University of Melbourne’s new startup venture capital fund Tin Alley Venture has raised $100 million from a who’s who of the Victorian business establishment to back alumni founders.
The uni chipped in $25 million to kick off the fund, a joint venture with John Wiley’s Tanarra Capital, in June last year.
Seven months later, the uni’s chancellor, prominent barrister Allan Myers and his business partner, John Higgins, have also backed Tin Alley, along with Acciona Australia CEO Bede Noonan, Goldman Sachs Australia chair Christian Johnston, former Qantas chair Leigh Clifford, and Ben Gray, founding partner of private equity firm BGH Capital.
Government-owned Breakthrough Victoria also invested in Tin Alley Fund No 1, having also invest $7.5 million in the university’s Genesis Pre-Seed Fund, to back early-stage research, ideas and new technologies at Melbourne uni.
Tin Alley will invest in Melbourne Uni-affiliated startups, providing support from the seed stage through to pre-IPO. Some of the net profit will be invested in university research, early-stage commercialisation and social enterprises.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said his institution is the first Australian university to introduce an end-to-end funding platform supporting the research commercialisation pathway.
“Raising $100 million demonstrates confidence in the future commercial potential of our University startups,” he said.
“The Tin Alley Ventures fund will create significant new entrepreneurial opportunities for our world-class researchers, students and alumni as well as the medical research institutes and hospitals affiliated with the University of Melbourne.”
Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley said the fund will help support the commercialisation of Victorian innovation.
“By investing in early-stage research over the long-term and forging partnerships with universities through these kinds of investment, Breakthrough Victoria can support the development of new innovations that could have a real impact on the lives of Victorians,” he said.
“We are pleased to partner with the University of Melbourne as an investor in the Tin Alley Ventures Fund and the Genesis Pre-Seed Fund. We look forward to making further investment announcements this year as we work with all Victorian universities to establish new funds through our Breakthrough Victoria University Innovation Platform.”
Tin Alley is now in the final stages of hiring its investment team, with Wiley and the Tanarra team overseeing operations.
The fund is now targeting a second close in mid-2023.
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