San Francisco SaaS-focused accelerator program Acceleprise to expand to Melbourne

- December 11, 2017 2 MIN READ

San Francisco-based accelerator Acceleprise, focused on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startups, has raised US$7 million in funding for its second fund and announced its expansion to New York and Melbourne.

The Melbourne outfit will be supported by executive chairman of Catapult Sports, Adir Shiffman, who is joining the advisory board, while Rohit Bhargava has come on board as program director.

Founded in Washington, DC in 2012, the program then moved to San Francisco in 2014. With the accelerator receiving backing from companies including Box, Salesforce, and Cisco, participants receive US$50,000 in funding through the four month program.

Michael Cardamone, managing director of Acceleprise, said the expansion has come with the realisation that the SaaS ecosystem is “rapidly expanding globally”.

“Supporting early stage entrepreneurs through our hands on, mentorship driven program in markets like New York and Melbourne is the best thing we can do to help in building the global SaaS ecosystem and the next generation of great SaaS companies,” he said.

Cardamone said Acceleprise has invested in 64 companies, 42 through its first fund and a further 22 from its second fund.

The organisation stated it will be looking to invest in 40 Australian companies over the next three years. According to the 2017 Startup Muster report, there will be a solid pool to work with: this year’s report found just over 46 percent of founders are working on SaaS startups, up from 42.5 percent in 2016.

Among the Acceleprise’s graduates are startups including Compaas, helping companies determine how to compensate their employees, IoT deployment platform D4DT, and Paddle HR, helping users determine their career pathway.

Acceleprise is the latest global program to expand down under.

Techstars wrapped up the first run of its Adelaide program earlier this year. The Defence-focused program saw a range of international applications, with the selected participants coming from as far afield as India, the US, and Auckland.

They received mentorship and support from a network of mentors within the defence and security sector, as well as from the program’s corporate partners including Boeing, Codan Defence Electronics, SAAB Australia, and Thales.

Silicon Valley program 500 Startups, meanwhile, was set to launch in Melbourne this year with funding from LaunchVic.

The resignation of local head Rachel Neumann on the heels of the sexual harassment allegations surrounding 500 Startups founder Dave McClure , however, prompted LaunchVic to pull the agreement.

LaunchVic CEO, Dr Kate Cornick said at the time, “Of the grant funding we have allocated to date, 70 per cent has been invested in local home-grown programs and we will continue to invest at a local and a global level to drive outcomes that will position Victoria’s startup ecosystem as a leader.”

Image source: Acceleprise.