Today, the Victorian Government has announced the appointment of OneVenture, one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms, as the administrators of the Venture Growth Fund (VGF). OneVenture will be responsible for delivering $30 million in funding through the VGF.
Venture Growth Fund
The VGF was announced as part of Victoria’s 2020/21 budget. Initially, $25 million was committed to the fund. Now the Government says it will commit $15 million to invest late-stage capital into revenue positive startups.
Private capital will match the Victorian Government’s commitment of $15 million to supply venture loans to eligible high-growth companies, helping startups scale up and increase their workforce.
Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas said, “We’re committed to supporting high-potential startups as they look to expand – driving economic growth and creating new and exciting jobs.”
The fund will make loans to startups of between $500,000 and $5 million over a six to 48 months term. Minister Pallas continued: “Access to this kind of capital will play a critical role in accelerating the growth of startups into medium and large companies.”
Venture loans are a relatively new asset class in Australia but have shown great success in the United States, Israel, and Europe.
Venture loans allow startups to take on debt to fund their company rather than giving away equity in exchange for capital, helping them extend their cash runway. Unlike conventional debt financing methods, venture credit lenders do not assess the loan based on underlying assets but instead take a holistic assessment of the company and its future potential.
Sydney based venture capital firm, OneVenture, will manage how the funding is invested and managed. OneVentures currently manages more than $550 million in funds.
Since launching its first fund in 2010, the firm has deployed more than $280 million in early-stage and growth-stage companies. OneVenture Managing Director and Founding Partner Dr Michelle Deaker said, “We’re delighted to partner with the Victorian Government on this important initiative to grow the Victorian technology ecosystem.”
Melbourne’s startup ecosystem value has grown by more than $3 billion in the past 12 months to $10.5 billion. This follows on from a previous valuation of $2.21 billion in 2018.
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said, “This fund supports the powerhouse of founders, investors and the startup community, to create exciting opportunities and upskill the Victorian workforce.”
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