Techboard’s latest Funding Report reveals Startup and Tech funding increased massively from 2018 to 2019

The December quarter of 2019 saw Techboard capture 187 funding events from 175 companies with a total value of $1.718 Billion, making it the third highest funded quarter to date but the highest for private investment recorded by Techboard with the total amount of reported private investment totalling $891m.  Some standout funding events occurred in the December quarter but overall the quarter was most notable for an increased number of larger investments, particularly above $20m in value, reflecting the increasing maturity of the market.

Techboard’s major reports are on financial years, but as we have full data for the 2018 and 2019 years we have done some analysis of the two years side by side. This additional analysis is included in this report.

The result in the December quarter takes the total funding captured in 2019 to $7.356 billion over 844 funding events. This represented a 76% increase in value from 2018 levels where Techboard captured 724 events totalling $4.175b. Funding levels in 2019 were up from 2018 levels in most funding types aside from Debt, ICO/Crypto and Reward Crowdfunding.  

The largest increase was seen in acquisitions, largely driven by the PEXA acquisition, with $1.9 b in acquisitions being recorded for the year, up over 500% from 2018 and this is despite a large number of transactions being for an undisclosed amount. 

Private investment including venture capital accounted for almost $2.72b in 2019, representing an increase of over $1b AUD from 2018 levels (a 67% increase). This increase was not experienced across all investment sizes with four size bands seeing a drop in the number of investments most notably in the sub $1m and $5-$10m bands.

From 2018 to 2019 public investment increased overall by a higher percentage than private, collectively raising $1.77b in 2019, a 71% increase from 2018 levels. The number of startup and tech listings dropped by more than 50% but on the whole more mature companies were listing and the average raise per company on listing saw an almost four-fold increase with seven listings raising a total of $245m. Placements were up 67% to $1.526b with the most significant growth being in the $15-$20m and $50-$100m ranges with over 900% and 400% increases respectively. It was not just larger investment sizes that saw growth with a 280% increase in placements of less than $1m for the less mature listed startups.

Reported Debt financing was down on 2018 levels dropping 4% to $821m.

Equity Crowdfunding and grants were also up from 2018 levels with increases of 82% and 127% respectively.

Not all funding types had increases, with ICO/Crypto, Debt and Reward Crowdfunding experiencing drops.

New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT all saw overall increases in funding with South Australia showing the greatest percentage increase in value. Western Australia and Queensland showing an overall decline in funding, although both experienced an increase in private investment and Western Australia seeing the highest increase in reported funding events. Insufficient data for Tasmania and the Northern Territory was captured to report any meaningful shifts.

Highlights from the December 2019 Quarter include:

  • 186 funding events from 175 companies with a total value of $1.718 Billion
  • The highest recorded quarterly level of private Investment totalling $891m.
  • Over 50% of investments by value during the quarter ($454m) included foreign investment.
  • The largest individual funding event and largest placement for the quarter was by Afterpay (ASX:APT) with a $200m raise to fund its european expansion. Surprisingly there was some controversy surrounding this placement as a result of it being ’hidden’ in another announcement.
  • The largest private round was Canva’s $125m, from investors including Bond, General Catalyst, Bessemer Venture Partners, Blackbird Ventures and Sequoia China, which took its valuation to $4.7b (AUD).
  • The largest IPO for companies covered by Techboard (companies up to 10 years old) was for Fintech Openpay ASX:OPY who raised $50m. There were a couple of notable tech IPOS for older Tech Nitro and Tyro which raised $110m and $287m respectively. 
  • The most funded sector was fintech with $705m of funding across 29 events accounting for 41% of funding for the quarter. 
  • New South Wales recorded the highest funding level of the states with 53% of funding for the quarter representing $914m. 
  • The largest reported value acquisition was that of fintech Kounta, which was acquired by US based LightspeedPOS Inc for $51m.
  • The largest reported debt for the quarter was again for a fintech this time the listed Wisr (ASX:WZR) with a $50m facility with the National Australia Bank.
  • Techboard only picked up one crypto raise for the quarter, with Sydney-based Synthetix raising $3.8m from US-based Framework Ventures.
  • The largest Equity Crowdfunding campaign was by Perth-based Tiller Rides who raised $1.068m.
  • The largest Reward Crowdfunding campaign was for $742k by Zero Co a Cleaning products startup.

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WE NEED YOUR HELP

Techboard collects this funding data in three ways, via algorithmic collection, manual research and direct reports received from companies and investors. While Techboard endeavours to be as comprehensive as possible in its collection activities there will be published funding events that we miss. 

Our Data helps to fuel the growth of the Startup and Tech Ecosystem in Australia, informs the work of groups like StartupAus as well as governments around the country. Our data is also available to investors.

Please report your funding events to us to help our data be as comprehensive as possible.