A record-breaking year for many companies in the portfolio, 2021 was another for the history books.
⚡️ Total capital invested: US $300 million 🚀 New portfolio investments: 14 startups (Pluang, Vow, Joyous, Neara, OnLoop, ZeroCo + 9 in stealth) 👏 Follow-on investments: 17 companies 💌 Capital returned to investors: US $170 million ✌️ New team members: 14 🌏 IPOs/SPAC/Acquisitions: 4 🐣 New babies: 2
There's no doubt about it: the community of founders we work with are truly exceptional. And it's worth noting that the headlines, fundraising stats and growth metrics are the output of the real work that goes on behind the scenes—the immense grit, creativity and joy which our portfolio founders and their teams bring to their work every day. We see their work in high-fidelity, up-close and are fortunate to work with them all.
Square Peg came early, and looked at a non traditional business with fresh eyes. I didn't expect them to support us for so long, but they kept investing in every round until the very late stages - supporting the company in the good and the bad times. The team is a down to earth, extremely professional group of people, who's fun to work with and sees beyond the hype.
- Bruce Buchanan's Rokt made history this year announcing a AUD$458m Series E raise, making them the third most-valuable private Australian tech company. This record-breaking fundraise comes as the team prepares for an IPO in 2023.
- Airwallex cracked the $5b valuation mark, raising USD$200m in Series E round, and another USD$100m in their Series E1.
- Canva raised $200m earning a valuation of USD$40b.
- We led Vow’s AUD$6m Seed round, joining founders George and Tim on their mission to make sustainable food both irresistible and available to billions of people. James explored the cellular meat revolution and our investment thesis in his investment notes.
- We led Pluang’s USD$55m Series B round. Read Tushar Roy's investment notes where he details the incredible ambition of the team to seize an opportunity to empower a generation in Indonesia to create wealth via investing.
- FinAccel, on a mission to bring affordable credit to SEA markets, announced their decision to go public on NASDAQ via a merger with Victory Park Capital’s SPAC. The team also partnered with Standard Chartered Bank to offer BNPL to Indonesian customers.
- Southeast Asian realty company PropertyGuru announced their decision to go public via Bridgetown 2 Holdings’ SPAC.
- Tomorrow.io announced their decision to go public via SPAC merger with Pine Technology Acquisition Corp. This came after a rebrand and a USD$77m Series D funding round.
- We joined Daniel Danilatos and the Neara team on their mission to bring infrastructure to the digital world, leading their AUD$7.25m Series A. James Tynan wrote up his investment notes.
- Aidoc raised USD$66m in their Series C round. The funding going towards expanding their platform to support the most innovative health systems and radiology practices around the world with Aidoc’s latest Always On AI.
- Business banking alternative, Zeller launched their all-in-one payments and financial services product and raised AUD$50m. The team also recently announced that 10’000 businesses have switched to the platform since May.
- Q-CTRL announced its USD$25m Series B led by Airbus Ventures. The team are on a mission to build the world’s most advanced quantum control software, enabling engineers, developers, and researchers to build stable, reliable quantum computers and quantum sensors.
- Athena set a new record for the largest capital raise completed entirely from local venture funds. They raised AUD$90m breaking their own record in the process.
- We led Joyous’ NZD$15m Series A round. Joyous is an employee feedback SaaS tool designed for large corporates with thousands of employees. Barry Brott wrote up his investment notes exploring the opportunity.
- We led Zero Co’s AUD$6m Series A raise and joined Mike and the team on their mission to untrash the planet by giving single-use plastic the flick. As part of their raise, Zero Co also set a record-breaking community powered $5m fundraise through crowdsourcing site, Birchal.
- UpGuard, the cybersecurity management company helping businesses to manage security risks across their supply chain, raised their AUD$19m Series B.
- Amber Electric raised AUD$20m with Commonwealth Bank. A massive milestone for the team, we are looking forward to a world where all homes are powered by 100% renewable energy.
- Retrain.ai raised a further USD$7m in their USD$20m Series A raise. The funds will be used to expand in the US and hire key talent.
- Doctor Anywhere, on a mission to use technology and innovation to transform the way people access healthcare, raised S$88M (US$65.7M) in series C fundraising, bringing the total raised to more than US$100 million.
- Sternum raised USD$27m in their Series B from Spark Capital just one year after their $6.5m Series A which we were proud to lead. The new funding will be used to triple the size of their already world leading data and engineering teams.
- We co-led OnLoop's USD$5.5m Seed raise with MassMutual Ventures. OnLoop make teams better by turning reflection and feedback into insights that drive actionable learning.
- This list doesn't include startups in stealth.
