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Funding roundup February 14 – February 18: Employment Hero soars to unicorn status, DeFi startup tiiik closes Seed round for $5.2m, and CEFC spins off private VC fund to boost clean energy cos

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

DeFi startup tiiik closes Seed round for $5.2m

Australian DeFi startup tiiik has successfully closed its first Seed Round for $5.2 million, with global heavyweight investors leading the raise.

Tiiik’s capital raise was co-led by Global Founders Capital and FinTech Collective and attracted the attention of local and international funds including DACM, B Digital, Decision Tree Capital, Investible, LedgerPrime, 0x Ventures, Athena Ventures, Double Peak, Valhalla Capital, Parsiq, Gate.io, NxGen and Waterdrip Capital.

Other key investors behind the raise include Alvin Singh and Bosco Tan (co-founders at Pocketbook), Larry Diamond (co-founder at Zip Co), Heslin Kim (co-founder at SupraOracles), Jonty Kelt (founder at Fantail Ventures) and Lucas He (co-founder at OP Crypto).

Tiiik is the brainchild of experienced fintech leaders Erez Rachamim, Bernardo Bilotta and Daniel Li founded tiiik following their time at Zip Co, Equitise, and Readiitel.

CEFC spins off private VC fund to boost clean energy cos

The government-owned Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is launching Virescent Ventures, a $200 million specialist venture capital fund. 

The CEFC will own 30 per cent of the newly formed entity. CEFC’s innovation fund has invested $150 million in 21 companies and three cleantech accelerator and incubator programmes in the last five years. 

The CEFC intends to outsource the management of its innovation fund to Virescent Ventures, but it will retain ownership of those equity positions.

Employment Hero soars to unicorn status with new funding

Employment Hero, an all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform, announced the completion of a $181 million funding round led by return investor SEEK Investments, with participation from OneVentures, AirTree Ventures, and other shareholders. Investors’ support reflects Employment Hero’s solid and consistent revenue growth and prospects at the’ unicorn’ level. 

This announcement follows the acquisition of KeyPay, a workforce management and payroll solution, by Employment Hero.

LaunchVic announces $1.8m funding to hatch AgTech startups

Close to 500 innovative farmers and aspiring startup founders are set to break into the AgTech sector, with three new entrepreneurship programs funded by LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria.

Farmers2Founders, Rocket Seeder and SproutX will receive $600,000 to run pre-accelerator programs, which equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills to turn an idea into a business. The $600k grants are part of the Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs Initiative– LaunchVic, a $2.2 million partnership with Agriculture Victoria announced in September 2021.

People interested in participating in the pre-accelerator programs can sign up for a free Information Session run by LaunchVic.

Carbar completes $28.9 m funding round

Carbar, Australia’s first car subscription service, has completed a $28.9 million funding round led by IAG and Seven West Media. 

Carbar will use the funds to expand its marketing, partnership, and technology capabilities as it looks to expand its operations in Australia and capitalise on the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Since the last cap increase in July 2019, Carbar has seen a more than 2000 per cent increase in active subscribers. 

Carbar has announced a new funding round following a year of new commercial partnerships. The company manages the EV subscription programmes for AGL, Aurora, and sonnenDrive. 

Mid-market M&A levels to boom in 2022

The M&A boom in Australia shows no signs of subsiding, with opportunities expected to be plentiful for the next 12-24 months. According to research, Australia’s thriving market can be sustained. Australia remains one of the top destinations for M & M&A, outperforming all other APAC markets. 

Current Australian M&A conditions are rated 8 out of 10 by dealmakers, compared to 8.1 last year. Furthermore, 83percent of dealmakers believe that Australia’s mid-market transactions are superior to those in other markets. 

Ninety-seven per cent are looking for M&A opportunities in Australia and plan to continue doing so through 2022, while 52 per cent say their most recent deals in Australia were opportunistic rather than strategic.

Edtech company HEX raises $1.25m seed funding 

HEX, an education technology company, has completed a $1.25 million seed funding raise as it continues to build out its new digital ‘innovation gap year’ programme, HEX Ed, which was created in collaboration with Atlassian and is affiliated with more than 36 Australian and international universities. 

Impact venture capital fund Giant Leap led the raise. It also attracted a consortium of investors who focus on female founders and women-led startups, including LaunchVic’s Alice Anderson Fund and angel network, Scale Investors.

HEX is a Melbourne-based company that provides immersive future-focused and entrepreneurship programmes to university students and the next generation of talent. It was co-founded in 2017 by globally recognised innovator Jeanette Cheah. 

Enboarder Raises US $32 Million in Series B Funding to Expand People Activation Platform

Enboarder, People Activation Platform enabling companies to transform their people programs into simple, science-based, human-centric journeys, said that it has raised US$32 million in Series B funding, bringing its total investment to US $50 million. 

The round was led by NewSpring, with participation from previous investors, Greycroft and Next Coast Ventures, and new investors Golub Capital, Escalate Capital Partner, Alumni Ventures and Gaingels. 

Enboarder will use the new funds to double down on international growth. With plans to double its headcount over the next year, Enboarder will also use its new capital to invest in additional infrastructure and systems to further accelerate its global growth and expansion.

RELEX Solutions announces the raise of €500m at a €5B valuation

Relex Solutions, a supply chain automation and optimisation platform has raised €500 million in a new funding round led by New York-based Blackstone Growth.

The new funds will enable the company to launch an aggressive recruitment campaign to add hundreds of new developers to its existing 400+ member team. Relex Solutions has raised a total of €700 million to date.

Australia’s virtual metaverse game-for-good GiveTree is launching on Birchal 

GiveTree, Australia’s first metaverse ‘game for good,’ is launching an equity crowdfunding campaign through Birchal, with the goal of raising AU$1 million for an AU$5 million valuation. 

GiveTree is a virtual game based on an NFT marketplace in which a minimum of 1% of every transaction is donated to a real-world Impact Partner – a charity, DAO, or profit-for-purpose organisation. 

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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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