The influx of local venture capital into the IT industry appears to be gathering momentum, with the arrival of a new technology investment fund created by Sydney-based Technology Venture Partners (TVP) heralding the change.
Expected to become one of the largest locally funded private investment specialists for IT&T in Australia, TVP will use its TVP#2 fund to help selected IT&T newcomers take "their businesses to the next stage" both in terms of product development and business expansion.
According to John Murray, founding shareholder and TVP executive director, the fund management expects to raise around $45 million before the TVP#2 fund closes later this month. Acting as a value-added investor, TVP will back chosen companies by investing between one and six million into their early development.
"There are many small Australian IT&T companies who are ready to take up the challenges offered by global IT&T markets, but they are unable to do so because of limited access to growth capital and good management talent," Murray said, stressing that the new fund will change that by proving that there is capital available to start-ups.
TVP will invest in privately owned Australian companies -- such as software and hardware developers or e-commerce and multimedia specialists -- at any stage of development. But they will need to satisfy three basic criteria to be considered a viable investment.
"We will make a decision to invest if a business is able to achieve competitive advantage over other companies or technologies in the IT industry," Murray explains.
"In addition, we will look at the quality of the management team and whether or not there is a real, sizeable market opportunity for a company to seize."