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Raising funds: seven experts give a fascinating insight into investment

Posted November 20, 2023

Whether your startup is early, venture-funded (growth) or late stage, raising funds is not for the faint hearted.

According to the 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, Adelaide sits fifth in Oceania for venture capital funding per capita, South Aussie startups are in the right place to capitalise on a supportive and rapidly maturing ecosystem. The report, by Startup Genome, also states that the overall Adelaide startup ecosystem has increased 33 ranks in the last year, with its value increasing 347 percent to $1.56 billion in 2023.

Within Lot Fourteen’s supportive ecosystem, startups have raised over $221M.


Kirsten Bernhardt, Investment Manager, South Australian Venture Capital Fund (Artesian)

The nature of venture capital is high risk, high reward.  Typically, less than 1 per cent of startup companies secure VC funding, and of those that do, as many as 80 per cent will fail to deliver a sufficient return on capital for investors.  To ensure VC funds can deliver target returns to their investors (LPs), VC investors are highly selective when it comes to investment decisions, targeting companies that offer the potential to deliver a 10x return, to compensate for the high number of startups that will inevitably fail.

Startup founders should always explore the full range of funding options available to their company (e.g. angels, strategics, VC, PE, debt, crowdfunding, bootstrap), and target the right funding partner for their specific product, stage and growth trajectory.

Through the SAVCF and Artesian, we invest across all technology sectors, from Seed to Series B.  We are looking to invest in founding teams with deep sector expertise, building highly scalable products targeting large unmet needs.

Jeremy Coombe, Founder and CEO, Apxium

Know your SaaS metrics! The days of valuation multiples in the 10x plus range are over – so too is the investment appetite for a cash burning startup adopting the “growth at all costs” mentality. Customer acquisition and top line growth, at the expense of true economic fundamentals, is not only where startups are being caught out, but investors too. If you can demonstrate SaaS metrics that outperform your peers, and build an economic moat to substantiate these metrics, then the capital raising conversation bring a whole different dynamic to the negotiation.




Dr Tim Mahlberg Sie, Director of Ecosystems, Stone & Chalk

When looking for funding, look beyond the money to values alignment. Keep front of mind that it’s a longer-term relationship. A good investor will understand your vision, see your potential and have a big vision for your company, acting as an ambassador and advocate. As a founder, your ability to nurture investor relationships is a determining factor in your future company success.




Adam Grocke, Founder, Sherlok

To successfully raise capital, you need to do the following extremely well. Tell your story and sell your vision; make others believe that vision; prove that you have the team, skills, capability, industry insights and strategy to execute better than anyone else; show the massive size of the market and how you will win; clearly articulate how the funds will unlock your next valuation inflection and; ensure all of the above aligns to the funds mandate and timelines. It’s brutal, hard work and that’s why only a few walk on the startup path, but it’s worth it.




Julia Johnson, Vice President of Marketing, Myriota

It’s crucial to have your house in order to fundraise from a position of strength. Key metrics are important – but equally, ensure you have an experienced and diverse management team, an understanding of your risks, customers that can truly scale with you, and a track record of pivoting ahead of your counterparts.





Nick Hassam, Co-Founder, Reask

In early negotiations we ask three core questions of potential investors. What startup stage do they invest at; what sectors do they invest in; and what non-capital support do they offer to their portfolio companies. When it comes to non-financial support, some investors might offer other benefits such as introductions, advice and/or technical or industry expertise.




Elisha Buckley, General Manager – Commercial, Southern Launch

When it comes to the pitch, make it personal. Share the story behind the business and you’ll end up with an investor that also cares about you, not just the business and numbers.




Read more stories like this on Issue_02 of Lot Fourteen’s Boundless Magazine

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