Australia’s VC market hits “unicorn” status with estimated $2 billion in new money


Nearly $2 billion in new venture capital funds has emerged in Australia, turning the local market into a “unicorn”, says Oxygen Ventures investment director Ilya Frolov.

In a blog post on Medium, Frolov said VC funds and activity around the country have surged over the past 18 months.

“Just to give you perspective, prior to June 2015, the early-stage venture industry had an official number of just under $350M,” he said.

“Since June 2015, there is just under $1.9 billion of new money in the Australian venture industry, with another $800-$900 million announced as raising.”

With the rapid growth of fast-growing ventures like Canva, Vinomofo and Atlassian, Frolov says Australia’s startup sector has been radically transformed over the past five years and is capturing the imagination of more and more investors.

“Yes, we’ve heard the big names, but there is a long tail of great funds that should get recognition,” he said.

Collecting information from StartupSmart and other public sources, Frolov is creating a growing list of now over 50 VC funds, including ESVCLPs, impact investors, private equity and corporate venture funds.

Frolov names well-known funds like Airtree Ventures and BlueSky through to newbies on the market.

“I feel this will be a working document and intend to put this in a Google Doc that everyone can access and I can continually add and evolve. Please send me any corrections or additions I may have missed out on,” he said.

Check out the full list here.

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Dinushi Dias is a journalist at StartupSmart and multimedia content producer. When she’s out of the office, she works on social projects with her We Love It Productions family and buddying filmmakers.