Australia’s robust venture capital scene continues to attract international and local investors, managing over A$65.5B in private equity and VC assets. This is mostly due to the country’s strategic geographic and economic position and potential for regional growth in Asia, the US, China, and Europe.

The state of venture capital in Australia 

Despite the recent economic downturn, the Australian venture capital landscape remains robust, particularly at the seed stage, which has stayed immune to the market movements. Investors—both local and international—express active interest in local solutions, and over 82% of founders expect successful fundraising in the next two years.

Australia is home to numerous local VC funds that specifically focus on international investments or Australian startups with global potential. These funds often have offices or partners located in key global hubs like Silicon Valley, Singapore, or London to bridge connections and foster cross-border investment opportunities. Some Australian-based venture capital firms include OneVentures, which leverages its extensive network in the US to assist tech and healthcare companies, and AirTree Ventures, which supports entrepreneurs who can expand globally, connecting them with international investors and networks in Asia and the US. 

Government support creates a fertile ground for international and Australian venture capital investment. In 2023, the Australian government launched a new $392.4 million initiative called the Industry Growth Program to support small and medium businesses. Also, the R&D Tax Incentive offers tax offsets for companies engaged in R&D activities (a 43.5% refundable tax offset for SMEs and a 38.5% non-refundable tax offset for big companies).

Australia is an active host of international accelerator and incubator programs. Programs like Google’s Launchpad or Microsoft’s ScaleUp provide platforms that connect Australian startups with global markets for exits, such as IPOs on international stock exchanges or acquisitions by top world players.

The success stories of local unicorns boost investor confidence and attract more venture capital to Australia. For example, Atlassian, an enterprise software company that went public on the NASDAQ in 2015 and has grown into a multinational enterprise, has spotlighted Australian tech startups. Similarly, Canva has become a globally recognized graphic design platform, valued at tens of billions of dollars, showcasing the international scalability potential of startups in Australia. 

Top 20 Venture Capital Firms in Australia

Most active VC funds in Australia

Australia boasts over 832 VC funds. Some of the most active VC funds in Australia include:

  • AirTree Ventures—an early-stage investor with $1.3B in AUM spanning seven funds;
  • Blackbird Ventures—a collection of top Silicon Valley investors and seasoned founders of Australia’s most successful tech companies like Aconex and Atlassian;
  • Artesian Ventures—a Series A and seed investor in Australia that has made over 285 investments since its inception.

Australia startup ecosystem

With almost 3K startups under its belt, Australia has positioned itself as the world’s 9th startup hub. Despite its relatively small population, Australia boasts a strong entrepreneurial culture, successfully attracts overseas talent, and benefits from robust federal and state government support. That’s why most startups aim for global reach from the get-go, driving Australia’s startup ecosystem’s rapid growth.

Australia has become a center for software and fintech companies. In 2022, fintech startups were funded at $1.3B, and enterprise and business software ventures raised $1.2B. The ClimateTech and DeepTech sectors are also gaining traction, having attracted $116M and $78M in 2023.

When it comes to advantages for founders, foreign entrepreneurs can get a Provisional visa for Business Innovation and Investment, allowing them to stay in the country for up to five years. Additionally, R&D collaborations between Australian universities/research institutions and international counterparts forge ties that foster Australian startup funding and opportunities for global expansion. 
If you want to enter the Australian venture capital scene, ensure you have an effective investor outreach strategy. To streamline your fundraising journey, we’ve compiled a list of top Australian VC funds. Check it out!

Startup accelerators in Australia

Alongside traditional Australian VC funds, there are numerous accelerator programs worth exploring:

  • HCF Catalyst—an accelerator program focused on healthtech ventures;
  • Startupbootcamp Australia—part of a global network of accelerators that has supported over 1600+ ventures across sports, energy, event tech, fintech, and food sectors;
  • CyRise—a startup accelerator in Australia targeting cyber-security solutions;
  • Atto Accelerator—an industry-agnostic startup school that explicitly supports female founders.

Notable VC exits in Australia

Numerous startups in Australia have achieved significant exits, including BigCommerce, which reached $5B valuation after going public in 2020, and Afterpay, acquired by Square for $29B in 2021. These successful exits underscore the strength of the Australian startup ecosystem and promise investors significant returns on investments. 

Additional insights 

Australia’s startup scene is bustling, driven by both international investments and local VC interest. However, prepare to play hard—investors are ready to channel venture capital into Australian ventures, prioritizing capital efficiency over rapid growth. 
So, craft your business plan with this in mind, emphasizing cost-effective and sustainable growth strategies. And make sure your pitch deck tells a compelling story about your solution/product. If you need help navigating these waters, contact our Waveup team for expert guidance.

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Ruslana

CONTENT WRITER

Hello! I'm Ruslana, a Content Writer at Waveup. Based on my background in marketing research and business analytics, and my current collaboration with the savvy team at Waveup, I'm excited to share my insights and learnings with you.