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Ignition Lane’s Weekly Wrap: Super-fast unicorn, VC funding boom, put another founder on a Barbie

Mar 7, 2022

Smiling Mind co-founder Jane Martino Welcome to  Ignition Lane’ s Weekly Wrap, where they cut through the noise to bring you their favourite insights from the technology and startup world. Ignition Lane works with ambitious business leaders to apply the Startup Mindset to their technology, product and commercialisation problems. This wrap goes out  free to subscribers  every Saturday. Don’t forget you can catch Gavin Appel discussing the week on the Startup Daily show on  Ausbiz  every Monday at 2pm. If you miss it, you can  catch up on the week’s shows here . Here’s their review of the week. 2021: The $10bn Aussie venture adventure Cut Through Venture and Folklore released the inaugural  State of Australian Startup Funding 2021 . The impressive 86-page report presents a year’s worth of funding data alongside insights from over 850 Australian startup investors and founders. “2021 will go down in the annals of history as the year when the Australian startup ecosystem earned its seat at the adults table.” Chris Gillings, Founder/Editor – Cut Through Venture Echoing trends around the world, 2021 saw more deals at every stage, more capital, more investors, faster funding founds, higher valuations, but stagnated progress on the gender front. The top line: Australian startups received more than $10bn across 682 deals in 2021 – up 3.2x on 2020’s $3.1bn. Trending: Fintech startups accounted for 25% of funding. Blockchain, crypto & Web3 startups saw the largest percentage gain in deal count (20 up from 1 in 2020). Likely to trend in 2022? CleanTech – it’s a top priority for more than 38% of investors, which we’re already  starting to see play out . More investor competition: Across all deals, 891 investors participated (up 87% YoY). 24% of deals had at least one international investor – Tiger being the most active. Half of investors reported faster due diligence/time to term sheet. Continuing gender gap: Only 19% of deals involved founding teams with at least one woman. These deals received 22% of total funding. A whopping 82% of women surveyed believed their gender impacted their ability to raise funds and, despite 90% of investors expecting startup funding activities to increase in 2022, just 10% of women feel “highly confident” about securing their next raise. That compares to 63% of male founders. The report doesn’t break down gender stats amongst VC check writers, however 83% of angel investors were men. Look at that pop So, our advice to early-stage founders based on all this data? It’s clearly a great time to be raising, but don’t underestimate the effort and time commitment still involved, particularly if it’s your first startup. It will take your (near) full-time attention for a few months – sometimes longer. Treat raising as a sales process. Understand your target market (the investors you’re seeking to attract), the buyer (the check writer) and their influencers. Tell a story that will resonate with them, supported by data. Practice your pitch so it is delivered with full conviction. Set deadlines to create a sense of urgency and fomo. Remember, if an investor doesn’t say “hell yes” fairly quickly, it’s probably a “no” – move on. With the influx of new investors, it’s more important than ever to do your own due diligence back on the investor/s. You can do this by speaking to other founders they’ve invested in or companies they’ve advised – how supportive have they been in the good and bad times? Be particularly careful if this is their first startup investment. Local newsings: Barbie, Sezzle Sizzle & Space BNPL Sezzle Sizzle. Aussie BNPL giant  Zip will acquire Sezzle  in an all stock deal valued at $491m. Sezzle shareholders will hold around 22% of the combined company. Sezzle is a SME-focussed BNPL headquartered in the US. To part fund the deal, Zip is raising nearly $200m through a share placement and a share purchase plan. Zip’s revenue for the six months ending December 31 was $302m (up 89% YoY), but gross profits were down 23% due to bad debts and credit losses. Loss after tax was $214m. #1. Adore Beauty CEO Tennealle O’Shannessy took out number one spot in Inside Retail’s 2022  Top 50 People in E-Commerce . The ranking is based on candidates’ achievements from the last 12 months in commercial success, knowledge sharing, innovation, and broader impact. Panel judge Peta Granger commented: “The financial results driven by Tennealle were as impressive as her efforts to highlight inequality across the beauty industry. Launching innovative podcasts, a loyalty program, and mobile app reinforced Adore Beauty as the destination for beauty discovery, whilst website personalisation transformed the customer experience.” Backing Blak NFTs. Provvy is the first startup to receive backing  under Startmate’s new $920k Small Bets fund, which aims to increase the number of startups led by underrepresented founders. With a focus on helping Indigenous artists, Provvy will use NFTs to license and sell artists’ work. The genesis for Provvy came about while founder Alisha Geary was running her other business,  Faebella , an activewear label that incorporates various Indigenous Australian artwork. Provvy raised $25k from the new fund and will receive a further $120k under Startmate’s Summer 2022 accelerator. Role models. Chair and co-founder of Smiling Mind, Jane Martino, is being forever immortalised  in the form of a Barbie . Martino is a serial entrepreneur, startup investor, advisor and author.

Jane Martino Investments

1 Investments

Jane Martino has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in Brandcrush as part of their Seed VC on September 9, 2019.

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Jane Martino Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

9/17/2019

Seed VC

Brandcrush

$0.68M

Yes

1

Date

9/17/2019

Round

Seed VC

Company

Brandcrush

Amount

$0.68M

New?

Yes

Co-Investors

Sources

1

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