Future Capital to open doors to new Melbourne start-up incubator

Future Capital Development Fund is set to expand its presence in the start-up incubation market by securing office space in Melbourne that will play host to up to 30 early-stage ventures.

 

The company, which says it backs “upstart” businesses generally aged between six and 18 months-old, is moving its operation to a 2,500 square metre premises in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond.

 

Five start-ups that already work with Future Capital in Melbourne will move across to the new building, with plans to house up to 30 ventures in the facility.

 

Future Capital says that it is aiming to double its portfolio within the next year, starting with two, unnamed, retail start-ups that it is currently in talks with.

 

Currently, the fund backs 12 businesses, typically putting in $250,000 to $1.5 million in funding, in return for around 40% in equity.

 

Numbers have swelled this year by a number of investments, including car sharing portal DriveMyCar, which is forecast to have $6.5 million revenue this year.

 

Future Capital undertook a $5 million capital raising round in June, bringing its net asset base to $8.3 million. The fund will look to either raise more money next or, or potentially float.

 

Start-ups located at the new Richmond premises will benefit from office space as well as mentorship, provided by founder and serial entrepreneur Dominic Carosa and CEO Andrew Fiori-Dea.

 

Advisory board members Simon Baker, former CEO of REA Group, and Matthew Dickinson, founder of online marketing firm iMega, will also provide advice.

 

Fiori-Dea tells StartupSmart that Future Capital has a “strong investment pipeline” and was on the hunt for the right start-ups to back.

 

“There is no lack of opportunities out there,” he says. “We usually focus on tech companies; good, strong businesses that transform their categories.”

 

“We want passionate founders who will drive these businesses as, ultimately, we are playing in the high-risk end of things. We won’t invest unless we can be hands-on.”

 

“Yes, we take a lot of equity, but we work hard for it. We don’t put the money in and not do anything with it.”

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