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High five to Brad Harrison and Scout Ventures for launching $40 million fund in Australia

I’ve spent the last 4 weeks on the fundraising campaign path for Bugwolf meeting and connecting with Australian investors. I’ve attended pitch dinners and competitions, and pitched my heart out. Bugwolf is an Australian early stage startup success story. We are cash flow positive and our revenue is growing 300% YoY.
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We have a proven and tested go to market strategy. And we've achieved this while in private beta and being bootstrapped. We have a kick-ass team, and our clients rave about us. I’ve always believed you could not only build a business locally, but also grow and fund it from Australia once traction has been gained. Atlassian are a great example of doing exactly that but after spending the last few weeks pitching I can start to see why many startups leave for the US.

I believe our early stage funding problem in Australia is not a shortage of capital or enthusiasm about the space. Many investors I meet with are sitting on a significant pool of cash, ripe for investment and are truly excited about getting involved. I believe our problem is only a few who have the money to invest, really understand technology which makes it more difficult for those investors to take a leap of faith. In fact I don't blame them but question what can be done to assist future entrepreneurs to stay and raise capital from Australia.

If it's typically not something they know about such as a consumer app or marketing product, then many investors in Australia are naturally less likely to invest. And there's nothing wrong with that. If I was an investor it's unlikely you would find me investing in mining or financial services when I know tech. I also believe it's more difficult to raise capital because we have very few tech entrepreneurs that have exited and investing.

When I woke a few mornings back I discovered the news Brad Harrison and Scout Ventures was setting up a $40 million investment fund in Australia to invest in Australian Startups. Brad is an entrepreneur who has exited businesses and they really get tech. This is brilliant news. They are also taking the lead in many of their investments, which might make it easy for startups to generate more funding flow by giving the less experienced Australian investors more confidence about following Brad and his team into deals.

We need more US investors supporting and investing in Australian startups. They know tech. Many of them come from entrepreneurial backgrounds which is something we lack in this country. And maybe having more US investors in Australia may help mentor Australian investors which are keen to move into tech and bridge the knowledge gap. This may allow future Australian born startups to remain wholly Australian even in global expansion. High five to Brad Harrison and Scout Ventures for being the first to make the move. Also, appreciation to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Australian Government for recent changes to make the investment opportunity in Australia a global opportunity.

We've got the talent, products - and many of startups are building and growing successful businesses and traction in a risk averse market. In any case we set sail for Web Summit in Dublin in a couple of days. I’m looking forward to getting over but would prefer to take the weather with me. Which sounds strange being based in Melbourne.

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