Uniseed – a venture fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, New South Wales, Sydney, Queensland and the CSIRO – has said its university partners have committed to an A$20 million ($15.1 million) allocation to establish a Follow-On Fund.
The university partners will contribute $5 million each over the next 10 years.
The new fund will be focussed on lower-risk, later-stage investment rounds in Uniseed investee firms.
Uniseed’s key mandate is to facilitate the commercialisation of research partner generated intellectual property.
Uniseed’s partners account for over $4 billion in annual research expenditure, representing 40 per cent of such spending in Australian research organisations.
The new funding will provide additional capital to supplement investments from Uniseed’s $50 million Commercialisation Fund (Fund-3). It aims to strengthen Uniseed’s long term deal alignment.
To date, the fund has exited four investments through trade sales. Uniseed scored highly profitable exits that include Fibrotech in 2014, and the 2015 exits of Spinifex and Hatchtech.
Dr Peter Devin, CEO of Uniseed, said, “Currently, Uniseed takes early stage risk to facilitate commercialisation of member organisation intellectual property. With early investment moving technology out of the laboratory, across the “valley of death” to the traditional capital markets – our new Follow-On Fund will allow Uniseed to participate more fully in later stage investment rounds and take our investee companies further along their path to commercialisation.”