Rokt raises $458 million, as Aussie startups continue to cash in


Rokt founder and chief executive Bruce Buchanan. Source: supplied.

Aussie founded startup Rokt has bagged $458 million in Series E funding in one of the biggest ever venture capital raises for an Australian business.

The raise rounds out yet another huge week in startup funding — and a massive year at that.

Founded in Australia in 2012, Rokt is an AI-powered e-commerce and marketing tech platform headed up by founder and chief executive Bruce Buchanan, former chief of Jetstar.

The tech is designed to optimise each element of a transaction, providing the most value and relevance to each individual customer.

In a statement, Buchanan said that can help digital businesses “remove irrelevant clutter and double their profitability”.

The platform is now used by more than 3000 brands around the world, including the likes of Staples, Vistaprint and Ticketmaster.

“Customers are demanding a more relevant e-commerce experience and businesses need to ensure they have the right economics to be able to grow,” Buchanan added.

Rokt operates in 19 countries across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, with its headquarters in New York, where Buchanan is now based.

The round is led by Tiger Global, and also includes backing from international players Wellington Management, Whale Rock Capital Management and Pavilion Capital, as well as existing investor and Aussie VC Square Peg.

Rokt will use the funding for investment in R&D, as well as further expansion and strategic acquisitions. However it will also be used to fund a liquidity opportunity for staff, allowing employees to cash out on their equity.

In a statement, Square Peg co-founder Paul Bassat called Buchanan “an exceptional founder”.

“The new funding empowers him and the team to continue building what is, without a doubt, one of the best companies to come out of Australia,” he added.

Rokt rounds out another huge week for Aussie startup funding

Rokt’s funding round is one of the largest single venture capital raises in Australian history, pipped to the post only by software company SimPro’s US$350 million ($485.6 million) raise closed just weeks ago.

It also adds to Tiger Global’s growing list of Aussie portfolio companies. The New York VC is also an investor in the likes of SafetyCulture, Go1, Scalapay, Shippit and Mr Yum.

However Rokt is not the only Aussie business raking in the cash this week. As we come towards the end of a wildly busy year for Aussie startups, the funding news doesn’t appear to be slowing.

Here are some of the other funding announcements you might have missed:

Dovetail: $86 million

Dovetail has reportedly bagged about $86 million in fresh funding from Blackbird Ventures as well as international investors.

Founded by former Atlassian employees Benjamin Humphrey and Brad Ayers, the startup provides a platform helping businesses glean better insights from consumer data and research.

Inventia Life Science: $35 million

In medtech, Inventia Life Science has secured $35 million in Series B funding for its tech essentially printing 3D cell cultures that imitate real human tissue, for use in research and drug trials.

Also led by Blackbird and including repeat investment from Skip Capital, the raise will fuel an expansion into the US plus product marketing and a hiring drive.


Inventia co-founders Dr Cameron Ferris, Bob Groneman, Dr Aidan
O’Mahony and Dr Julio Ribeiro. Source: supplied.

DiviPay: $20 million

Sydney-based fintech DiviPay has raised $20 million for its budgeting and spending management tech geared towards SMEs.

The raise comes off the back of 300% revenue growth over the past year. The cash is pegged for international expansion and product development, as well as growing the team from about 20 people to 80 over the next 12 months.

Atomi: $9 million

Atomi, an edtech platform offering video lessons, interactive quizzes and revision tools for students has reportedly raised $9 million in funding, after seeing customer numbers double during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From giving students the flexibility to catch up on a lesson at home, to being able to create a personalised learning path for every student, the advantages a platform like Atomi brings can be profound,” founder Thomas O’Donahoo said.

6Clicks: $5 million

Governance, risk and compliance software startup 6clicks has raised $5 million to fund global expansion and further product development.

The business has also been added to the US National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) ValuePoint Cloud Solutions contract, held by Quest Technology Management. Quest will use 6clicks tech in its work reducing risk for local government institutions in various participating states in the US.


6clicks co-founders Anthony Stevens, Louis Strauss and Andrew Robinson. Source supplied.

Replica Studios: $5 million

AI-for-voice startup Replica Studios has reportedly raised $5 million in seed funding from local VC firms Carthona Capital and Mawson Ventures, as well as US investors Venture Reality Fund and Techstars Ventures.

The business, which can replicate voices and create speech from scripts, has plans to expand its library from 70 voices to 150 within the next year.

ProForm Foods: $5 million (ish)

Finally, plant-based meat manufacturer ProForm Foods has secured a strategic investment from agrifood business Harvest Road, owned by Andrew Forrest’s Tattarang holding company.

While the value of the raise has not officially been disclosed, The Australian Financial Review’s Street Talk suggests it could be around $5 million.

ProForm Foods was founded in 2005 by Olympian swimmer Matthew Dunn and his dad Steven Dunn. In November 2020, it opened an $11 million manufacturing facility in Sydney.


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