Techboard’s Latest Funding Report gets coverage in the Australian Financial Review

Company Name: Techboard

Announcement Date: 07/02/2019
Announcement Category: Other
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We are very pleased that our latest funding report got a great writeup in the Australian Financial Review.

Funding for Australia's start-ups and young technology companies rose 40 per cent year-on-year to $1.07 billion in the December quarter, dominated by a $350 million debt raising for challenger bank Judo Capital, according to a study of 160 funding events.

However, there was a worrying fall in public markets support revealed in the quarterly study by Perth-based start-up data and directory provider Techboard, which tracks all forms of fundings raised by growth-oriented companies less than 10 years old.

The $350 million debt facility for Judo, arranged with Credit Suisse in November, was more than triple the size of the quarter's next-largest raising, a $111 million series-B equity raising for workforce management software maker Deputy. The raising continued a run of dominance for financial technology start-ups.

Nura, a maker of headphones personalised by artificial intelligence, was the December quarter's biggest series-A equity raising.

"Since Techboard started collecting data, fintechs have taken an increasing share of overall funding, with those getting the most funding generally having offerings that compete with the parts of the business of the big banks," said Techboard's co-founder and chief executive, Peter van Bruchem.

Small-business financier Prospa raised $43 million from existing investors during the quarter, following its cancelled ASX listing. Fellow data-driven lenders Lumi Finance, Symple Loans and Brighte have all achieved significant equity raises in the past year, as have "neobanks" including Judo Capital and Volt Bank.

"With what has been exposed at the royal commission, we are going to see more funding going into alternative means of banking," Mr van Bruchem said.

Meanwhile it seems investors in technology-driven start-ups are choosing alternative avenues to the Australian Securities Exchange, which was the venue for just 10.7 per cent of funding in the December quarter, down from 33 per cent in the September quarter and also down year-on-year.

"The positive economic impact of the increased levels of private funding will be lessened if the levels of public funding for young tech companies do not recover," Mr van Bruchem said.

He noted that two of the major public placements to technology companies during the quarter could not be counted because of the 10-year age limit set by Techboard. These were $92 million to WebJet, founded in 1997, and $40 million to 11 year-old Avita Medical, the regenerative medicine company founded by plastic surgeon Fiona Wood.

Debt was the largest part of the funding mix in the December quarter thanks to Judo's facility, at 36.6 per cent of total funding.
Private investment from venture capital and angel investors was next at 33.9 per cent, with Deputy's $111 million raise followed by series-B rounds of $25 million for Athena Home Loans and $22 million for Data Republic. There were also unusually large series-A rounds of $21 million for personalised headphone developer Nura, and $19 million for Huddle, an insurance start-up that claims to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reduce fraud and get honest claimants paid within seconds.

It was a strong month for acquisitions of local technology companies. Spookfish, a Perth-based aerial imagery company, was snapped up by United States competitor EagleView for $137 million, while the PEXA e-conveyancing platform's $1.6 billion sale to a consortium including Commonwealth Bank was not settled until January and will not show up until next quarter's study.

Falling outside the 10-year limit were Avoka Technologies, founded in 2002 and sold to Temenos for $339 million, and 22-year-old Smartfreight, sold to WiseTech Global for $55 million.

The decline of initial coin offerings accelerated, with just three reported in the quarter, raising a total of $16 million, down from 11 ICOs raising $61 million in the previous quarter. However, in a nod to the opacity that has turned investors off the asset class, Mr van Bruchem said Techboard had been unable to confirm whether these publicised amounts were actually raised.

The full report can be accessed at:

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About Techboard:

Techboard is Australia's largest directory of startup and tech companies and the best source of funding data on Australian startup and tech companies.

Techboard is the number one source for up-to-date data on Australian startups and young tech companies. We currently have profiles on over 3,000 startups in the Techboard Directory. We are actively tracking funding events for these companies. Using this information, we produce Australia’s most comprehensive funding reports and make our funding data available to commercial subscribers.

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On the back of our ever growing data resource, we have an unsurpassed ability to produce specialised reports for internal or external use, and provide access to our ever expanding database. Our data enables us to report on sectoral or geographical trends as well as being able to monitor the progress of individual or groups of companies.

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