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News & Analysis

Afterpay-backed Touch Ventures chips into billionaire Paul Little’s early-stage VC, Skalata Ventures

- December 9, 2021 2 MIN READ
Rohan Workman
Skalata Ventures CEO Rohan Workman
ASX-listed Touch Ventures has backed Melbourne VC Skalata Ventures as it looks to raise $50 million for its second fund.

The Touch investment takes commitments to the fund past the $25 million mark. Afterpay co-founder Anthony Eisen has also taken a personal stake in Skalata Fund II, which is aiming to support 50 Australian startups via Skalata’s seed investment program. 

Touch Ventures CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Hein Vogel said Skalata shared his company’s philosophy when it come to backing Australian entrepreneurs.

“Our investment will naturally afford us direct access to vetted, high-growth companies in  the Skalata portfolio, and we may also refer very early-stage founders to work with the Skalata team as they get ready to launch and/or grow their businesses,” he said. 

Skalata CEO Rohan Workman said they are pleased to have Touch Ventures as a key strategic partner. 

We wanted to include investors who are not only natural next-stage capital providers to our  portfolio companies, but who can provide guidance and networks to help our companies scale,” he said. 

“There is clear evidence that the quality of the deal-flow we’re attracting continues to increase and  that the operational support we provide has a material impact on their growth prospects. Pleasingly, later stage investors are recognising this in Skalata portfolio companies and want to be more closely involved.”

Melbourne billionaire Paul Little launched Skalata in 2019 with support fellow business leader Carol Schwartz, while LaunchVic tipped $3 million into the venture. Skalata’s first fund offered up to $250,000 to early-stage ventures.

The VC said it’s now realised its first 10x+ investment return with Preezie, a B2B eCommerce platform enabling guided online shopping experiences. Touch Ventures led a $5.5 million round into Preezie last month.

Workman said that in 2022, Skalata will expand its external advisory network to offer wider industry expertise to its portfolio companies, while also replicating its successful Victorian university partnership model interstate. 

Touch Ventures (ASX:TVL) followed a majority of tech stocks down today, losing more than 3% to close Thursday trade at $0.285 cents. The company listed on the ASX in September having raised $100 million for its IPO at 40 cents a share.