Startmate cohort gets off to an investment flyer

Brandon How

Australian startup accelerator Startmate will invest more than $1.9 million across 16 startups who make up this year’s summer following a change to the standard terms.

Each participating firm that has not previously raised capital receives a $120,000 investment at a post-money valuation of $1.5 million. This gives Startmate a roughly 8 per cent stake in the companies.

Firms that have previously raised still receive $120,000 but the valuation and terms are matched. Through the program, the mentors may even choose to invest further into the participating firms.

This cohort is the first to participate in the program since the standard investment terms were increased in October last year. Previously, firms received $75,000 at a post-money valuation of $1 million.

Startmate chief Michael Batko

Startmate chief executive officer Michael Batko said the investment would give the mentors a more meaningful stake in the cohort and businesses a six-month runway.

“Over the last five years, the startup ecosystem across our region has grown in leaps and bounds to make it one of the strongest globally. With all that growth comes a financial requirement to solve for higher burn rates and the need for longer runway, generally,” Mr Batko said.

“We’re very excited to see how our new investment terms better equip the founders coming through the accelerator to reach their next meaningful milestone. The calibre of our Summer 2022 cohort will mean we get to see the impact of our one-of-a-kind mentor-led investment strategy play out at the highest level of ambition.”

The 16 Aussie and Kiwi participants are developing technologies to serve a diverse set of industries including: education, FinTech, blockchain, energy and climate innovation, artificial intelligence (AI), fitness, and virtual events.

Auckland-based startup Critical recycles plastic into sustainable building panels using their compression moulding technology. The firm is able to recycle almost all types of plastic, and at the end of their lifecycle can recycle them again.

Another Auckland-based firm, Kara Technologies, is using AI to produce a digital avatar that provides a real-time translation service converting audio and written communication into sign language. They hope this will greatly reduce the cost and improve the accessibility of content for the deaf.

Participating out of Melbourne, One Small Step is a mobile app based on research from behavioural economics and cognitive science that hopes to fosters pro-environmental lifestyle changes in a fun way. Among other features, the app helps you keep track of your daily carbon footprint and set a personal sustainability plan.

Startmate principal and accelerator program lead Lauren Capelin praised the global-facing solutions being developed by this cohort.

“Over the past decade, Australian and New Zealand startups have had a disproportionate impact in terms of both ambition and global presence. What we’re seeing in founders entering Startmate’s accelerator now is a flow-on effect of that success – a supercharged drive coupled with an increasingly sophisticated execution of ideas,” Ms Capelin said.

The program has run since 2011 and has supported 186 different startups predominantly across Australia and New Zealand, which have a combined valuation of over $1 billion. Startmate also hosts a number of fellowship programs for engineers, founders, women and students.

In March 2021, the Victorian government invested $1.8 million in Startmate, with more than $580,000 dedicated to supporting 30 Victorian startups through the accelerator program.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

Leave a Comment