Sydney Angels launches $20 million 'sidecar' for investors to ride alongside wherever they go

A couple with their pet dog ride on a tri-scooter along the street in Singapore on January 24, 2016. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Have you ever wanted to invest in a startup at the very early stage? A group of professional Australian angel investors are again opening up a fund for others to share their wild ride.

Sydney Angels, an aggregate organisation for angel investors, launched this morning its second “co-investment” fund named Sidecar Fund 2, with a target to raise $10 to $20 million to turn ideas into early-stage startups.

Its first pot, Sidecar Fund 1, has invested $8 million in 27 startups since its launch in 2012. Those startups have gone onto generate a further $85 million of grants and investments to scale up to the next stage of growth, according to Sydney Angels.

“We believe that Sidecar Fund 2 will similarly provide investors with opportunities to support promising Australian startups as they scale innovative ideas into businesses of great value,” said Sydney Angel and Sidecar Fund investment committee member Richard Dale.

Before funds like Sidecar came along, only professional angel investors could get into a startup at the ground floor, said Dale. Sidecar 1 then allowed other investors to grab a piece of the action in every deal that Sydney Angels made.

Dale said the first fund ended up supporting now high-profile names like Ingogo, Fame and Partners, Instaclustr, and Clarity Pharmaceuticals.

“Early investments by Sydney Angels members have helped put startups on the path to success, including Atomo Diagnostics which was first invested back in 2011 and is now a player on the world stage, receiving substantial investments and grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” he said.

Sidecar Fund 2 is open to wholesale and sophisticated investors. Sydney Angels boasts the expertise of more than 100 angel investors, and states that every year it evaluates “hundreds of high growth potential early-stage investment opportunities”.

The concept is reminiscent of H2Ocean — an ASX-listed fund created by Toby and Ben Heap that allows retail investors to contribute to seed funding for fintech startups.

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