Pets, cars and cybersecurity: 10 Aussie startups that raised a combined $372 million this week

Kasada aussie startups

Kasada founder Sam Crowther. Source: supplied.

We’re coming towards the end of what has surely been the biggest year in startup funding on record in Australia. The raises are still rolling in, and the dollar figures are still sky-high.

This week, funding news spans e-commerce, fintech, logistics and bot-fighting.

Here are 10 startups that announced $371.9 million combined in funding in the past five days alone.

Pet Circle: $125 million

The e-commerce store for pets has become the latest Aussie unicorn after banking $125 million in Series C funding this week.

Read the full write up here, and take an inside look with this piece from AirTree partner Craig Blair.

Marketplacer: $38 million

E-commerce platform Marketplacer has raised $38 million to fuel a rollout in the US, as well as to build out its product suite and boost its partner program.

The startup, which provides businesses with the software they need to build a marketplace, has seen bookings triple over the past six months, compared to the previous six, as companies embrace marketplaces as a post-COVID strategy.

Customers include the likes of Woolworths, Barbeques Galore and Circulate. The raise follows a cash injection of an undisclosed amount from Woolies’ W23 VC firm, in April this year

Finder: $30 million

Finder has raised its first ever chunk of venture capital, securing $30 million at a $650 million valuation. The news comes as the financial services comparison platform evolves to keep pace with ‘Web 3’.

Read our full article here.

Carma: $28 million

Sydney startup Carma has emerged from nine months operating in stealth mode, with a $28 million seed round for its online, end-to-end used car dealership.

While it was announced this week, the round closed in March 2021, way ahead of the startup’s scheduled launch ‘soon’.

A car is one of the most expensive assets anyone ever buys, Carma co-founder Yosuke Hall said in a statement, yet it’s often time-consuming and frustrating.

“Carma is laser-focused on bringing ease, trust and joy back into used car buying.”

Kasada: $23 million

Kasada has bagged $23 million in Series C funding as it looks to accelerate its expansion in the US, and adapt to meet demand.

Headed up by founder Sam Crowther, the cybersecurity startup specialises in protecting businesses from bot-based attacks. Since the onset of the pandemic, two thirds of companies report more frequent bot attacks, and 56% report seeing new types of bot-related fraud.

The business raised $14 million in June last year. Since then, it has grown its customer base by more than 80%, and increased revenue by 230%.

Ofload: $20 million

Digital freight forwarder and transport management startup Ofload has raised $20 million in Series A funding, for its tech connecting shippers with small and medium carrier companies, in a bid to keep empty trucks off the road.

The raise follows a $3.8 million round closed in August this year, and brings the startup’s valuation to more than $100 million.

It also comes off the back of a strong Q4. Offload has seen a 550% increase in revenue, year-on-year.

Relevance AI: $4 million

Relevance AI has raised $4 million for its vector platform helping developers to glean more insights from unstructured data.

The startup’s products are already in the hands of some 3 million end users across the Software-as-a-Service, e-commerce, education and gaming sectors.

The round was led by New York-based VC Insight Partners, with participation from Galileo Ventures and Archangel Ventures.

Eugene: $3.2 million

Genetic testing startup Eugene has reportedly raised $3.2 million to take its products to the international market.

The startup offers home-testing kits that can detect genetic conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy, helping users understand their risk of having a child with a serious condition. Since its launch in 2019, Eugene’s tests have been used by more than 7000 Aussies.

The funding comes from the Australian Medical Angels and US-based ALIAVIA Ventures.

Sample: $920,000

Sample has raised just shy of $1 million to launch its LinkedIn alternative in Australia. Founders Elliott Gibb and Jascha Zittel set out to connect workers in hospitality, retail, beauty, logistics and more — those professions not currently well-served by online networking options.

See our full write up and interview here.

Eftsure: $100 million (ish)

Finally, Aussie anti-fraud payments tech company Eftsure has reportedly closed a significant funding round from Level Equity.

The value of the raise has not officially been revealed, but an article from The Australian Financial Review suggests it is likely around the $100 million mark.

The business has reportedly seen annual revenues spike from about $200,000 in 2017 to $10 million today.

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