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News & Analysis

Victoria’s new Alice Anderson Fund for female entrepreneurs has named the first 5 startups it’s backed

- December 14, 2021 2 MIN READ
STEM
LaunchVic’s Alice Anderson Fund has backed the first five startups in the $10 million co-investment fund, tackling ideas that range from recycled clothing to children’s toys and fitness.

The Victorian Fund’s inaugural round has seen it make $727,167 in direct investments – along with more than $2.3 million in co-contributions from private investors – to startups led by female entrepreneurs.

The first five portfolio ventures are:

  • Milkdrop: an ultra-soft breast cushion set to change the pumping experience forever 
  • TalkiPlay: bringing kids toys to life through talking and singing games to reinforce speech and language 
  • Team Timbuktu: a sustainable outdoor clothing brand using recycled fabrics 
  • Steppen: a social fitness network for Generation Z backed by Afterpay Co-Founder Anthony Eisen
  • mtime: matching parents with vetted and trained ‘Moncierges’ for errands, chores, cleaning and babysitting

mtime Founder Sarah Agboola launched her business following a family tragedy, conscious of the never-ending struggle to manage competing responsibilities and stresses of  home and work lives. She created the word “moncierge”  to describe a family assistant who visits your home weekly to support the household with chores, cooking, cleaning and even childcare.

The Melbourne-based business launched in 2017 and opened in Sydney mid-Covid. Demand in the NSW capital, even in lockdown, has been so strong it’s now running on waitlist until 2022.

“I am thrilled to my core to have the Alice Anderson Fund joining mtime as an investor,” Agboola said.

“And I’m equally excited that these funds will accelerate outcomes for our shared passion for creating real job opportunities for Victorians, especially women who are new or returning to the workforce or of migrant and refugee background.”

Victorian Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Minister Jaala Pulford said the fund delivers vital support to female-led early-stage companies that are too often under-represented when it comes to investment.

“I’m blown away by the ideas these women have and am beyond excited to support them by removing barriers in accessing early-stage capital to scale up,” she said.

“This fund will ensure women entrepreneurs have every opportunity they need to succeed.”

The Alice Anderson Fund is running over three years as a sidecar investment fund committing between $50,000 and $300,000 per investment into between 40 and 60 startups led by women.

Sidecar funds co-invest alongside private investors and the Victorian government’s $10 million contribution is expected to unlock up to $30 million in private sector investment.

It’s named in honour of the founder of Australia’s first all-woman motor garage and repair workshop.

Applications remain open to early-stage investors looking to back female-led startups. The fund’s investment committee, chaired by Scale Investors founder Susan Oliver, meets monthly to review deals. 

For more information, and to apply, visit launchvic.org/general/angel-sidecar.