO milestones for Fiverr and Prospa, and the acquisitions of UHG and Puresec.
In total, we invested over US$86m into our portfolio in both new and follow-on investments. The smallest cheque size was US$1.4m for a seed round, the largest was US$19m for a Series C round.
We're currently investing out of our AU$340m 2018 fund, and manage over AU$0.8B.
Here’s how 2019 went down.
🇦🇺 Athena Home Loans launched on February 25 and fielded over AU$250m worth of mortgage applications in three days!
🇮🇱 Lightbits Labs busted out of stealth mode and announced they'd raised US$50m from Square Peg and others to expand their team of 50 and continue development of the NVMe/TCP protocol - separating compute and storage for data centres.
🌈 We hosted the first of our monthly founder dinners, which saw us host over 100 founders over the year.
⚡️ Ben Hensman was promoted to Senior Associate.
⚡️ Karen Wu joined the team in the Sydney office as our Office Manager and Executive Assistant.
🇮🇱 We invested in Michael Braginsky, Elad Walach and Guy Reiner from Aidoc, a healthcare AI startup improving patient outcomes through deep-learning medical image diagnosis; leading their US$27m Series B round.
🇦🇺UHG was acquired by MedHealth, to strengthen their ability to deliver better health outcomes for customers. Congratulations, Brandon, Nicky and Rob!
⚡️ We moved into our beautiful new Sydney office on Foveaux Street in Surry Hills and rebranded the company. We now live in our company swag.
🇦🇺 Prospa IPO'd on the ASX, continuing on their mission to help small businesses access flexible finance - watch them ring the bell. Tony Holt and Tushar Roy wrote up their reflections on working with Greg, Beau and the Prospa team.
⚡️We hosted the first of our bi-annual team off-sites, with a focus on founder attributes and investment process.
🚀 Aidoc got FDA approval for their third AI solution to help radiologists triage critical injuries. The C-Spine fracture algorithm joined their Head (Intracranial haemorrhage) and Chest (pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, rib fractures and lung nodules) solutions with FDA clearance.
⚡️ Amanda Hjorring, Square Peg's phenomenal COO was made Partner.
🇦🇺 We invested in Mike Biercuk from Q-CTRL, a startup forging the path to practically-functional quantum computers by providing software to analyse and control qubit decoherence; leading their US$15m Series A round. Read the press.
🌈 The team joined the #ClimateStrikes in Australia, to demand action on climate change.
🌈 We hosted Summit, gathering the global Square Peg portfolio together in San Francisco for 48 hours of hyper-intense community-led growth. In addition to radically candid founder-led presentations, we were joined by Keith Rabois, Elad Gil, Robyn Denholm, Nick Molnar, Merav Bloch, Bill Macaitis, Will Gabrick and more for a huge dose of perspective and insight. See the highlights on twitter.
We also went sailing, hiking and yoga-ing.
⚡️ In Israel, Tair Kowalsky Bass joined as Head of Growth (R) and Hagar Perez, as Office Manager and Executive Assistant (L).
🌈 Paul published an Op-Ed in the AFR on the importance of Innovation and why Australia is not prepared for a future of global disruptors.
🇦🇺 We led Athena's AU$70m Series C in September with co-invest support from our LP, Hostplus, plus Airtree, Australian Super, NAB Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. Read some of the press or Paul and Ben's follow-on investment notes.
🌈 We helped up-and-coming tech stars join Web Direction's Conference in Sydney, sponsoring all of the Diversity and Inclusion Tickets.
⚡️ We began recruiting for a Senior Associate/Principal, Portfolio Analyst and CFO to join the Square Peg Team.
🌈 We hosted the Aussie Tech Tour, showcasing the best of the Australian technology ecosystem - startups, accelerators, investors, co-working spaces, thought-leaders, corporates - to local and international investors.
🇦🇺 We invested in Manuri Gunawardena from HealthMatch, a healthcare startup matching patients to clinical trials through; co-leading their AU$6m Series A round. Read some of the press or Paul's Investment Notes.
🇸🇬 We invested again in FinAccel, a fintech startup providing fast, cheap and accessible financial services for the underbanked in Southeast Asia; co-leading their US$90m Series C. Read some of the press.
🌈 We hosted our annual Investor event - this year in Sydney - bringing together our LPs and Founders for an update on the Square Peg funds. Huge thanks to Micha and Ofer from Fiverr for making the trip Downunder.
⚡️ We hosted our second all-hands bi-annual offsite, with a focus on team strategy and goals for 2020.
🇸🇬 We invested in Zach Wang and Harry Yu from Neuron, a micromobility e-scooter startup; co-leading their US$18.5m Series A with GSR Ventures. Read some of the press or Tush's Investment Notes. Please look at the best photograph of Leila we've ever taken.
🚀 Amber Electric was awarded a grant under the SA Government’s Demand Management Trials Program to deliver an Automated Demand Response Trial with 1000 customers in South Australia.
⚡️ Over the year, we sent 89664 slack messages and an outrageous number of emails. We set up our new favourite channel, #learnings, where we share our most insightful lesson for the week. We participated in 000’s of hours of calls for boards and countless hours with our portfolio teams. One of us lost that bet on bitcoin. We wrote and absorbed 18 x 360-degree development feedback for each other. We celebrated the next career move for three colleagues. We hosted over 100 founders for dinner. We also reviewed and refined the majority of our internal processes.
🚀 In short, it was a magnificent year.
Square Peg’s mission is to back outstanding founders across Israel, ANZ and Southeast Asia. We are humbled to work with founders who are shaping the future. If you’re building something extraordinary and consider yourself a square peg in a world of round holes, we’d love to meet you in 2020
Looking forward to it…!
P.S. If you're reflecting on your year, and want to join a high-growth company, there has never been a better time to find a role.