LaunchVic chips in to help Victorian angel groups assist over 40 early-stage startups

Contributing a solid AU$1.16 million.

The Victorian government's LaunchVic has chipped in AU$1.16 million to help four new angel groups establish their operations.

The state government touted the support would help the angel groups -- Working Theory Angels, Angle Partners, Innovation Bay Angel Network, and Archangel Ventures -- assist over more than 40 early-stage startups secure seed investment.

"This funding provides a genuine opportunity for startups at a time when obtaining seed investment is even more challenging," Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula said.

"We want to support startups that have high-growth potential, so they can scale and become the next Airwallex, Culture Amp or Judo Bank."

The angel groups were chosen through a LaunchVic expression of interest process seeking Victorian-based angel network proposals.

According to the state government, Working Theory Angels will make at least eight investment deals with a combined value of AU$2.1 million; Angel Partners' target is to make 15 investment deals valued at AU$1.9 million; Innovation Bay Angel Network is set to facilitate 11 investment deals worth a total AU$4.1 million; and Archangel Ventures is expected to secure nine investment deals valued at AU$2.25 million.

See also: Moving from startup to established company: Four big shifts (TechRepublic)  

Earlier this year, Stone and Chalk called on the urgent need for a strategy to be developed to better support the startup fintech sector.

As part of its submission to the Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology, the Sydney-based fintech accelerator said: "If an effective, comprehensive strategy to encourage technological innovation and the ability to support emerging companies is not implemented as a matter of urgency, Australia is at risk of losing the regional race in positioning itself as a market of choice for fintech and regtech resources -- natural, human and financial".

These remarks were followed by Stone & Chalk CEO Alex Scandurra appearing in front of the committee saying startups in Australia are being held back from success by the players that dominate the market, as well as by a lack of support from governments and corporates.

"For fintech startups … to succeed in Australia, they need to be able to sell to corporates and governments," he said. "In other words, governments and corporates need to buy solutions from Australian startups and scaleups."

He also said the success of Australian startups has been plagued by oligopolies in almost every industry.

"Oligopolies exert significant market power and it continues to be the Australian consumer and smaller businesses that are paying the price," he said. "This dynamic is acting as a handbrake on the economy and stifling innovation renewal and growth."

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