LaunchVic is writing $300,000 cheques to set up angel networks to back Victorian startups

- March 13, 2024 2 MIN READ
Angels investors
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The Victorian government’s startup arm, LaunchVic, has a new bucket of grants of up to $300,000 for specialised angel networks to invest in pre-seed and seed rounds in the state.

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said the new grant round would work to inject more capital into the market when early-stage funding in Victoria remained low.

“We’re inviting individuals with deep subject matter expertise to formalise their networks and invest,” she said.

“Having specialist angel networks will help to connect quality founders with capital. It will provide the deep sectoral advice and access to specialised networks – essential in the growth stages for startups.”

The new angel groups must demonstrate a specific investment focus that could be by way of an industry vertical or type of technology.

So far LaunchVic has funded nine angel networks, with the likes of Ecotone Ventures, Flying Fox and Archangel. Together they have recruited 587 new angel investors and invested a total of $25.9 million into local startups.

Proptech startup CLT Toolbox raised $1.5 million Seed round in October last year, valuing the business at $8.5m.

Archangel was originally established with a 2020 grant from LaunchVic and has since “flipped up” into an early-stage venture capital fund with 150 investors and over $20 million ready to deploy.

Founder Ben Armstrong said being a part of an angel network provided a supportive environment for investors new to angel investing to get comfortable with the terminology, understand potential risks and rewards and learn from experts while making their first bets.

“I think it would be fair to say we would never be where we are today if we hadn’t taken the leap to apply for funding from LaunchVic,” he added.

“The funding was a big benefit of course and helped us cover all our formation costs and most of our operational costs. Another benefit was forcing us to be more thoughtful about how we'd go about
building the business and hitting milestones.”

Applications for the grants are open to local, national and international investors looking to establish and invest in Victoria.

Details on the grants program are at launchvic.org/grants