Venture capital (VC) investment in Australia hit a record $1.2 billion (US$899 million) last year, a 36 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
In the last quarter, US$147 million of start-up investment was pumped into the market with software firm Deputy scoring the most with US$81 million in Series B funding.
The same period also saw major Series A rounds for Melbourne-based headphone-maker Nura, which obtained US$21 million, and rocket-maker Gilmour Space Technologies, which took away US$13.9 million.
Revealed by KPMG in its quarterly VC update Venture Pulse, the figures showed a drop in the number of deals from the previous quarter, falling from 41 to 15.
“2018 was the biggest year ever for VC investment into Australian start-ups,” KMPG head of high growth ventures Amanda Price said: “For the first time we are starting to see a steady flow of major funding rounds over US$10 million aimed at helping locally-founded businesses take on global markets.
"In Australia the diversity of the start-ups being funded is testament to the scale of the economy and opportunity."
Price also noted the upcoming year may be more cautionary due to a pricey climate and volatile market despite there being “record capital to deploy.”
However, investment in Australia’s start-up scene remains a fraction of global levels with VC funding hitting US$255 billion last year, double that of 2017’s US$175 billion.
Topping global deals were a $12.8 billion investment into to US-based e-cigarette manufacturer Juul and $14 billion into China’s Ant Financial.
While the report said there will likely continue to be substantial VC investment globally this year, it noted that the total level of investment from the previous year will be “tough to match”.