US start-up backers Founders Fund ‘set for Australia’
Thursday, December 8, 2011/
The Founders Fund, the famed US venture capital fund headed by two of the leading entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, is reportedly headed for Australia.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the fund is sending three of its executives to Australia in January to meet local tech start-ups.
The foray by the Future Fund will be great interest to Australian start-ups due to the reputation forged by the VC firm in the US. The business has taken stakes in Facebook, Yammer and Spotify, among others.
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, and Sean Parker, who founded Napster and was Facebook’s first president, heads the fund.
Both entrepreneurs have been actively involved in backing promising new ventures and the prospect of them turning their attention to Australia underlines the increasing viability of the market for US investors.
The past year has seen a series of investments by Silicon Valley interests into Aussie businesses, including Accel Partner’s $35 million funding of 99Designs, BigCommerce’s $15 million capital raise and Kaggle’s $11 million funding.
It’s likely that Parker, for one, will be looking for a few bargains in Australia, after recently commenting that US start-ups are “ridiculously overfunded.”