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Funding roundup August 9 – August 13: Australian startup investment up 28% in FY 20-21

Dynamic Business brings you the key startup fundraising rounds from this week:

Lygon secures $5 million in pre-series A round 

Lygon announced that it has raised $5 million, as the company prepares the ground for a Series A capital raise later in 2021. 

Lygon is a first-to-market blockchain-based platform that was originally created from a collaboration involving ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, Scentre Group, and IBM to bring a 200-year-old paper-based bank guarantee process into the digital era.

Lygon’s CEO, Justin Amos, said that Aura Ventures, the venture capital division of Aura Group, a major third-party institutional investor, had led the pre-Series A funding round – becoming Lygon’s first external investor since the company was formed.

AI-based ecommerce startup Splashup has scored $150,000 

Splashup, an eCommerce startup aiming to make online purchasing and comparison shopping easier for clients, has won the Commonwealth Bank’s venture-scaling organisation, x15ventures’ pitch competition. 

Nathalie Rafeh and Vivek Bharadwaj, co-founders of Splashup, will receive a $150,000 SAFE note as winners of the Xccelerate21 programme. Reimagining how customers browse, pay, and are rewarded in retail was the subject for Xccelerate21. 

Five firms were chosen for a shark tank-style pitch event from over 80 founders in the programme.

Australian startup investment up 28% in FY 2020-21: KPMG Venture Pulse

According to the latest KPMG Venture Pulse report, venture capital funding in Australia increased to a record US$2.5 billion between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, up from US$1.95 billion the previous year. 

The data, which tracks startup investment throughout the world, found a new high of 327 Australian VC investment deals in the last financial year, up from 311 the year before. 

Later stage rounds for established scale-ups like Airwallex, Athena, and Safety Culture were among the top Australian VC deals in the 2020-21 financial year.

Battery materials startup raises $3.7 million in pre-series A

A battery materials company promising to improve the capacity of existing lithium-ion batteries by up to 100% has raised $3.7 million in a pre-Series A.

The round was led by local VC Artesian and US-based Riverstone Ventures, with New York’s Chaos Ventures, Singapore’s SDGx and Sydney VC Bandera Capital also chipping in alongside several prominent Australian climate-tech investors.

Entrepreneur, Christiaan Jordaan, and materials scientist Andrew Minett founded Sicona in 2019, setting out to develop next-generation battery technology used in

the anodes (negative electrodes) of lithium-ion batteries used by electric vehicles.

Mushroom-based meat startup Fable plants raises $6.5 million 

Fable Food Co, a plant-based meat alternative using mushrooms, has raised $6.5 million in seed funding.

Blackbird Ventures led the round, joined by Silicon Valley VC AgFunder, Aera VC, a fund specifically focused on sustainability, and Better Bite Ventures, along with Singapore based Ban Choon Marketing and former-Sequoia Capital partner Warren Hogarth.

The funding is earmarked to ramp up R&D, expand production and manufacturing capabilities in Australia and abroad, and accelerate its international push. Fable has launched in Singapore and the U.K, with the U.S. on the cards by the end of this year.

Former Shoes of Prey co-founder Michael Fox launched Fable in December 2019, with chef and mycologist Jim Fuller, and organic mushroom farmer Chris McLoghlin.

Dovetail raises $5 million

Dovetail, a Sydney startup, has raised $5 million in a round-headed by Felicis Ventures, a US venture capital firm. Mike Cannon-Brookes’ family investment vehicle Grok Ventures, Didier Elzinga, the co-founder of Culture Amp, and Blackbird Ventures all contributed to the round.

The software startup, which uses deep customer understanding to help teams make better decisions, will utilise the funding to expand the scope of its customer research platform. 

Dovetail was launched in 2017 by Benjamin Humphrey and Bradley Ayers and has over 1,500 paying companies and 35,000 users.

Fintech founders syndicate backs Fresh Equities in $2.3 million raise

Wisr, Sythetix, and Zip founders are among the $2.3 million investors in investment technology startup Fresh Equities. Archangel Ventures led the investment, which also included Flying Fox Ventures. 

Larry Diamond and Adam Finger, Anthony Nantes, the CEO and founder of Wisr, and Kain Warwick, the founder of Synthetix Coin, are now also shareholders. Nantes will work as a consultant for CEO Ben Williamson.

Williamson and Rhys Davis co-founded the venture in 2017, and the business has given investors access to ASX 100 companies in opportunities normally reserved for large funds as well as helping out its own backers, such as Wisr and Zip.

Fresh has worked on over 1,000 transactions, providing companies access to a combined total of $450 million. The company has seen its bid volume grow 15x in two years.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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