Nine startups that raised a combined $70 million this week

startup funding

Big Tiny co-founders David Ng, Jeff Yeo, Adrian Chia. Source: supplied.

We’re starting to sound like a broken record, but it’s been yet another epic week for startup funding in Australia and New Zealand.

Hospitality tech startup Mr Yum had a particularly good week, announcing its $89 million Series A raise and taking home no less than four trophies at the Pause Awards.

We also covered Harrison.ai’s $129 million raise, while Heaps Normal bagged $8.5 million and fintech PayOK raised $3 million for its platform protecting SMEs from invoice fraud.

But there was plenty of cash flying around that we didn’t get to cover in full. From a biotech producing a new COVID-19 vaccine to eco-friendly tiny homes to the Canva for building apps, here are the startup funding stories you might have missed this week.

Q-CTRL $35 million

Aussie quantum technology startup Q-CTRL has raised $35 million in a Series B round led by Airbus Ventures, the VC arm of the global aerospace giant Airbus.

The funding will allow Q-CTRL to take advantage of new data-as-a-service markets, using quantum tech for measuring acceleration, gravity and magnetic fields.

“Q-CTRL’s vision has always been to enable all applications of quantum technology,” founder and chief Michael Biercuk said in a statement.

“This new fundraise accelerates our mission to deliver real value to the space, defence, and commercial sectors.”

Q-CTRL

Q-CTRL founder Michael Biercuk. Source: Supplied.

Foundry Lab $11.3 million

Kiwi startup Foundry Lab has closed an US$8 million Series A raise ($11.3 million or NZ$11.7 million), led by Aussie VC Blackbird.

The startup has developed microwave-based tech to create metal castings quickly. The tool can reduce turnaround times for casting jobs from one to six weeks to as little as eight hours, providing an alternative to 3D printing.

“3D printing is great for look-alike parts, but the world runs on real parts, and metal printing can never produce a real casting,” founder and chief David Moodie said in a statement.

Elenium Automation $10 million

Once an aviation-tech startup designed to streamline the airport experience, Elenium Automation pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic, repurposing its kiosks to provide contactless temperature, heart rate and respiratory checks.

The SmartCompany Resilience Awards finalist has now reportedly secured $10 million as it expands its reach outside of airports and into the aged care and events sectors, as well as in other workplaces.

The startup has also named a new board member in ANZ non-executive director Paula Dwyer.

“It’s a pivotal time for the company as the world reopens and the applications for its technologies grow increasingly important,” Dwyer reportedly said.

Elenium Automation

Elenium Automation co-founder Aaron Hornlimann with Paula Dwyer. Source: supplied.

Particular Audience $10 million

Particular Audience has bagged $10 million to fuel its AI-powered platform helping small e-commerce retailers compete with the global leaders, by identifying items an individual consumer might be interested in.

Founded in 2017, the startup now has a presence in the UK, Europe and North America and is reporting revenue growth of 460% year-on-year.

Sales through the platform are almost at $100 million per year — up 19x over the past two years.

Particular Audience

Founder James Taylor (third from right) and the Particular Audience team. Source: supplied.

EnGeneIC $5 million

Sydney-based biotech EnGeneIC has raised a huge $5 million through a VentureCrowd equity crowdfunding campaign, for a new COVID-19 vaccine suitable for patients with compromised immune systems.

EnGeneIC usually creates nanocell technology used to make cancer treatments less toxic. Co-chiefs Dr Jennifer MacDiarmid and Dr Himanshu Brahmbhatt have now used the same tech to develop a COVID-19 vaccine suited to those who may not have been able to get the existing jabs on the market.

The startup smashed its $1 million minimum target for the raise and is now gearing up to launch on the NASDAQ in 2022.

Big Tiny $4.2 million

Singaporian-Australian startup Big Tiny has bagged $4.2 million in pre-Series A funding to roll out 300 mini holiday cottages throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Inspired by a trip to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, Big Tiny co-founder Adrian Chia dreamt up the idea to place tiny homes on private property, taking advantage of an eco-tourism boom while allowing property owners to make some cash.

The startup currently has about 100 tiny homes across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, and has seen revenue growth of almost 260% in 2021.

The raise values the business at $31 million.

Jupiter Ionics $2.5 million

Jupiter Inonics has secured $2.5 million in funding, plus the rights to use tech developed at Monash University’s School of Chemistry to create a carbon-neutral form of ammonia fertiliser.

The startup uses an electrochemical process to produce ammonia, reducing nitrogen extracted from the air and combining it with hydrogen extracted from water.

All of this is powered using renewable electricity, making it a much more eco-friendly alternative to traditional ammonia production methods, which contribute heavily to carbon emissions.

“The current global market for ammonia is worth around US$70 billion ($98 billion),” chief executive Dr Charlie Day said in a statement.

“But proposed new uses for green ammonia as a shipping fuel and a form of energy storage mean it could be many multiples of that in the future.”

Cogniss $1.1 million

No-code app building platform Cogniss has closed its OnMarket equity crowdfunding campaigning, raising $1.1 million from 302 investors and smashing its minimum target more than four times over.

The funding will allow the business to “press go” on its scaling plans, hiring new developers, embarking on a marketing campaign and expanding its customer base.

Cogniss makes it easier for non-technical folk to build apps, while also cutting the cost of building custom apps by up to 90%.

“In the same way that Canva enables anyone to produce amazing designs, Cogniss enables anyone to create powerful, transformational apps,” founder and chief Leon Young said in a statement.

Flotespace

The Aussie Airbnb for boats Flotespace has reportedly secured a fresh batch of pre-Series A funding, as it plots a course for expansion to the US — starting with Miami.

The value of the raise has not been disclosed, but according to a report in The Australian it values the startup at $12 million. It follows a $600,000 raise in April this year which valued the business at $4 million.

According the report, new investors include Airtasker chief executive Tim Fung, Siteminder founder Mike Ford, Amaysim co-founder Rolf Hansen and Catapult chairman Adir Shiffman.

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