The March Q 2019 was massive for Startup and Tech Funding but is investment growth slowing?

Techboard is pleased to present its latest startup and young tech funding report for the quarter ending 31 March 2019. This quarter on the lead up to the Australian Federal Election we decided to do more analysis of our numbers than usual for our ‘minor’ reports and we identified a number of trends that may provide some cause for concern.   

During the March quarter 2019 Techboard identified over 150 funding events across a broad range of funding types ranging from accelerator program funding, acquisitions, equity crowdfunding, major debt instruments (sometimes called venture debt), grants, coin offerings, initial public offerings, ASX placements and private investment (including angel, VC and other large-scale private investment).  The report reveals funding events for Australian startups and young tech companies totalling $2.697b during the March 2019 quarter, the largest quarter for funding yet since Techboard began producing its reports.

The quarter was massive for Victoria, with the three largest funding events totaling over $2b all being for Victorian companies, PEXA, AirWallex and Moula. In all, Victorian Companies accounted for 79% of total funding for the quarter with $2.145b in funding.
Key facts for Victoria from the Report:
  • Victorian company PEXA had the largest acquisition with over $1.6 billion,
  • Largest private investment with the $100m USD ($141m AUD) Series C raise by Airwallex.
  • The largest reported debt was the $250m debt financing by Victorian Fintech Moula.
  • The largest equity crowdfunding raise (a new record) was by Victorian-based female ridesharing service Shebah which raised $3m on the Victorian-based Birchal platform.
  • The only crypto-currency/token funding event was for Victorian-based lifestyle payment platform Liven, which raised $14m in its coin offering (so described by Liven as the company had already raised capital and had been operating for some time).
Techboard identified some potentially concerning funding trends which were addressed in the Funding Report and in press coverage of the report, an increase in the number ($20m+) of very large private funding rounds, offset by a decline in the rate of growth of private investment and a decline in the numbers of smaller (sub $20m) private investments. When Victoria is considered in isolation the data tells a slightly different story.  Private funding in Victoria is still generally trending upwards as it is nationally, but not as clearly due to the massive spike in the September quarter (thanks to Judo Capital, Airwallex and CultureAmp).  In addition, the slowing of growth of private investment is not as apparent in Victoria as was the case nationally.  Private investment deal size trends which as apparent on a national analysis are less clear in Victoria (with no general upwards trend for large raises above $20, despite the successes of companies like Airwallex with two $100m plus raises within the year) and no downwards trend apparent in the $1-5m investment size). Victoria does however match the national trend in terms of a decline in the overall number of private investments captured.  The downwards trend in public funding experienced nationally is also reflected in Victoria.
Commercial subscribers can access the underlying funding data, including details of the investors where available.