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Record year for Australian startups with US$1.6 Billion VC invested

Record year for Australian startups with US$1.6 Billion

Australia saw a continued rise in venture capital funding in 2020, to a record US$1.6 billion, up from US$1.48 billion in 2019, according to the latest KPMG Venture Pulse report, released today.

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The quarterly research, which captures investment in startups across the world, reported 227 Australian VC investment deals over 2020, down from a record 285 in 2019

Head of KPMG High Growth Ventures, Amanda Price commented: "Despite the ongoing ripple effects of COVID-19, both global and local investors remain eager to fund Australian innovation. The new dynamics driven by the global pandemic have accelerated digitization across many industries. This rapid change creates opportunities for disruption, and investors see potential in Australian startups to build great companies and deliver strong returns.”

“Alongside later-stage rounds for well-established Australian startups like Canva, Go1 and Volt Bank – we are also seeing investment in new areas of technology such as plant-based foods – with v2food’s Series B one of the top five deals of 2020. Each of these deals is more than just a number – it represents a dynamic business that is creating new jobs and fueling the growth of Australia’s future economy,” she added.

Major Australian VC deals in 2020 included later stage rounds for established scale-ups such as Brighte, SiteMinder and Safety Culture, which raised over US$70 million across two funding rounds in 2020.

Australia: top 10 venture capital investments in 2020

Company Deal size
(US$M)
Industry State
Brighte $83.50 Financial Services NSW
SiteMinder $70 Information Technology NSW
Canva $60 Information Technology NSW
v2food $55 Consumer Products & Services (B2C) NSW
Volt Bank $48.50 Financial Services NSW
Go1 $40 Business Products & Services (B2B) QLD
Futurespace $39.40 Business Products & Services (B2B) NSW
SafetyCulture $35.50 Information Technology QLD
SafetyCulture $34.70 Information Technology QLD
Integrity (Life and Health Insurance) $31 Financial Services NSW

Globally, in the first half of the year startup investment contracted under the unique pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. VC investors were generally cautious due to economic uncertainty and many startups across all markets experienced significant business hardship. Despite this, later-stage financing volume remained relatively robust, with VC investment recovering to near all-time records in the last six months of 2020 as more clarity around the economic future emerged.

"In what was a globally tumultuous year, Australia’s startup investment environment remained robust. Many of our leading VC firms continued to raise record levels of funding from private and institutional sources. With this capital at their disposal, there remains much dry power within the system,” said Amanda Price.

“Despite the events of 2020, founders enter 2021 with every opportunity to secure the funds they need to fuel rapid growth.”

For further information

Ash Pritchard
+61 411 020 680
apritchard2@kpmg.com.au

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