Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull says Australia is no tech “backwater” and can hold its own when it comes to innovation, but to thrive on the world stage, he says tech startups need support from government as well as business.
He told The Australian one of the biggest issues is a lack of later stage funding.
Turnbull says startups should consider listing on the ASX as a way of raising larger rounds.
“I think one area, one thing we don’t do a good enough job at, and I think the ASX can do better here, is promoting the stock exchange as a means of financing start-ups, or second, third round money for start-ups,” he said.
“I mean it is so much cheaper to get listed on the ASX than it is on Nasdaq, for example. And Australians are much more used to investing in listed entities than in unlisted entities. So now that people are used to the tech sector, the ASX should be an opportunity for greater access to capital.”
The Federal government is currently working on crowd-sourced equity regulations, which are expected to be presented in the Spring sitting of parliament. In the meantime, the one-time entrepreneur, who bought into Ozemail for $500,000 in 1994, selling his stake for $57 million five years later, believes there’s no shortage of seed capital, but the round were a business wants $10-$30 million is the challenge.
“That’s where there is still a big gap in the market here. But it is starting to be filled. There are billions of dollars in the VC Limited Partnerships that have got special tax concessions that have been established, and there is money in the market,” Turnbull said.
There’s more here.