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Funding roundup April 18 – April 22: Fintech Archa closes $24 Million funding round, Lygon secures $12.75 million in Series A and Splend secures $150m capital injection to fast-track transition to EV vehicles

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

Fintech Archa Closes $24 Million funding round 

Australian fintech, Archa announced it successfully closed its Pre-Series A investment round raising $24 million in a mix of debt and equity to support growth and further product development.

CEO and Founder of Wisr, Anthony Nantes, led the investment round, alongside other familiar tech investor names including Alex Vynokur of Apex Capital and Betashares, Adam Jacobs, Co-Founder of The Iconic and Hatch, and former Macquarie Capital executives John Prendiville and Link Chairman Michael Carapiet. 

The round also included a co-founder of ZIP and both Founders of Netspace, Stuart Marburg and Richard Preen, completing a deep cross-section of savvy Australian technology talent. Archa also welcomed to its register a list of high-profile family offices.

Lygon secures $12.75 million in a Series A 

Lygon has secured $12.75 million in Series A funding. ANZ Bank and other existing investors, including Commonwealth Bank and Aura Ventures, led the funding round. The funds will be used to fund the resources needed to onboard a growing pipeline of new customers, support Lygon’s overseas subsidiaries, and fund research and development for delivering other types of digital financial contracts. 

This latest round of funding comes on the heels of Lygon’s successful $5 million pre-Series A round, which closed in August 2021.

The K-Startup Grand Challenge 2022 opens its doors to AUNZ

The K-Startup Grand Challenge (KSGC) is a startup accelerator program supported by the South Korean government. The program aims at bringing international startups, with a focus on AUNZ startups. 

Applications opened on 15 April 2022 and will close on 31 May 2022 for startups keen on the opportunity to work and build a strong foundation in South Korea.

KSGC 2022 will offer 60 startups from around the world that are less than 7 years old a 3.5 months residency program from 1 August to 15 November. Applications open on 15 April and close on 31 May 2022. Each startup’s representative must be of foreign nationality, and express a clear interest to expand into the Korean and East Asian markets. There is a cash prize for the top 10 startups, with USD $120,000 for the winner.

The program will be conducted in Pangyo Techno Valley. Participants will have their living expenses covered, and be provided with free office and project spaces to work from. Startups will have access to mentors, consultants, and business development teams to help fulfil their potential and aid in their localisation efforts.

No Signs of slowing down: Total IPO funds raised grow by 712 per cent to $20.6 billion in 2021

Between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2021, total IPO funds raised in Australia increased by 712 per cent to $20.6 billion. The IPOs were dominated by offer sizes of more than $500 million, accounting for 43.9 per cent of total funds raised during this Dealtracker reporting period. In all categories, the average offering size has increased when comparing the previous three Dealtracker periods to this report. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic was a constant factor in this Dealtracker’s reporting period,” the report said. “However, it failed to reduce the appetite for deals and – in many cases – positively influenced investments, with deal volumes reaching record levels not seen in over a decade.”

Auto tech disruptor secures $150 million capital injection to fast-track transition to EV vehicles

Splend, the world’s largest global provider of flexible vehicle subscriptions for on-demand drivers has secured an AUD $150 million capital injection to fast track its transition to green mobility.  

UK ESG-focused private capital asset manager Pollen Street Capital led the round with the new credit facility to support Splend in its move towards EV vehicles, as well as to help the rapidly growing number of on-demand workers earn an income and be successful.

Splend has set a target fleet size of 10,000 EV rideshare and delivery vehicles by 2024 and will provide members with an increasing range of products with zero tailpipe emissions.  

$500K for NSW Defence Technology & Programs for innovative science products

Applications open for the 2022 NSW Physical Sciences Fund

A reminder that applications are open for the 2022 round of The Physical Sciences Fund (PSF) until 2 May 2022 through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer. 

The PSF is a competitive $5 million commercialisation program that supports local innovations being brought to market. Proposals must deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to NSW across the branches of physical science and engineering, including physics, chemistry, astronomy and the earth sciences.

Applications can be made here.

Funding for the NSW Defence Innovation Network

The NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) will receive $500,000 from the NSW Government to support the development of new cutting-edge technology to maintain secure access to space and achieve complete, real-time awareness of large and small satellite activities. It represents a commitment by the Government to further implement the NSW Space Industry Development Strategy 2020

More information is available here

EOIs open for UNSW SynBio 10x Program

The UNSW Founders Program have launched SynBio 10x – a national program offering biotechnology or synthetic biology startups access to education, networks and the R&D capabilities of the RNA Institute and UNSW School of Biotechnology & Biomolecular Sciences. 

The RNA Institute’s work is supported by an NSW RNA Bioscience Alliancebetween NSW Universities and the NSW Government, and the $15M NSW RNA Production and Research Network.

Main Sequence Ventures has partnered with SynBio 10x and will invest $120,000 in each startup selected for SynBio 10x. Applications close on 15 May 2022.

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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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