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A fresh $75m for Australian VC “our Innovation Fund”

Lawrence Schwartz and Isabella Rich – supported by Jerry Stesel, Geoff Levy and David Shein plans to close its 2nd  fund ($75m) after having invested in 12 Australian Companies with its first $50 fund – (who has raised a further $250m from other funds) .

Isabella said that they have five deals at the pointy end of due diligence that they are very excited about. 

Remote work, remote operations and making businesses more efficient seems to be the flavour of deal flow in this Covid-19 environment.

Three of the notable Companies they have backed are 

Go1 – a workplace training marketplace – “The OIF team have been incredibly helpful – particularly with our US expansion where we’ve seen 5x growth over the last 12 months” 

Kasada – a cyber security company backed  by Malcolm Turnbull 

Advanced Navigation.an artificial intelligence powered navigation and robotics business

Assignar – a construction operations software business Sean McCreanor, said the OIF Team have been pragmatic and empathetic towards its portfolio companies and their customers.

This team is clearly not scared to get their hands dirty and does what it takes to help their portfolio companies succeed …..  they see themselves as an extension of the businesses we invest in.

David Shein shared an amazing 3 hours with the BBG Innovation forum – and shared a secret to the funds success –  its 3F values

  • founders (supporting them), 
  • fund (generating returns for stakeholders) and 
  • fun 

The team  relies strongly on personal referrals – says David – and it was rare that an investment would be made from a cold call! 

The value they bring is so much more than the money they provide !

The CEO of GO1 who raised on the $62m raise said “The OIF networks are strong for both prospective partners and customers. For example, they helped organise an introduction to Walmart.”

Laurence Schwartz said the fund  was tracking at a compounded annual rate of return of 32.7 per cent after tax, which would put it in the top quartile of global funds like Accel and Lightspeed.

Posted on August 6, 2020

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