Funding Report September Quarter 2018

We are very pleased to release our Funding Report for the September quarter of 2018 revealing $1.085b of funding for Australian startups and young tech companies.

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The last month has seen the release of two major reports by Startup Muster and LaunchVic which both provide useful insights into the Australia and Victorian Startup Ecosystems both of which were survey-based. Techboard’s approach differs from both in that rather than just using survey-based methodologies we actively monitor press coverage and announcements from the over 2500 companies in the Techboard Directory, as well as funding events we identify from companies not yet in the Directory. We also supplement this with data that is reported to us by companies, investors and others. We just report on funding events we uncover. 

I encourage you to login and access the interactive charts which are really useful to enable a better understanding of the funding environment by state sector or funding type. Very soon we will be opening up access to the funding events underlying the reports. If you are interested in accessing our data register your interest below and we will be in contact with you.

Peter van Bruchem
CEO and Chief Startup Evangelist

This is the first quarterly report since the release of our first Annual Funding Report for the 2017/2018 Financial Year.  In that annual report we set out our methodology and definitions. Since that report we have made some minor adjustments to our approach. Firstly, we have elected to exclude from our reports substantial funding events that are primarily for the purpose of purchasing property, and construction. On this basis we have not included an $850m investment secured by AirTrunk for expansion of its datacentres which represented the the largest funding by an Australian data centre company to date. We have also remove the rather arbitrary distinction between what we were calling VC funding (but which represented private funding including from a VC $2m or greater) and angel/seed which represented private funding including from individuals usually described as angel investors. We are now capturing all private investment from venture capital firms, family offices, corporate and angel investors (aside from Accelerator funding and Equity Crowdfunding) under the descriptor of "Private Investment".

For the September quarter we identified 170 funding events across a broad range of funding types ranging from accelerator program funding, acquisitions, angel/seed investment, crowdfunding (reward and equity), major debt instruments (sometimes called venture debt), grants (including awards and prizes), initial coin offerings, initial public offerings and reverse takeovers, ASX placements and venture capital/large scale private investment.

The quarter saw an increase in funding over what was seen in the 2017/18 year. The funding events we identified for the September quarter 2018 represent more than the average quarterly funding for 2017/18 of around $875m, a big recovery from the $636m identified for the June quarter 2018 and up from $743m in the September quarter 2017.  As well as overall funding levels increasing, the size of investments is also on the up with the quarter seeing five published investments with a value of $50m and more compared to only four of $50m or more for the whole of 2017/18.

In a continuing trend from the Techboard annual report for the 17/18 financial year, Fintech continued to dominate the funding landscape with almost half of all funding (over 47%) going to fintech and crypto companies. Fintech also had the three largest raises Judo Capital ($140m), Afterpay ($117m) and Airwallex ($109m).  Other sectors that saw significant funding activity were Health and Biotech, Business Software, People Solutions and Location and Mapping.

The three largest raises were all by Victorian companies, which contributed to Victoria taking out the spot for most money raised by a State with 58% of all funding for the quarter at $627m which which represented a big jump from $300m in the June quarter 2018. New South Wales had a much quieter quarter with $232m (21.5%) down slightly from $284 in the June quarter 2018 on reported deal values.  The largest deals captured for NSW were Nearmap (ASX:NEA) who raised $70m in a placement, Get Capital who secured the largest reported debt financing of $50m and Flare HR who raised $21m from a US Venture Fund. 

Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory saw marked increases in funding from the June quarter 2018. The biggest funding event captured for WA was Perth based Biotech, Auscann (ASX:AC8) which raised $33.4m in a placement. Significant raises in Queensland were Gilmour Space Technologies ($19m) and Go1 which raised $10m.  South Australian Cleantech 1414 Degrees (ASX:14D) raised $16.3m in an IPO and Invox Finance secured $9.84m in an ICO. Canberra-based InstaClustr raised $20.8m in a Private round.

Against the trend elsewhere in Australia Queensland saw a reduction in funding from the September Quarter 2017, although this is not the case  if the NextDC $300m debt facility is excluded from consideration.

The September quarter in 2018 saw private investment (including VC) represent a total of $571m across 72 deals with an average deal size of $8m although with deals sub $2m excluded (which are mainly seed/angel deals) the average rises to $12.66m.  These numbers exclude some quite likely significant (possibly in excess of $25m+) raises by the likes of Q-ctrl and Future Super mentioned above.

The amount of public investment (in this quarter, just on the ASX) jumped markedly from the June quarter with $357m across 3 initial public offerings and 11 placements compared to just under $100m from the June quarter and $150m for the Sept quarter 2018. The largest IPO for the period was 1414 degrees (ASX:14D) with the average value of the IPOs being $6m. The largest placement was for Melbourne based Fintech Afterpay (ASX:APT) with $117m. Perth originated but now Sydney-headquartered Nearmap also had a very large placement of $70m. Placements averaged $22m up from 8.5m over 17/18 (excluding the NextDC placement of $377m).

Initial Coin offerings were up in number from the June Q (11 up from 4) with the largest being Nauticus raising $26m and the average amount raised of $6m. What was interesting was the number of ICOs that fell well beyond expectations with three completed ICOs raising significantly less than $1m.

The quarter saw three more equity crowdfunding investment rounds close, but all were quite small (averaging under $500k) compared to the larger investments seen in the last financial year which averaged $1.19m.

Since the publication of this funding report we have opened up access to our funding data to commercial subscribers. We have also secured our first customers in the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Victorian Government's Startup support organisation LaunchVic.  Our funding data customers get access to details of all funding events captured by Techboard, including Company name, Amount (where known), State, Category, Funding Type, Funder (where known), Link to Source and a link to the company profile in the Techboard Directory.

Read more about accessing Techboard's funding data. 


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