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StartUpSmart SmartupSmart BROUGHT TO YOU BY
 
September 6, 2019
Bigger isn’t better

This week, Innovation Bay released a bunch of information about the Aussie VC ecosystem.

Data provided by 80% of active Australian VC funds confirms average deal size is on the up. Some 64% said their average deal size has increased over the past 12 months, while the remaining 36% reported no change. Nobody said they’re investing smaller amounts.

The findings mirror those in KPMG’s July Venture Pulse Report, which showed Aussie startups received a record $1.75 billion in funding in the 2018-19 financial year. (That’s in total, not just from local investors.)

At the time, startup media was quick to bask in the glory of this new high. But at StartupSmart, we weren’t celebrating.

Because while total funding and deal size are both increasing, the total number of deals is decreasing, which indicates a lack of investment in early-stage startups.

Yes, it’s great that Aussie VCs are raising bigger funds, but are they using it to support more startups, or betting more money on ‘sure things’?

If early-stage startups can’t access funding, we may miss out on the next Culture Amp, Canva or even Atlassian. But more importantly, we risk excluding those who aren’t able to quit their jobs and live off ramen, or who don’t have time for a side-hustle. Ultimately, we could be (further) limiting diversity in the startup ecosystem.

But, if we’re to fix this, where does the burden fall?

Should the government offer more grants and incentives? Should VCs write smaller cheques and take bigger risks? Do we need more angel investors? Or should the corporates and tech giants be paving the way for change?

Damned if I know. What I can tell you, is that we should be paying attention.

Also, remember last month when we canned our Monday newsletter? This is the bigger and better one replacing it. The Deck will arrive in your inbox every Friday at 7am. Love it? Not so keen? Let us know why, or unsubscribe here.

Have a great weekend!
Stephanie Palmer-Derrien
StartupSmart editor

In brief

South Australian startup Ping is working on adapting its wind-turbine health-monitoring tech to freight trains, so it can identify faults early on. Woooo!


Fintech-focused VC Reinventure has some fresh faces joining its partnership team. First employee Rohen Sood is now a general partner, and head of community (and Fintech Australia board member) Lauren Capelin is partner of platform and operations.


Austrade’s Singapore Landing Pad Program has welcomed the 39th, 40th and 41st startups into its fold. According to Austrade, 92% of its Singapore graduates have gone on to be successful in Southeast Asia, marking record success for the program.

Meet Bureau

Is your startup’s content working hard enough?

Bureau is a content agency founded by former journalists, who also happen to be startup experts.

They can help you with strategy, email marketing, web content, SEO, lead generation, social media, events, video and more.

If you’re looking for high quality, cost-effective content to give your marketing strategy a boost, get in touch.

Around the world

The Vietnamese startup ecosystem is catching up with its Southeast Asian rivals. In the first half of 2019, Indonesia received 48% of all investments in the region, Singapore received 25% and Vietnam received 17%.


uBiome, a Silicon Valley medical startup that allowed users to assess their health by swabbing their poop, which was once valued at $600 million, has filed for bankruptcy after the company’s offices were reportedly ransacked by the FBI. Well, shit.


Israeli facial recognition startup AnyVision, backed by Microsoft’s M12 Ventures may be having second thoughts about its expansion plans — particularly into Hong Kong — following somehow unforeseen concerns that its technology might not be used solely for good.

Things we love

I’ve just discovered Reply All, from Gimlet Media. Hosts Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt take a deep dive into all things internet — from deconstructing the NYPD’s crime reporting systems to hacking Snapchat hackers back.

I know I’m late to the party here. But, because it’s been running since 2014,

there’s a sizeable back-catalogue of episodes to get lost in.

They also recently re-ran their five best-ever episodes, as voted by long-term listeners, so you only need to scroll back a few weeks to find the creme de la creme. Get ready to go down some rabbit holes you didn’t know existed.

What's on this week?
Boosting female founders focus group
A facilitated discussion inviting woman founders to give feedback and suggestions on the government’s Boosting Female Founders initiative.
Monday, September 9, 2019
University of Western Sydney, Parramatta City Campus
 
R U Ok Day: Founder Morning Tea
Warm drinks, snacks and chats for anyone in the startup community, plus a presentation from MAP startup Pride Cup.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Melbourne CBD
 
Lunch & Learn: Practical Startup Tips
Sandy Zhang of Moulis Legal will offer tips to help startups decode legal jargon and better manage their IP.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
The Precinct, Fortitude Valley
 
Startup Pitch Bootcamp
A free three-and-a-half-hour bootcamp for founders to hone their pitch and learn from other entrepreneurs.
Monday, September 9, 2019
The Founder Institute, Adelaide
 
In case you missed it

Judo takes Canva’s crown, as neobanks dominate the LinkedIn Top Startups list

Pitching a vision: How pre-product startup BlueVolt bagged $240,000 in seed funding

Kate Carnell to review R&D tax incentive processes, while tax commissioner lays blame with advisory industry

“A larrikin unicorn”: Culture Amp raises $120 million in Series E funding to surpass $1 billion valuation milestone

Parkable raises $4.3 million to solve parking woes and pivot into electric vehicle technology

Aussie travel-tech startup Tipi bags $4.5 million from Hostelworld as it prepares to go globetrotting