We sent 45 newsletters as part of the All Signal Series, a weekly wrap full of original long-form content, insights, news and job openings at our portfolio companies. You can subscribe here. Below is a list of the most popular deep-dives.
"Finally, a VC newsletter that doesn't suck. I genuinely feel smarter."
- Casey Flint explored the new $300b market that's transforming workplaces: Culture-as-a-Service.
- Dan Krasnostein's viral post shows the growth of the Australian tech ecosystem: The dawn of a golden age of tech.
- James Tynan wrote up his lessons from managing four different auto-immune diseases in a post that redefined what productivity looks like: The importance of energy management.
- Orly Amir collated her experience at Riskified, Google and 8200 to help companies transition towards data-driven decision making: How to be data-driven from day one.
- Yonatan Sela summarised the major changes in crypto and why investors must join the revolution: It's too expensive to ignore crypto.
- Lucy Tan wants to invest in ed-tech founders: Ed-techs haven't transformed the world... yet.
- Ed Barker believes Southeast Asia has hit a crucial tipping point in talent, capital and ambition: Southeast Asian Tech Titans.
- Paul Bassat challenged CEOs to focus on the metrics that matter: Are you obsessed with your customers or profits?
- Dan Krasnostein landed back in Australia after six years in Israel: Israel’s world-class startup culture and what we can learn from them.
- Tony Holt lifted the hood of venture capital fund building: The Unique Attributes of Venture.
- Amanda Hjorring penned a three-part series dedicated to explaining key concepts in venture negotiations: The founder's guide to negotiations and fundraising.
We were joined on the 5* rated Founders Stories Podcast by founders from across the globe. Each episode is a 45m dose of storytelling, industry expertise and fundraising advice from the founders at the very cutting-edge of new technology and company building.
"Listening to these podcasts I feel like I am around the table at a founder’s dinner... privy to intimate stories of where each came from, what drives them, the keys they have found to success and the gifts from failure."
- Vow on the future of sustainable food.
- Elad Gil on how to scale companies.
- Retrain.ai on closing the skills gap using AI.
- Sternum on the importance of cybersecurity now more than ever.
- Ruslan Kogan, founder of Kogan.com on the future of e-commerce.
- Neara on their $6m Seed round and building digital infrastructure.
- Zeller on their mission to take on the big four and revolutionise the banking industry.
- Aconex on the overlooked importance of naivety.
- A megamix on Talent for a special episode for the podcast.
- Ovira on revolutionising the healthcare industry into prioritising women’s health.
- Cloud-based retail platform Vend was acquired by Lightspeed. The world-class teams joined forces to help more retailers enrich the communities they serve
- Stripe, the online payments processing giant, became the most valuable US startup hitting a US$95b valuation.
- Bugcrowd, the crowdsourced cybersecurity platform, was named in Forbes 2021 America’s best startup employers.
- For the second year, Athena won the Mozo Experts Choice Award for Home Loan Innovation.
- Electric scooter startup, Neuron, expanded its international reach and launched in South Korea and Canada.
- StashAway launched in Hong Kong to make wealth management accessible, revolutionising the traditional approach of high commission-based fees and high minimum investment amounts.
- Deputy, Canva and Airwallex who were all named in the top 20 Aussie rising tech stars in The Australian.
- Chope partnered with Chinese payments giant Alipay with the goal to leverage Alipay's technology and know-how to accelerate Chope's rapid growth and evolution into multi-service dining app.
- CAIS won the 2021 WealthManagement award for Alternative Investment Platform.
- Airwallex and StashAway made it on CB Insights’ fourth annual Fintech 250. Airwallex was inducted into the FinTech Australia’s inaugural Hall of Fame and Athena won three awards on the night.
We announced plans to build the Global Tech Fund, a fund specialising in listed technology investments, which we successfully launched earlier this year. We believe there is real advantage in investing across all stages and compounding knowledge up and down the company lifecycle for the benefit of our team, our investors and the founders that we back.
We were also busy hiring, and have grown the team to find, invest in and help more companies. We welcomed eight brilliant new colleagues and expanded our raft of intern programs.
- Lucy Tan, Investment Principal
- Fred Ng, Investment Associate
- Jethro Cohen, Investment Associate
- Awais Khan, Investment Associate
- Marcus Guastella, Investment Analyst - Global Tech Fund
- Osh Jayasuriya, Fund Ops Associate - Global Tech Fund
- Rob Lamb, Head of Talent
- Abbie Karani, Office Manager
- Tracy Bui, Investment Intern.
- Sherrie Zheng, Investment Intern
- Katherine Han, Investment Intern
- Jarrad Sapsford, Comms Intern
- David Wein, Legal Intern
- Venessa Filipendin, Legal Intern
Thank you to our community for another exceptional year building together. Here's to 2022!