Sydney-based investment outfit Tank Stream Ventures has closed a $20 million funding round to sink into Australian tech startups as it targets Asian expansion.
Tank Stream got a significant way through raising the funding back in 2013 but put the effort on hold to start investing in a number of local startups. Tank Stream managing partner Rui Rodrigues said the decision to go back to the market and raise more capital before the outfit ran out of funds was made about a year ago.
Among the investors is an unnamed Chinese investment group which Tank Stream is hoping will assist its expansion into Asia. Tank Stream-backed startup Airtasker announced it would look at expanding into Asia after securing up to $6.5 million in an investment round led by by Shanghai-based Morning Crest Capital and the NRMA.
Expanding into the heavily populated Chinese market is no easy feat. Not only are there cultural differences and IP risks, foreign company’s need to have a solid network on the ground.
“If there is a risk, it is that it is already a very competitive environment. You have tech startups that are very well funded in all the sectors you can think of,” Rodrigues told Business Insider.
“We wouldn’t have managed to start even exploring that possibility if we didn’t have that local contacts.”
Founded by BRW rich-lister Markus Kahlbetzer, together with Airtasker’s Tim Fung, Jonathan Lui and former Renault F1 engineer Rui Rodrigues, who manages the fund’s investments, Tank Stream’s investments include goCatch, Bugherd and PocketBook.
It also recently invested an undisclosed amount in crowdfunding platform Equitise.
Rodrigues says he is currently assessing several potential new investments and will use the new capital to fund tech startups with a global game plan. He is also eyeing off fintech startups.