Home Market Hostplus tips $85 million into Artesian VC

The Hostplus industry superannuation fund has invested $85 million in Australian seed stage Venture Capital firm Artesian to bring the VC platform’s total investment funds under management to $150 million.

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.

Artesian has the right to invest in every pre-screened start-up and pro rata rights for subsequent rounds, and Colless says the fund follows on in start-ups that successfully raise further rounds from external angel, corporate or VC investors. The portfolio continues to invest in the best 25–50 start-ups with material traction heading for trade sale or IPO exits.

“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.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

 

 

 

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