A new Fund-of-Funds venture capital firm, formed by veterans of the super fund Hostplus VC team, has been chosen by the Victorian government to build LaunchVic’s $120 million Victorian Startup Capital Fund (VSCF).
Neil Stanford and Brighid Pappin have created V-Ignite to turn $60 million from the state government into $120 million for the VSCF. That, in turn, will then be distributed to VC funds to back early-stage startups on the proviso that they too match the funding, creating a $240 million war chest for Victorian startups.
Stanford introduced venture investing to the Hostplus portfolio in 2014, backing leading local VCs including Artesian, Blackbird, Brandon Capital, Carthona, IP Group, Main Sequence, Square Peg, Telstra Ventures.
V-Ignite is set to raise at least $60 million from investors, including superfunds, wealth managers and high net worth individuals. Investors will receive a preferential return due to the Victorian Government’s capped return on its $60m cornerstone investment. They’ll be supported by Victorian VC manager, Brandon Capital.
Victorian Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said investors in the VSCF will have access to Victoria’s growing startup sector and a diverse range of other equity funds.
“This is a red-letter day for Victoria’s startup community. Our ecosystem is growing rapidly and this fund will turbocharge this growth,” she said.
“This Fund led by V-Ignite will invest in local VC Funds and enable more startups to scale, driving economic growth and creating new jobs for Victorians.”
Stanford, V-Ignite’s managing director, said they are now raising the $60 million to match the Victorian government contribution and anticipate that the first close will be by end of May 2022.
“V-Ignite applauds LaunchVic for identifying the funding gap in early-stage startups in Victoria and proactively addressing this with the creation of the VSCF,” he said.
“By creating a successful collaboration model, V-Ignite believes we can ignite the next wave of Victorian and Australian innovation.”
The Victorian government allocated the funds for the VSCF two years ago after LaunchVic research identified a material $100 million shortfall in early-stage funding in Victorian startups.
Potential investors wanting to know more about the VSCF can email Stanford and Pappin at: email@example.com