Rajeev Gupta is a technology-driven investor who has worked in the industry for more than 20 years. In 2016, he co-founded Alium Capital – a cross-over investment fund focused on technology and innovation, with his 2 partners Jason Rich and Michael Considine. Alium has secured almost $100 million in capital commitments since its founding – seeking to capitalise on the growth of the Australian tech-industry, while helping to propel these same companies into their next stage of development. Alium’s portfolio includes names such as Healthengine, Unlockd and Titomic (who have either topped or placed in the top 5 in a Techboard Ranking) as well as Nitro, StockSpot, Hit100, Credible and Bitcoin.com.au. MichelLake’s Robin Block sat down with Rajeev to discuss investment strategies and understand what sets Alium apart.
In his latest interview for Techboard Robin Block from MitchelLake sat down with Dr. Elaine Stead to understand the role she sees Blue Sky and herself playing in the future of Australian business. Elaine is a builder of businesses and Head of Venture Capital at Blue Sky — a venture fund that is at the forefront of Australian Capital Investment. Last year, Blue Sky secured the management of a $50 million venture fund for the South Australian government. The firm manages over $3 billion in investment across a number of industries. Elaine is one of many high profile presenters who spoke at the Startup Investing Conference series which was brought to you by our friends at Capital Pitch in Sydney on 12 September and in Melbourne on 12 October 2017
Well Federal Parliament has finally passed Australia’s first equity crowdfunding legislation.
According to Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison in his Treasurer’s Second Reading Speech for theCorporations Amendment (Crowd-Sourced Funding) Bill 2016 “The Bill forms part of the government’s commitment to help transition the Australian economy from the mining investment boom to a more diversified economy, with broader based growth, and long-term strength and resilience.”
The new legislation enables unlisted public companies with up to $25 million in annual turnover and less than $25 million in gross assets to raise up to $5 million via equity crowdfunding platforms over a 12 month period. Retail investors will be able to invest up to $10,000 per company in a 12-month period.
Our friend Jeremy Liddle, CEO Capital Pitch has provided this great post on angel investing for us to publish here on Techboard. To read more on Angel investors and angel investing visit Capital Pitch.
Young, new and even struggling businesses are always on the lookout for those opportunities that will change their company. They are tirelessly (standard for entrepreneurs) seeking ways to make their business stronger, more financially stable or opportunities that will take them to the next level. There are many avenues a new company can investigate in this search, and one in particular is making some noise.
Angels, as they are known in the business arena, are private investors who provide their own resources for companies looking to grow. The popularity of angel investors has been steadily increasing globally over the past 20 years. There is even a very popular television program centered on nothing but Angel Investors called the Shark Tank, although this show is NOT a good representation of how to value and invest in a startup! Pitching Angel Investors is not anything like it is shown on television. Despite that, there are some things we can learn from that television program and these are three approaches every company should consider.
At Techboard we have been actively exploring how we can support Australian Startup companies in raising money and enable investors to discover, research and invest in Australian startups.
Techboard was already a platform which enabled companies to promote themselves generally to an audience which included investors. So we decided it was not that big a step to take to enable the same companies to promote their capital raisings and make Techboard a true investment discovery platform.
The promotion and publicity of capital raisings by unlisted private companies is tightly regulated in Australia by the Corporations Law and we are not able to distribute information on private capital raisings publicly on the Techboard Platform. The law requires that we only make such information available to users that have first subscribed to receive such information and who have also been exposed to investor notices.
So the first step in enabling us to help companies promote their capital raisings and to facilitate investment in Australian Startups is to get investors to register on the Techboard platform. We are pleased to announce that we have activated Investor Registration. Investors can now sign up to receive notifications of opportunities to invest in Australian Startups and Tech Companies.
The recent introduction of the Innovation Tax Incentive provides tax benefits to both Sophisticated and Retail Investors and we are keen to enable all interest investors to find investment opportunities that fit their preferences and risk profile. We anticipate that many opportunities which will be promoted on Techboard will only be available to sophisticated or s708 Investors, we are however exploring options to enable retail investors to invest in startups (whether direct or indirect) so they can access the Innovation Tax Incentive in way suitable to their needs. We will therefore be accepting registrations from any interested investors.
We are continuing to make changes to the Techboard platform over the coming months to enable companies to promote their capital raising and will keep companies, readers and registered investors apprised of all developments.
The Techboard Team
On Wednesday 3 August Techboard held our first investor focussed event. The event was aimed at educating investors about the new Innovation Tax Incentive and informing them about Techboard’s increased emphasis on investment and our repositioning as a platform where investors will be able to find Innovation Tax Incentive eligible investments.
I was at an Egroup meeting earlier this month and Marc Loftus from BDO was presenting on the new Innovation Tax Incentive. For information on the Innovation Tax Incentive see my earlier post here. A question came from the floor on the subject of what impact the Innovation tax incentive was likely to have on levels of investment. The UK has a similar Innovation tax incentive called the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). The EIS was highly influential on the new Australian Tax Incentive legislation. I was in Scotland from 2006 to 2009 working in the startup and innovation space. I had a fair bit to do with Scottish Angel investors who I knew were using the EIS. I also remembered reading reports on the impact of the EIS on the levels of investment. So I thought I would dig those up and share them.
The UK government introduced EIS in 1992 with the purpose helping types of small higher risk unlisted companies to raise capital. So there is a fair bit of data available to gauge the impact of that scheme.
What do the UK studies reveal?
The earliest report I have found was produced by NESTA in May 2009. That report entitled “Siding with the Angels Business angel investing – promising outcomes and effective strategies” found that:
“Eighty per cent of investors surveyed have made use of the Enterprise Investment Scheme, at least once. And 57 per cent of their investments had made use of the EIS.”
“Investors said that 24 per cent of their investments would not have been made without tax incentives.
In January 2015 the Enterprise Research Centre released a study called “A Nation of Angels: Assessing the impact of angel investing across the UK”. In their report it was stated: