The number of software devs in Australia that I have spoken to in 2022 who have been made redundant is astonishing. Due to overseas investment pulling back, it’s been a turbulent time for tech companies in Australia, not to mention the recent drop in the crypto market leading to further layoffs in web 3.0 ventures.
It’s exciting to see an Australian venture capital firm raising more money in 2022 than ever for Australian startups.
AirTree was founded by partners Craig Blair and Daniel Petre in 2014. Petre has since stepped back from active management, but Blair remains at the forefront of the firm’s management.
AirTree now manages a total of $1.3 billion AUD and has more than 80 active investments.
Out of that number, 23 are valued at more than $100 million and include eight unicorns. The new round was oversubscribed and much of it came from returning investors, including cornerstone LPs, superannuation funds AustralianSuper, Sunsuper, TelstraSuper and Statewide Super.
AirTree’s 2014 and 2016 vintage funds are both performing in the top quartile of US VCs. They include early investments in break-out companies such as Prospa, Secure Code Warrior, Pet Circle, Canva, Athena, Brighte, Joyous, Thematic, Transcelestial, Expert360 and A Cloud Guru | A Pluralsight Company.
Some of its most notable portfolio companies are Canva, Go1, A Cloud Guru and Employment Hero, MILKRUN, Linktree, Mr Yum and Immutable.
Airtree works hand in hand with the founders of these companies from day one, channelling money, support, and knowledge with each of these companies – as each begins to come into its own within tomorrow’s technology arena.
AirTree Ventures has had 9 exits so far including:
Prospa is an Australian owned and operated online lending service provider for small businesses within the region.
Xplor is a leading Australian software (SaaS) platform for managing child care administration and communication.
Paxata is an adaptive data preparation platform built for the analyst to turn raw data into ready data for analytics.
- Hyper Anna – Alteryx Auto Insights
AI-powered data insights meets interactive storytelling in real time.
Notiv is the intelligent meeting assistant that turns all your important voice conversations into clever business outcomes.
Elevio is a user education and onboarding platform, allowing companies to upskill their user base with ease
A Cloud Guru is a social learning platform for cloud computing.
DesignCrowd is an online marketplace that offers logo, website, print, and graphic design services.
The best quality cleaning marketplace in Australia
In total, they have raised over a billion dollars in investment across 6 funds, their latest being AirTree Growth. This fund was announced on Feb 2, 2022 and raised a total of A$450M.
- Feb 2, 2022 – AirTree Growth – A$450M
- Feb 2, 2022 – AirTree Wed3 – A$50M
- Feb 1, 2022 – AirTree Seed – A$200M
- Oct 21, 2019 – AirTree Ventures Fund III – $275M
- Sep 12, 2016 – AirTree Ventures fund II – $250M
- Jul 29, 2014 – Fund I – A$60M
Aside from Craig Blair, James Cameron, John Henderson, Elicia McDonald, Jackie Vullinghs, Helen Norton, their staff now includes the following executives:
- Aisling McGettigan – Financial controller
- Anna Tyndale – Portfolio Success Manager
- Bree Fedele – Content Marketing Manager
- Dan Lombard – Investment Operations Manager
- Ed Gregory – Legal Counsel
- Jess Heffernan – Head of Investor Relations
- Jess Walker – Community Relations Manager
- Linkle Liao – Financial Controller
- Victoria Lowe – Operations and Compliance Manager
Airtree also has several Investment Managers, multiple partners, venture capital managers, and other community-directed management employees. Their management staff is committed to directing a team that can empower new technology companies.
Their strategy with new companies is to provide valuable management information and help companies recruit the right team members. They share marketing strategies and help companies find the most competitive pricing plans. They also provide a community forum to educate and help all their companies network and share solutions with each other.
This will be quite an interesting company to follow. Very exciting the work they are doing, especially for Australia.
I will be taking a closer look at a number of companies they have invested in and the various partners involved. Their company growth according to LinkedIn is 304% in the past 2 years. That predominantly looks like various founders and people working with Airtree, nevertheless they are making waves and expanding rapidly.
Interesting to note, co-founder Craig Blair is also Founding Chairman of Pet Circle. Pet Circle is the leading Pet e-commerce player in Australia. Review coming soon…