How much money does the Sydney Seed Fund invest?
We typically invest between $50,000 – $150,000 per investment.
I need a larger raise than $150,000. Should I still apply?
Yes. If you believe your business requires more than we are prepared to invest, we will lead the round and actively work with our extensive investor network to help raise the remainder of the round. We have already done this for about half of the investments we have made so far.
Do you provide investment in further rounds?
No, we only invest in your first capital raising. However, we reserve the right for our investors to continue investing in your business in subsequent rounds. We will also help you raise for subsequent rounds with introductions to our extensive local and international investor network.
How is the valuation agreed?
Based on our previous investments, we have numerous comparables for the value of an early stage Australian tech business and will use this data to derive a fair valuation.
What is the most important criteria you look for before deciding to invest?
1. World-class founders.
2. Full-time co-founder team in place, or nearly in place: We expect that after our investment is made that any part-time founder becomes full-time.
3. Disruptive business model.
4. Global ambition: We do not invest in businesses that only serve the Australian market.
5. A business developed beyond the concept stage: Proof of concept complete or nearly complete.
6. Clearly differentiated value proposition.
7. Capital-light scaling model.
8. A clear exit strategy.
What sectors or technologies do you invest in?
We are fairly agnostic but your business model will need to be internet-based and use technology as the main disruptor.
Will you consider businesses at the business plan (or concept/idea) only stage?
Generally, no. We expect some level of initial execution to demonstrate market demand and commitment of the founder. All of our portfolio companies have had a working tech prototype complete.
Will you invest in my business given I don’t have any revenue yet?
Yes. We are open to investing in pre-revenue businesses provided there is a world-class founding team in place and you have developed your IP through to at least a prototype stage.
Will you consider participating with co-investors?
Yes. We are open to co-investing with “friends & family”, Angels or other investment funds (or a combination of all 3).
What form of investment structures/terms are you willing to consider?
We invest in priced rounds and don’t use convertible notes. We use a standard term sheet which we make public. You can look our term sheet by clicking here.
What businesses have you made investments in so far?
You can check out our current portfolio companies by visiting this page.
What happens if I am the only founder? I know you like 2 or more founders.
Whilst we only invest in businesses that have more than 1 founder, we still encourage you to apply. We have an extensive network of single founders looking for great businesses to join. Perhaps we might match-make someone into your business.
How quickly do you make a decision around investing in my business?
Two of our operating philosophies are speed and transparency. We can make investment decisions in days, not weeks, and we will also provide a quick response back to you if we decide not to proceed. Our fastest investment decision was made within 24 hours of first receiving an application!
I live outside of Sydney. Should I still apply?
Yes. We invest in businesses anywhere in Australia.
Will I get feedback from you on why you decided not to invest in my business?
Yes. We will provide a brief response on the specific reason we did not proceed with an investment in your business.
Who is behind the Sydney Seed Fund?
The Sydney Seed Fund is run by 3 of Australia’s most experienced entrepreneurs and tech investors: Ari Klinger, Benjamin Chong and Garry Visontay. Between them they have over 50 years of start-up and tech experience. What sets them apart is that they have been on both sides of the investment table, as founders raising money for their businesses as well as investors investing their own money into businesses. They have extensive relevant and practical experience in start-up formation, incubation, growth acceleration and operational management, as well as a track record of successful exits.
Will you join the Board of my business?
No, we won’t join your board or take a Directorship in your business.
How are you different to other technology investment funds?
We’re different for a couple of big reasons:
1. Partners who have 50 years of combined experience in tech and start-ups. The three Partners running the Fund have been on both sides of the investment table, as founders raising money for their businesses as well as investors investing their own money into businesses. They have extensive relevant and practical experience in start-up formation, incubation, growth acceleration and operational management, as well as a track record of successful exits.
2. The Fund has developed its own Ecosystem, which provides an unprecedented platform to connect investors with founders on a frequent basis. Please click here to find out more about what our Ecosystem can offer.
What’s your track record so far?
We don’t publicly disclose the financial progress of our portfolio companies or our interest in these businesses.
What else will you provide besides the funding?
An investment into your business is much more than just money. We offer:
1. Access to next round funders both in Australia and internationally, including the US and South-East Asia. This will be through a combination of Fund investors interested in providing follow on investment, Fund General Partners and International Advisors having an extensive network of potential investors.
2. Mentorship from the Fund Partners.
3. Access to customers, service partners, strategic advisers and experienced mentors.
4. Improved access to exit opportunities, including direct access to potential acquirers.
5. Opportunities to share experiences and learnings with other Founders. We regularly run informal get-togethers for all investee Founders.
6. Enhanced reputation and business expansion opportunities from associations with high profile investors, expert advisers and mentors.
What characteristics or traits do you normally look for in the founders?
We look for founders who:
1. execute flawlessly
2. have a broad perspective and can see the forest from the trees
3. have a sharp intellect
4. who can communicate clearly to anyone
One of our Partners has written a piece on the characteristics of successful start-up founders. You can read about this in more detail at this link.
If I don’t succeed in the first time, can I apply again?
This is dependent on why we didn’t invest in your business the first time. If it was because you had not fully formed your founding team or you had not completed your tech MVP and things have changed in either of these areas, we would certainly welcome you to reapply. If we didn’t like your business model or idea initially, its almost certain we would not change our mind if you re-applied with the same model.