The Andrews Labor Government is backing local startups to grow, with a new fund manager announced to help roll out a landmark scheme which will create thousands of jobs across the state.
Leading international fund manager Lighter Capital has been appointed as one of the two managers to deliver the Venture Growth Fund (VGF).
Announced as part of the Victorian Budget 2020/21, the $25 million VGF will see the Labor Government co-investing with institutional investors to give high-growth, revenue-generating startups access to the capital they need to expand their businesses.
The Government will allocate $10 million of capital to the Lighter Capital Fund, which will also include $20 million from private investors as senior capital and $1.6 million from Lighter Capital as equity capital.
The news of Lighter Capital’s involvement in the VGF follows the appointment of OneVentures as a fund manager for the VGF in November.
The VGF is part of the Government’s suite of initiatives to support growth opportunities for startups, including the $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund, the Victorian Business Growth Fund, the Alice Anderson Fund and the Victorian Startup Capital Fund.
The Breakthrough Victoria Fund recently announced support for a $95 million biotech startup incubator in Parkville, providing access to industry expertise, academic and clinical facilities and capital to help great ideas become commercial success stories.
Victoria has a strong track record in transforming startups into high-growth firms and is home to 18 unicorns including Afterpay, Airwallex, Carsales.com, Culture Amp, Judo Bank, MYOB, REA Group, Redbubble and SEEK.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas
“We’ve seen how startups can rapidly grow from one or two people to employing hundreds of people – so supporting the growth of companies like these will help create jobs for Victorians.”
“The Venture Growth Fund addresses a gap in the market where technology-focused startups are often considered too risky to finance.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford
“Victoria’s startup sector is on the rise – growing by $3 billion to $10.5 billion in the past year alone. This fund will support more startups to scale, accelerate the growth of the sector and create more exciting jobs for Victorians.”
Quote attributable to Lighter Capital CEO Melissa Widner
“Our mission is to help founders grow their companies on their terms and we look forward to helping startups succeed through this new fund.”
Reviewed 14 December 2021