Australian venture capital investment hit $130.5 million in the first three months of 2018

The founders of Canva. Cameron Adams, Cliff Obrecht and Melanie Perkins. Photo: Canva.
  • The US dominates the global venture capital market for the three months to March, investing $US28.2 billion.
  • Australian venture capital investment hit $US130.5 million over the three months.
  • Unicorns raised $14 billion across the world across 32 deals, including Australia’s Canva.

Venture capital investment in Australia reached $US130.5 million across 16 transactions in the three months to March, according to analysis by KPMG.

Significant deals included graphic-design website Canva’s $US40 million Series C funding round, which valued the Sydney-based startup at $US1 billion.

Other deals recorded included data room software startup Ansarada’s $US18.92 million Series A round and Adelaide-based space internet of things startup Myriota’s $US15 million Series A round.

“Australian startups continue to attract increasing levels investment, both from local and international investors,” says Amanda Price, head of KPMG High Growth Ventures in Australia.

“With larger investment rounds reflecting the ambitions and capability of these startups to expand into global businesses.

“Recent fundraising by Australian venture capital funds meaning there is more money on the table than ever before for our startup founders.”

Globally 2018 had a rousing start with $US49.3 billion of venture capital investment, up from $US46 billion in the previous quarter, across 2661 deals in the three months to March, just below the global record for a single quarter, according to Venture Pulse, a quarterly report on global venture capital trends published by KPMG Enterprise.

Venture capital deal volume continued to decline but the median deal size globally grew across, reaching $US1.3 million for angel and seed stage rounds, $US7.7 million for early stage rounds, and $US15 million for later stage rounds.

The ride-hailing industry attracted massive investment, accounting for four of the quarter’s five largest deals.

This included $US2.5 billion raised by Singapore-based Grab, $US1.7 billion raised by US-based Lyft, $US1.5 billion by Indonesia-based GO-JEK, and $US1.25 bil raised by US-based Uber.

Electric car manufacturer Faraday Future rounded out the top five, raising $US1.5 billion.

VC activity globally is expected to remain strong heading into the second quarter, with an increasing focus on artificial intelligence (AI), autotech, and healthtech.

“Venture capital investors continue to pour money into late-stage companies, in part because of the number of aging unicorns that have remained private,” says Brian Hughes, National Co-Lead Partner, KPMG Venture Capital Practice, and a partner for KPMG in the US.

“With strong IPO exits by Dropbox and Zscaler this quarter, and an increase in the number of IPO filings, we could see the tide turning over the next few quarters, bringing with it a resurgence in early stage deals activity.”

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