Funding

The power of cross-border investing: Why AirTree Ventures dipped its feet into Paxata’s $44.1 million deal

Dinushi Dias /

Daniel Petre and Craig Blair, founders of AirTree Ventures

Daniel Petre and Craig Blair, founders of AirTree Ventures. Source: Supplied.

AirTree Ventures has joined global venture capital heavyweights in a $44.1 million ($US33.5 million) deal to accelerate the growth of multinational data company Paxata.

This is AirTree Ventures’ largest international deal yet and will put it in the boardroom of a leading global tech company planning to expand its influence across Australia.

“Paxata is the world leader in data preparation. With big data, 80% of the problem is retrieving, scrubbing and preparing data for analysis,” AirTree Ventures partner Craig Blair tells StartupSmart.

“These guys are the best in the world [and] we love backing world-class teams.”

Paxata, which has offices across the US and in Singapore, turns raw data into digestible information in an enterprise-grade system for business analysts.

Paxata CEO and co-founder Prakash Nanduri says the company has grown 250% year-on-year since launching in 2013.

“We pioneered the self-service data preparation category,” he says.

“We are now poised to extend our leadership as we continue to disrupt the $US20 billion ($AUD26.3 billion) Enterprise Information Management (EIM) market with the power of algorithms, in-memory, distributed computing, hybrid cloud architecture, and an unparalleled consumer experience.”

This funding round, led by Intel Capital, will be Paxata’s fourth. AirTree Ventures contributed an “eight figure sum” in the deal alongside Microsoft Ventures, Cisco Investments and other major investors that participated.

Blair says entering the deal puts Australia’s VC sector on the map and will open the door for Australians to engage with the world-class technology and solutions.

“This is part of the globalisation of venture,” Blair says.

As more of these cross-border deals come to fruition, Blair says Australians will gain access to more tech market leaders that have deeper domain experience in areas like virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Developing from this level of excellence will benefit Australian governments, corporates, financial services and even startups that have been crying out for solutions, he says.

“It helps the whole ecosystem,” he says.

“It’s good for learning and connections.”

AirTree Ventures, which recently co-invested in 90 Seconds, is already planning more cross-border deals.

“We are doing more and more co-investing in global platforms and we have a third one to announce shortly,” says Blair.

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.

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