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May 13, 2014

New Australian Venture Capital Funds are actively chasing deal flow – The Nuclear Winter is Thawing

I sense the nuclear winter of startup funding in Australia is finally thawing. In the last few months we have had a number of funds and investors actively launching pitching events and promotions and are actively chasing deals and  trying to generate deal flow. Even back in the dot com boom I don’t recall VCs having to be so proactive to bring in new deal flow.

As I have said many times I think we have a big problem with Startups solving non problems and making things that no one really cares about however for those that are fundable I can’t recall a time when the funding environment looked better, certainly it takes me back to the DotCom boom days, not that I [...]

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May 11, 2014

The Physics of Startup financings, or why you can’t raise a Series A

Photo by EWFTT

There is a fundamental paradox in the startup world: A lot more founders try to raise money than successfully do. But for those that do, they raise on incredibly friendly valuation terms relative to other areas of the business world. The reason is growth and it’s useful to apply the metaphors of physics to understand why. For those tl;dr read Paul Graham’s essay on growth.

One of the most unanswerable questions I get as investor is “what do my metrics need to be to raise a series A”. I can give a guide on numbers but the reality is that the static one dimensional numbers ($100k MRR, 1m MAU or whatever the most important metric for the business is) are [...]

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Nov 8, 2013

Blackbird Ventures – Dealflow observations in the 8 months since launch – Rick Baker @blackbirdvc

Rick Baker is the Managing Director of Blackbird Ventures, a Sydney based Venture Capital fund raised early this year by Rick Baker, Niki Scevak, and VC Veterans Bill Bartee and John Scull and backed by numerous names in the Australian and US tech scene including Mike Cannon-Brooks from Atlassian, Dave McClure from 500 Startups, Bill Tai the Kite Surfing VC and Southern Cross Ventures. 

Rick Baker Blackbird Ventures

 

 

I wrote this piece as a newsletter to our investors a few weeks ago.  We thought we’d share it to give you some more insights on what’s out there and what we’re looking for.

After 8 months since the [...]

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Oct 30, 2013

AngelEd Sydney 2013 – Teaching Angel Investors to make better technology investments

In Australia too often Angel Investors have to play the role of a Venture Capitalist for technology startups, given we have only a handful VC funds in Australia with capital for very early stage ventures. (drive around the car park at the end of Sandhill Rd in Silicon Valley and you will find more VC firms than we have in Australia).

We simply don’t have the depth of institution money for this asset class to justify a big field of venture capitalist’s and I believe that between the growth of Angel Investors and Crowdfunding,  the Australian Venture Capitalist will become less relevant as time goes on.

Over the years I have been both impressed [...]

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