A few industry insiders claim that due to the lack of venture capital and seed-stage funding, early-stage tech companies in Perth have no choice but to search for capital elsewhere.
“Most brokers (in Perth) are not professional investors in the area, and early-stage investment needs long-term support — it’s tough to find that with investors that want to make a buck,” said Andrew Larsen of Larsen Ventures, a family investment company that invests in Australian innovations.
Leading experts and investors in the technology industry were examined by The West Australian and they discovered the scarcity of seed stage capital. For this reason, small-stage funds and boutique investment firms are coming out to help. Around six groups, including accelerators, boutique firms and private equity, have emerged in an attempt to uplift the (seed-stage) technology industry in Perth. There also have been talks of venture capital funds to be launched this July.
But even with these investment challenges, there is proof that money is indeed available, but difficult for those who actually need to reach it. This is where Jindalee Partners comes in. The boutique investment bank, which is based in Perth, was created by John Poynton, a veteran Perth dealmaker, together with Harry Karelis, a highly regarded company director, and Stewart Washer, a biotech advocate. For Dr. Washer, this partnership is a means to connect investors, projects and entrepreneurs.
There is also Yuuwa Capital, an early-stage Perth-based venture capital company which handles venture capital funds in Western Australia. Matthew Macfarlane, Yuuwa investment director, says, “We’ve had a lot of IT and tech professionals returning from overseas to raise their kids in Perth and they’re creating good companies, and there’s also a lot of former mining workers with big redundancy payouts looking to invest. Over the past six to 12 months, the deal flow has increased dramatically in Perth, and it just requires risk-seeking investors and the right management team to come in and do it properly.”