Aussie startups have raked in more than $850 million in investment in February so far, as VC funding pours into Australian tech at record levels.
In the two weeks between February 1 and 14, SmartCompany has received funding announcements from no less than 19 Aussie startups. These businesses have raised more than $850 million between them — $851.1 million, to be exact.
At the same time, research from PitchBook reportedly suggests that some US$5 billion ($7 billion) was invested into local tech in 2021, more than triple what was invested in 2020, and even slightly topping the $4.8 million invested into the ecosystem in 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined.
At one point last year, we saw $1 billion invested into Australian startups in just over a week. We also saw a string of so-called ‘megadeals’, with tech companies raising hundreds of millions in one fell swoop.
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Indeed, our fortnight of funding announcements includes Cyara’s US$350 million ($495.2 million) mega-raise. But even if we exclude this as an outlier, we’re left with 18 startups raking in $355.9 million between them.
But we’re also seeing a steady stream of smaller raises, including Remi.ai’s $1.4 million and Instant’s $2.2 million seed round. Travel startup Locomote also announced its $4 million raise last week, with the round opened and closed within less than a month.
The rounds also included a $10 million cash injection for equity crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd — including $3.9 million raised on its own platform — showing investor interest in the kind of tech that facilitates more investment.
Notably, however, our list does not include those startups that haven’t gone public with their funding yet, those operating in stealth mode, those that have secured grant funding, or those that announced the deal but not the dollar value.
It stands to reason the actual number is considerably higher than $850 million.
Here are just a handful of the raises announced in the past 14 days:
Slyp: $25 million
Fintech Slyp raised $25 million to further its mission of making paper receipts obsolete.
Founded by former PayPal execs, the startup saw significant growth in 2021, with its tech now in use in more than 880 stores including Chemist Warehouse, Mitre 10 and JD Sports locations.
Now it’s ramping up to launch new products and features in partnership with its retail, bank and point-of-sale partners.
Reejig: $21 million
Just four months after closing its $6 million Series A, AI-enabled workforce intelligence platform Reejig has bagged another US$15 million ($21 million).
The raise comes in response to a steep uptick in demand, and will fuel the startup to open its Silicon Valley office and expand into the US.
Forcite: $6 million
Forcite, an Aussie startup that makes ‘smart’ motorcycle helmets, has raised $6 million in Series A funding.
Founded in 203, the startup is dedicated to creating safer motorcycle gear, and has gathered something of a cult following, with products selling out almost as quickly as they’re released.
The startup now has 18 full-time employees, with 60% of those being motorcycle enthusiasts themselves.
CartonCloud: $12 million
Gold Coast Software-as-a-Service startup CartonCloud raised $12 million to expand the footprint of its transport and warehouse management system.
The startup helps smaller businesses in the warehouse, transport and logistic sector to compete with the big players. With 350-odd customers in Australia and New Zealand, it is now responding to increased inbound interest from overseas.
Kepler Analytics: $22 million
Aussie retail startup Kepler Analytics raised $22 million for its tech providing in-store analytics to help capture data on consumer behaviour, offering similar insights as are available in e-commerce.
“Retailers now realise that stores are definitely here to stay,” Kepler Analytics co-founder David Mah told SmartCompany.
“However, trading conditions and customer behaviour are very uncertain — retailers are rapidly implementing technology and using data in brick-and-mortar stores.”