It’s been a rough road for tech startups as the financial stimulus from the pandemic is now fading. Many have had to cut staff, scale back operations, and even shut down altogether in what has come to be known as the global tech demise.
But despite the many unfortunate cases, it turns out is still making money – and there are a handful of Australian startups and companies getting their hands on it.
Here are five Australian startups and firms that have raised capital and received other financial support in the past week.
Behavior, $3.2 million
Co-founded by cricket star Kumar Sangakkara, Behaviol has raised $2.5 million (US$3.2 million) in seed capital to create a sporting metaverse.
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The Sydney-based startup will allow gamers to buy and train virtual sports stars powered by artificial intelligence.
The startup’s first game, Meta11, is a virtual cricket game that allows Behaviol users to win, train, and improve their players.
The $3.2 million raise – led by Singapore-based investment firm Hangar X – will be used to launch more games worldwide.
Last Tuesday, marketing tech startup LUMOS raised $800,000 in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round — the same week it was shortlisted for the pitch.
LUMOS was founded in 2020 and launched its MVP in early 2022. It aims to revolutionize and democratize the $40 billion global out-of-home and digital retargeting advertising market by positioning itself as the “World’s First MarTech Platform”.
It will leverage the network of gig economy drivers with its mobile IoT-enabled digital billboard backpacks, allowing brands to deliver physical ads and leverage device tracking.
In a press statement, Eric Fan, CEO and co-founder of LUMOS, said the team was “so pleased with the overwhelming support we have received from our investors,” which include Claremont Capital and Dorcas Capital, and angel investors Hugo de Jong. Barry Winata and more.
Zipr, $100,000 AWS Activate credit
Fashion startup Zipr, while not a capital raise per se, took a huge leap up last week when it won the pitch.
As the winner of the evening’s grand prize, Zipr received $100,000 in AWS Activate Credits and in-person support sessions with pin payments.
Zipr is a video-first-mode app that empowers brands and users to sell their clothes while targeting the right consumers.
It will reflect the type of content TikTok is adopting, explained founder – and former Canva product designer – Amber Linz in her pitch, by offering Australia’s fashion-forward shoppers a new way to engage with the second-hand economy.
Speak with SmartCompany After receiving the grand prize, Linz said it was “absolutely amazing” to be crowned the winner against such promising competition and receive the AWS credits.
“It will really help us to grow our business and we will definitely use the video capabilities and the AI capabilities in the future,” she said.
Envira, $3 million
Envirma Technologies has raised $3 million, which it will use to double its headcount and expand the capabilities of its medtech platform.
Aiming to alleviate the various pain points involved in setting up and running a clinical trial, the startup offers an end-to-end solution that enables patients and physicians to easily express their interest using digital phenotypes and workflow automation to register.
On the other hand, sponsors and investigators can register their study and then access qualified participants for their study using operational data on Envirma.
Envirma’s funding round is the first investment from Artesian’s new Female Leaders VC Fund.
OIF Ventures, $140 million
The Sydney VC firm has received a major cash injection, with investors pouring an additional $140 million into OIF Ventures’ third fund.
Much of the capital came from existing investors in OIF Ventures’ previous two funds, as well as Andrew Barnes, co-founder of edutech unicorn Go1.
Investors were reportedly only planning to inject an additional $100 million, with the additional $40 million no doubt welcomed by the firm considering Australian VC investment for August was down almost 12 months compared to 12 months ago 50% decreased.
But Laurence Schwartz, a partner at OIF Ventures, isn’t worried about the technical downturn.
“If you look back at the vintages of venture capitalists after the dot-com crash and the GFC, some of the most successful companies and venture funds were formed during those periods,” Schwartz said.