Hostplus’ investment brings the industry super fund’s investments in Australian VCs to more than $350 million, including commitments to M.H. Carnegie & Co, Brandon Capital, Blackbird Ventures and Square Peg Capital.
Artesian’s Australian VC portfolio includes almost 100 investments including later stage ventures such as Fme & Partners, Swift, HeyYou, Instaclustr, Clarity Pharmaceuticals, CriticalArc, ingogo, Jayride and Gamurs.
Artesian managing partner, Jeremy Colless, says the firm's partners pre-screen 2000+ start-ups each year, selecting the top 5–10% to participate in their accelerator programmes.
“Hostplus has almost single-handedly reinvigorated institutional support for Australian start-ups and entrepreneurs. Without the vision and commitment of chief executive David Elia, chief information officer Sam Sicilia, the investment management team and the board of Hostplus, high-growth Australian ventures might struggle to build traction, create new products, jobs, have material exits and go on to motivate, support and inspire a new and even larger number of innovative, risk-taking founders,” Colless says.
Elia says, "There is no doubt that technology has shaped our society and is pervasive in our everyday lives. In fact, technology companies have become the most valuable companies in the world. We believe it makes sense to further diversify our portfolio into VCs and foster greater innovation for Australia."
Colless says that, as well as its active role investing in Australian seed and late stage ventures, Artesian has been investing its partners’ capital in start-ups in China since 2009.
And, in addition to the $85 million commitment to Australian ventures, Colless says Artesian will partner with Hostplus in identifying and investing in “remarkable start-ups” in China.
Artesian’s current China-based startup investments include Dr Panda, italki, Tradesparq, Rechaos and Aidaijia.