Victoria seeks to attract global startups with new investment fund

Image credit:

The Victorian government has unveiled a new initiative aimed at attracting global startups that seek to establish a presence in the state. 

The  $20 million Equity Investment Attraction Fund, launched 15 December, will co-invest with institutional investors and take a non-controlling minority stake in companies. 

Funding allocated through the program will be mostly focused on attracting the best and brightest early-stage startups from countries like Singapore, Israel, United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Each venture selected through the program will receive between $1 million and $5 million. About five to 10 high-quality investments are expected to be made. 

As part of the agreement, selected companies must be willing to locate or invest large and critical parts of their operations in Victoria, have a strong lead investor and possess novel products and services with high commercial potential.

In a press release, the Victorian government said startups drove significant job growth in the state, with a 10.7 per cent rise in employment per annum between 2018 and 2020. 

Furthermore, Melbourne’s early stage startup ecosystem value has more than doubled in 2021, up by 125 per cent from $10.5 million to over $23.6 billion. 

The Equity Investment Attraction Fund will be managed by an advisory board comprised of independent investors Brigette Smith, managing director of GBS Ventures; Rachel Yang, partner at impact venture capital fund Giant Leap; and Kerri Lee Sinclaire, an expert investor with over $100 million of capital under management. 

The funding is included in the Victorian Budget 2022/23. 

“We are supporting startups from high-growth sectors to set up in Victoria as they seek to innovate, expand and create new jobs,” said Minister for Trade and Investment Tim Pallas

“The establishment of the fund sends a strong signal to creative and ambitious entrepreneurs who have solid business projects that Victoria is the place to be.”