Three startup capital raises worth over $12 million you might have missed in December


Airwallex founding team. Source: supplied.

Though the rest of the world may have been revelling in some downtime over the Christmas and New Year break, Aussie startups have continued to land deals, raise capital, and drive their businesses forward.

At the end of 2017, we touched on some of the hottest startups to watch this year and recapped the 10 biggest capital raises Australian startups had completed in the last 12 months.

But to get you caught up for 2018, here are three capital raises by Australian startups over the Christmas period, totalling more than $12 million.

1. Agtech platform Flurosat raises $1.5 million

Flurosat pitches itself as a provider of “remote sensing technology and predictive decision support” for farmers and the farming community, using remote imaging and sensor technology to increase the health and gains of Australian crops.

In late 2017, the New South Wales-based startup received a $1.5 million investment from CSIRO Main Sequence Ventures and AirTree Ventures, along with other strategic investors, plus the company says it’s landed a number of grants from accelerator programs such as Growlab.

In a statement, Flurosat founder Anastasia Volkova said the money would be used to continue growing the company rapidly, and she was excited about the investors coming on board.

“These investors have experience and knowledge in each of the major parts of FluroSat’s business: deep tech, crop health science, data analytics, and machine learning — as well as direct contacts with growers of high-value crops. This is almost as important as the financial injection,” she said.

2. Open-source database startup Dgraph banks $3.8 million

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes is among the investors to back open-source distributed graph database startup Dgraph, reports TechCrunch, along with Airtree, Blackbird, and Bain Capital Ventures, with the startup raising a total of $3.8 million before the end of the year.

Founder Manish Jain told TechCrunch that after raising, he will be moving the company to the US in order to continue unlocking — and that finding funding while being in Australia wasn’t easy.

The somewhat unusual choice of having the software open-source is to try and increase adoption by getting big-name companies on board. “If Uber starts using it, then that brings a lot of new users to us,” he said.

3. Cross-border payments startup Airwallex raises $8 million

Not settled with already raising $17.4 million earlier in 2017, Melbourne fintech startup Airwallex raised $8 million from Square Peg Capital in the final weeks of the year to continue fuelling the company’s international expansion.

The startup has now raised nearly $30 million in capital since being founded in 2016.

“It’s incredibly exciting for Airwallex to join forces with Square Peg and to add an Australian VC to the mix. I have personally been inspired by Paul [Bassat, of Square Peg] since seeing a speech he gave while I was still at uni — so to now be working with him on my own startup is almost indescribable,” co-founder Jack Zhang said in a statement.

“Square Peg’s support will allow us to continue Airwallex’s mission to eradicate the burden of international payments so that businesses can transact across borders with ease.”

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