10 biggest raises by Australian startups in 2017

Photo: Scott Barbour/ Getty Images.

Venture capital firm Right Click Capital has compiled the list of the 10 highest capital raises by Australian startups in 2017 for Business Insider.

Right Click Capital partner Ben Chong said that Australia saw 71 private investments and acquisitions in the year to June 30, racking up $564.1 million worth of deals.

That total amount is slightly down from the same time last year, with Chong attributing this to “more investments tipped into early-stage ventures” and predicting the overall dollar figure to stay lower for the rest of the year.

“This may shift in 2018 as startups begin to mature and require additional capital,” he said.

With the cutoff date at June 30, the top 10 below doesn’t include blockbuster deals from July — which included Expert360’s $13 million and Redflow’s $14.5 million.

GreenSync CEO Dr Phil Blythe. Source: supplied

10. GreenSync raised $11.5 million

The federal government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation directly tipped $5 million into the January capital raising round for this electricity grid tech startup. The January deal saw that matched by the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund, which the government also contributes to, alongside Softbank China Venture Capital. The remaining $1.5 million came from private investors.

Airwallex Co-Founder and CEO Jack Zhang. Image: Supplied

9. Airwallex raised $17.4 million

The Melbourne payment fintech attracted some of the biggest names in the sector – like Mastercard, Sequoia Capital China and Tencent Holdings — for its blockbuster capital raising round in May. The startup is in the enviable position of having access to a licence in China to conduct international transactions – something that not even Western Union has been able to do.

L-R: Matt Kean, NSW Minister of Innovation and Better Regulation, Greg Moshal and Beau Bertoli, joint CEOs of Prospa (and winners of Male FinTech Leader of the Year award). Photo; supplied

8. Prospa raised $25 million

The online lender claimed in February that its $25 million funding round led by AirTree Ventures was the biggest fintech investment from a VC in Australia’s history. AirTree managing partner Craig Blair declared it the “coming of age of the fintech sector in Australia”, while Prospa co-founder and executive officer Beau Bertoli was good enough to tell Business Insider readers his three secrets to taking a startup to the top.

Deputy co-founder Steve Shelley. (Source: supplied)

7. Deputy raised $US25 million

January’s series A was not just a landmark for the Sydney staff management software startup, but it was also the biggest single investment for US venture capital firm OpenView. OpenView managing director and now deputy board member, Daniel Demmer, said at the time that co-founders Steve Shelley and Ashik Ahmed had built “a truly extraordinary platform that automates a broken and manual workflow for hundreds of thousands of users around the world”.

Culture Amp’s Didier Elzinga (holding mic) at the HR Tech conference in San Francisco. (Source: supplied)

6. Culture Amp raised $26.4 million

Californian firm Sapphire Ventures led the June series C round for the Melbourne human resources tech company, with the VC’s principal Kevin Diestel joining the startup’s board. Culture Amp founder and chief Didier Elzinga said at the time that the new money was a “validation of our vision”.

5. HealthEngine raised $26.7 million

The Perth medical booking tech firm said in April that it would use the series C funding to expand internationally. Sequoia India led the round, while Sydney’s Alium Capital, Go Capital, Carsales.com.au founder Greg Roebuck and the founders of e-commerce outfit Lux Group also chipped in.

Unlockd CEO and investors. (supplied)

4. Unlockd raised $30.7 million

The Melbourne mobile advertising tech startup secured the massive series B so that it could launch into new Asian markets – a continent that it has already had some success in. The company even lured the woman who set up Twitter’s Asia business, Aliza Knox, to do the same for its business that gives mobile users credit in return for viewing ads on lockscreens.

Rokt staff in New York City, with Bruce Buchanan holding bottle. (Source: Twitter)

3. ROKT raised $34.5 million

The marketing tech startup initially revealed in February that it had secured $US15 million, but further investment saw it close its series B in June for $34.49 million. The firm, which counts eBay, Ticketmaster, Gumtree, Dominos, Emirates and Kogan as customers, is led by former Jetstar boss Bruce Buchanan.

2. Saluda Medical raised $53 million

The Sydney startup, which develops “closed-loop neuro-modulation” devices that relieve back pain, raised a massive series D thanks to new investor Action Potential Venture Capital, which led the round. The med tech company is creating “the first intelligent Evoke Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) System”, which uses the patient’s own “neural fingerprint” to automatically adjust the dose of electrical stimulation.

PEXA staff at AIC 2017. (Source: Facebook/PEXA)

1. PEXA raised $64.7 million

Registry firm Link Group’s $64.7 million investment into online conveyancing provider PEXA is the highest capital raising round for an Australian startup this year. The deal made Link the second biggest owner after Macquarie Group, and valued PEXA at $779.5 million. PEXA chief Marcus Price told the AFR in June that the firm would look to IPO sometime between September this year and the same time in 2018, to give existing shareholders a chance to exit.

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