Australia releases $100 M in venture capital funding

The Australian government has released a fresh $100 million round of venture-capital funding as part of its Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) program to support innovative companies with high-growth potential at the seed, start-up, or early expansion stages of development. 

"The IIF continues to commercialise leading Australian research to produce new technologies, products and services that will be sold around the globe,” Minister for Climate Change, Industry, and Innovation Greg Combet said.

Three of the IIF’s world-class, licensed fund managers will share the funds and equally match the public money with private capital. They are Carnegie Venture Capital (which is part of veteran investor Mark Carnegie’s stable of funds), GBS Venture Partners (a major player in biotechnology and life science start-ups) and Innovation Capital Associated (which will focus on advanced manufacturing activities).

The funds will invest at least $200 million of fresh capital in start-up businesses, representing a significant financial boost for new ventures, Mr Combet said. "Successful start-ups are essential to creating new products, jobs and economic growth,” he said in a statement.

The IIF, which began in 1998, has established 16 funds and co-invested in the early stages of companies that have become industry leaders, including job-search website Seek.

The Australian government pledged $350 million in new venture capital funding, as part of the Australian Government’s Industry and Innovation Statement unveiled in February.

As part of its Innovation Policy, the Government also took steps to improve the tax treatment of existing venture capital taxation programs to facilitate foreign investment.