The pre-seed and early-stage investment agency funds focused on early start-ups are down for the latest expansion. The fund was established in 2018 in New York, before also launching in London’s Los Angeles, Rockies and Midwest. Jenny Fielding, co-founder and managing director of Textars New York, said the fund has decided on new areas to expand based on the needs of the local startup ecosystem, and earlier this year it heard from a group of founders and operators who wanted to launch it in Australia.
In addition to participating in the first check round, the fund also builds communities of founders and other leaders from successful startups, who not only provide mentors, but also provide capital as limited partners. The fund now has about 400 founders and has invested about 120 across its fund. In each of its regions, the fund has a four-member investment committee. In Australia they are: Todd Deacon, managing director of Textars; Enterprise company Airtree principal Alicia MacDonald; Adrian Petersen, co-founder of AfterWorks Ventures; And the former canvas head of Georgia Widler Products.
The fund will have 50 people, including culture amp’s Rod Hamilton, Lincotry’s Alex Zakaria, Ador Beauty’s Kate Morris and founders of startups such as Canvas and Protection Culture leaders. Fund Australia’s LPs will support encouraging startups from their networks and refer them to the Investment Committee for review. The fund will target $3.5 million and invest in about 40 startups, writing check sizes from $50,000 to $100,000 in 24 months. Limited partners and other members of its community around the world will provide guidance as portfolio firms grow.
Deacon told TechCrunch that the focus is on fund Australia starting at a very early stage due to the growing pre-seed / seed fund gap. He pointed to a report by Opency Group Startups on behalf of Australian startups, saying angel and seed investment in Australia has declined over the past few years, both in terms of aggregate numbers and overall value. Deacon added that the fundraising estimate is that many funds in Australia and other parts of the world initially raised larger funds as well as shifted their focus to the next stage, Deacon added. It also happened in New York City and it was one of the contributing drivers for the creation of The Fund in the first place.
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