What is the South Australian Venture Capital Fund?
The $50 million South Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF) is available to help build dynamic and innovative early-stage companies to accelerate their growth to a national and global scale.
The South Australian Venture Capital Fund is managed by Artesian Venture Partners, Australia’s largest and most active early stage venture capital firm. Artesian is a full stack venture capital firm focused on the Asia Pacific region with offices in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Shanghai.
Artesian believes that the SSouth Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF) will play an important role in supporting and empowering the SA innovation ecosystem. In addition Artesian operates a variety of earlier stage agnostic and vertically focused seed to Series A funds that will also be able to deploy investments to early stage South Australian startups prior to being eligible for funding by the SAVC Fund.
Artesian’s co-investment VC platform collaborates with accelerators, incubators, angel groups, university programs, corporations and industry groups to supercharge and grow innovation ecosystems.
The South Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF) is designed to:
- enable innovative South Australian ventures to secure funding and accelerate growth into national and global markets, stimulating economic activity and job creation
- strengthen the competitiveness of local early-stage entrepreneurs and companies to attract private sources of co-investment from national and international investors, and
- earn a commercial rate of return for investors, including the South Australian Government, and commensurate with industry standards for early-stage venture capital funds.
The $50M South Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF) will target 10-20, $1-2M pre Series A investments into South Australian startups.
The Fund may invest in high growth and export potential companies that have at least demonstrated a market for their product or service and have either commenced generating revenue or can demonstrate customer validation and evidence a route to revenue generation.
Areas of interest include:
- Clean Energy
- Health and Medtech
The SAVC Fund will make 5-12 $2.5M investments into Series A stage startups. These investments will generally be follow-on investments into portfolio companies that the fund initially invested in at pre-Series A .
The SAVC Fund may lead the Series A investment round, but this is not a requirement for all investments.
The South Australian Venture Capital Fund will consider initial investment in high growth and export potential companies that have at least demonstrated a market for their product or service and have either commenced generating revenue or can demonstrate customer validation and evidence a route to revenue generation.
Life science and biotech companies are exempt. In such cases, the SAVCF may consider initial investment once a company has demonstrated Phase 1 clinical trial results, or the equivalent stage for a medical device.
The SAVCF will not have any restrictions in terms of sectors or industries that eligible companies may participate in but requires the company to have 50% of its assets and 50% of its staff located in South Australia during a period that ends 12 months from the initial investment date.
The SAVCF will assess opportunities on a case-by-case basis, but will be seeking companies that have the following characteristics:
- A large addressable market
- A product or service offering with a demonstrated ability to meet an existing or emerging market need
- A clear thesis on the sources of the business’ competitive advantage, and the sustainability/defensibility of this competitive advantage
- Ability to scale rapidly in a capital efficient way
- Led by a very high quality management team
- A clear path to a liquidity event
David Rohrsheim has taken over managing the South Australian Venture Capital Fund and has some advice for startup founders eager to secure seed money.
Having cut his teeth in San Francisco as a startup analyst before earning a MBA from Stanford, David Rohrsheim returned to Australia in 2012 to help set up Uber.
The 38-year-old has now come home to Adelaide to manage the $50 million South Australian Venture Capital Fund established by the state government to help accelerate the growth of early-stage companies to a national and global scale.
Rohrsheim, who is based in the Stone & Chalk offices at Lot Fourteen in the CBD, said that his job is to meet with startups everyday to determine who and what to invest in.