Pollenizer pockets $1.1 million as Asian market sizzles

Online venture builder Pollenizer plans to create eight start-ups in Australia and south-east Asia this year, after raising $1.1 million from investors including Pandora founder Brook Adcock.


The capital raise, which was undertaken in December, came from a range of investors in Australia, Singapore and the United States. About 12 new investors participated in the deal.


These include Pandora founder Brook Adcock, Carsales chief executive Greg Roebuck and Neil Miller, a veteran technology investor and early investor in Seek.


According to Roebuck, Pollenizer has “world-class experience” in start-ups, and is leading the way in the Australian start-up technology industry.


The funds will be used to launch additional tech start-ups, fund the growth of the existing portfolio of companies, and support the expansion of Pollenizer’s activities in south-east Asia.


“This fund is [going] directly into Pollenizer Global. Instead of being just a fund, we’re now a company with a fund. This is a much more useful structure for us,” Pollenizer co-founder Mick Liubinskas told StartupSmart.


“The business has a global focus, and we’re doing a lot of work now in South East Asia. [This funding] enables us to get more support there, attracting more investment down the track.”


Liubinskas founded Pollenizer with Phil Morle in 2008. Since then, it has launched 20 start-ups, raised $12 million, and counts Spreets and Dealised on its list of start-up success stories.


In August last year, Pollenizer branched out to Singapore – its first foray into the Asia Pacific – and highlighted plans to establish a presence in other Asian cities such as Manila and Bangkok.


Liubinskas says Pollenizer is “doing really well” in south-east Asia, describing it as a “really fertile market”.


“We’ve been very well received. Phil has been doing work in Manila, and we have a lot of interest in Indonesia,” he says.


“Last year was about setting up. This year, we’re about to see a lot of growth. The goal is four start-ups out of south-east Asia and, in Australia, four again.


According to Liubinskas, about a third of the new investors are based overseas.


“From LA, we’ve got a venture firm called Siemens Venture Capital. They’ve got a lot of interest in the Asia Pacific. They see Pollenizer as a gateway to that market,” he says.


“I think [US investors] see Pollenizer as a combination of Australia and south-east Asia, so Australia is a bit of any access-way [to Asia] but is valuable in its own right.


“They know in the US it’s very competitive to find good deals in Silicon Valley, and they want to put their money to work where it gets good returns.


“Not all of them [are investing more outside the US] but absolutely some of them are.”


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