Venture Capital

Pointless add: Telstra is looking to get out of venture capital

- June 25, 2024 2 MIN READ
Matthew Koertge
Titanium Ventures managing partner Matthew Koertge
Telstra’s appetite for venture capital (VC) investing is waning, and the telecommunications giant is looking to sell out of the $1.35 billion fund that no longer bears its name.

Sydney and US-based Telstra Ventures has changed its name to Titanium Ventures, having been founded in 2011 and spun out of Telstra in 2018. 

Announcing the change, the company said Telstra is exploring selling its current investments in the Titanium funds “as part of its focus on capital discipline  and active portfolio management”. 

Telstra has a 62.5% stake in Titanium Ventures Fund 2 and half of Fund 3, built in 2022 and worth $500 million,

Titanium (nee Telstra) has invested 99 startups over 13 years, including Auth0, BigCommerce, Box, CrowdStrike, DocuSign, GitLab, OpenGov, Snap and Whispir. 

Over that time there have been 42 liquidity events, including 12 IPOs, and 17 companies have hit unicorn ($1bn) valuations.

More than A$1 billion (US678m) has been returned to our investors. There’s currently A$1.35 billion in funds under management.

Titanium’s Sydney-based managing partner Matthew Koertge said the VC’s team and investment thesis remain the same, with a focus on AI, digital and software.

“We are grateful for Telstra’s support since our inception in 2011. Our new brand is a natural progression as the team has been operating as an independent, global VC firm since 2018,” he said.

“Today we have more than 50 LPs and we have refined our identity and what we represent. We look forward to continuing to work with Telstra on a commercial basis to generate more revenue for our portfolio companies. It’s business as usual.”

Telstra chief financial officer Michael Ackland said Telstra was proud of the role it had played in setting Titanium Ventures.

“The new brand reflects the independent strength and capabilities of the team and the trust that they have earned from a range of global institutional investors,” he said.  

“Consistent with our focus on capital discipline and active portfolio management, we are exploring options to sell our current investments in Telstra Ventures’ funds. We believe that through the relationships we have fostered over the years, we can continue working together and Telstra will be able to access leading edge technologies in the portfolio companies of Titanium Ventures.”

Telstra’s marketing focus in recent months has lived up to its promise of pointless ads.