Westpac-backed venture capital firm Reinventure Group has announced the appointment of Silicon Valley veteran Kara Frederick as General Partner, an addition aimed at strengthening the firm’s ability to assist Australian fintech companies looking to expand into the US market.
As General Partner, Frederick, who previously founded joint US-Australian financial services firm Tiger Financial Group and serves as senior advisor of US investment bank GrowthPoint Technology Partners LLC, will work with Reinventure Group cofounders Danny Gilligan and Simon Cant to increase the firm’s capabilities to support Australia’s “high quality of founder talent”.
Frederick said she is looking forward to joining Australia’s VC community, a sector which has shown meaningful growth potential and is paving the way towards positioning Australia as a global “centre of excellence” for fintech.
“Recent announcements of more than one billion dollars in new equity funding commitments, a more than ten times increase in the last few years, show Australia’s founder and investor ecosystem is coming of age. Instead of replicating Silicon Valley, Australia has the potential to become a centre of excellence in areas that are natural strengths,” she said.
Looking to Reinventure as a leader in harnessing this potential for the fintech sector, Frederick added that the firm’s capital and expertise is key in enabling it to move in this direction.
“Reinventure’s model, being an independent venture capital fund with the backing of one of the largest and most well-respected institutions in Australia, Westpac, is differentiated in the market. We have a clear mandate to support founders as a venture capitalist partner, and we can also provide unique access to opportunities within Westpac to our portfolio companies,” said Frederick.
Both Cant and Gilligan expressed their excitement about the appointment, with Cant saying it supports Reinventure’s commitment to growing its investment opportunities in Australian fintech companies.
“Our bench is increasing to support the solid investment pace in seed, Series A and B rounds with ventures spanning fintech, data, Artificial Intelligence, middleware, insuretech and various consumer and business platforms to which Westpac can add significant value,” he said.
“Kara’s addition as the third partner will significantly build our capacity to support founders looking to expand into the US and ultimately find a US acquirer.”
Launched in 2014, Reinventure launched its second fund last August, with the $50 million to be put towards financial services and “adjacent industries”.
Frederick’s appointment follows the announcement last week of National Australia Bank’s leading of a US$24 million Series B round for San Francisco-based foreign exchange payments company Veem through its VC arm, NAB Ventures.
NAB Venture’s General Partner, Melissa Widner, who will be joining the Veem board, said the firm’s close relationship with the company will enable them to gain insights into “user expectations” of where tech is heading for cross-border payments.
Image: Kara Frederick. Source: Supplied.