AirTree Ventures has closed a venture fund with a corpus of A$250 million ($187 million). This makes it, to date, the largest venture capital fund in Australia.
The limited partners (LPs) of the fund originated from two large Australian superannuation funds and a range of family offices. In addition, to this are a number of high net worth individuals (HNIs).
The fund is managed by Daniel Petre and managing partner Craig Blair and follows the formation of an A$60 million fund in July 2014. This surpasses the A$200 million fund launched by BlackBird Ventures, which was launched in November 2015.
These latest capital commitments raised by AirTree fund will be evenly divided into two funds – the AirTree Opportunity fund and Airtree Ventures 2 Core – with the first being an opportunity fund targeting later-stage investments and the latter targeting seed, Series A and Series B funding. The ticket size of such investments will range from A$200,00 to A$5 million.
In a blog post, the company explained that Airtree Ventures 2 Core is an A$125 million fund that will “back outstanding Australian founders who are attacking large markets,” with a focus on SaaS and marketplace models. However they will be also be exploring areas such as machine learning, augmented reality (AR), and the internet of things (IoT) as part of the new fund.
In addition to the financial commitment, Airtree also means to deploy operating partners in company and provide ee will continue to mean much more than just capital: we join our companies as operating partners and open up the Airtree Platform to help give them an unfair advantage as they grow.
Its first fund targeted businesses with a profile of being software companies that could rapidly scale. Amongst their portfolio firms are Canva and Edrolo, with the new fund likely to target a similar profile.
In a statement to startup news publication StartupSmart, Blair said, “The drought has broken. There’s a renewed interest in technology and investors who left the space a decade ago are dipping their toes back in the water. The tech ecosystem is being treated seriously again after a decade of darkness.”