November 1, 2021

CTV Funding News - October 2021

Welcome to the Cut Through update for November, where we slice and dice October startup funding. Enjoy!

Australian Funding Ecosystem

Text Link

Funding News & Analysis

Text Link

Good Morning,

A special welcome to the 137 new subscribers who signed up in October. To those of you who referred them – you're the best. Ciao to the four unsubscribers; I guess lockdown 'Freedom Day' triggered different things for different people.

An extra special welcome to my first permanent Junior Associate Work-in-Progress Analyst, Hugo Robin Gillings, born October 23, 2021. Hugo is to blame for all tpyos and data integrity issues this month.

With the end of 2021 fast approaching, I'm excited that my Cut Through Venture experiment passed its probation period and will be returning bigger and better in 2022. The name won't change, but I would love your feedback. Completing this survey will take less than 5 minutes, and by completing it, you're guaranteed a 10x better user experience in 2022. CLICK HERE to complete.

November Asks:1) Forward Cut Through Venture to any founders whose startups got a mention this month. 2) Share your favourite book, podcast, blog post, tool, or anything for startup founders or early-stage investors here. 3) Complete the survey!

Ok, onward..

Forwarded this email? Subscribe here!

Refer a Friend

Most announced deals evvver.

More funded deals were announced in October than in any other month ever, but total dollars invested slipped back in line with 2021's monthly average. The lower funding figure was due entirely to the absence of mega-deals. For the first time in 2021, no deals greater than $50M were announced. Smaller deals stepped up to fill the void – more Pre-Seed and Seed stage deals were announced than in any prior month.

The top 20% of deals accounted for 78% of total deal volume. Four startups raised $30M or more, nine raised more than $20M, and 16 raised more than $10M. After a few very quiet months, the crowdfunding platforms picked up again – most notably, Zero Co. broke the Australian crowdfunding record with its $5M raise.

The usual suspects, Fintech and B2B software again topped the funding and deal count charts. Cybersecurity and Climate/Agtech also had a standout month. Collectively, these four segments accounted for 75% of the total dollars invested.

Deal volume was high at the Pre-Seed, Seed, and Early (Series-A + Series-B) stages. Startmate's Winter Cohort included 19 startups and was its largest ever, juicing the October Accelerator numbers too.

Later stage deals were smaller than usual. The majority of the Series C+ deals announced were highlighted as bridging rounds to a planned 2022 IPO.

As would be expected in a month dominated by pre-Series-A deals, fundraising startups trended younger in October. Seven startups founded in 2021 raised capital, and 37 startups launched in the COVID-era announced funding rounds.

89 deals for $596M!

The Big Medium Deals

Searching for a net-zero hero. Local startups are stepping up where our political leaders won't, by taking the global climate crisis seriously. And they've demonstrated that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Via investing: Bloom raised a Pre-Seed round to give retail investors access to global climate impact investment opportunities.
Via tracking and offsets: Greener helps consumers offset their carbon footprint with every purchase they make, while Pathzero makes it easy for companies to disclose their carbon emissions and take action to address them.
Via good science: Loam Bio raised to scale its carbon sequestration technology, which leads to better crop yields and reduces CO2 in the atmosphere. Also in the carbon capture game, Aspiring Materials raised a Seed round. Enosi empowers property owners to migrate their energy use to renewable power sources, and they raised a Seed to fuel further growth. Vertus Energy raised a Pre-Seed to develop its green fuel products, and Novalith raised a Seed to clean up the lithium extraction process.
Via thoughtful consumerism: Zero Co, Baresop, and Kester Black all raised to expand their suite of eco-friendly products.

Not a BNPL company in sight! A diverse array of nouveau financiers that help customers build wealth, not debt, announced funding rounds. Incumbent wealth advisor Pinnacle invested in OpenInvest, which provides access to a curated list of investment products for self-directed investors. Superhero raised for the second time in 2021 to expand into crypto trading. NZ's Superhero competitor, Sharesies, raised a juicy Series-C to turbocharge its Australian customer acquisition efforts. Fellow New Zealander, crypto exchange Easy Crypto, raised a sizable Seed to expand its product suite and dip its toe into several new Asian markets.

Flux, which helps young Aussies build positive financial habits, raised a celebrity Seed round, and graduated from Startmate. Also nailing Startmate Demo Day was: Flow Payments, which gets creators and gig workers paid; Opvia, which simplifies customized quoting for B2B SMBs; and Transactional.AI, which handles the finicky bank transaction categorization process for other fintechs companies.

Raising a Seed to make the lives of business owners easier: Parpera for its smart business banking solution; Renewtrak, which eases the pain from complex renewal billing; and, GoGenerosity which enables frictionless charity donations at the checkout.

Protect yourself before you wreck yourself. Cybersecurity and digital ID protection startups had a standout month. AplyID and FrankieOne both raised sizable Series-A rounds to support the scaling of their customer onboarding solutions. AplyID has its own AML and KYC solution, while FrankieOne gives its customers access to a broad suite of third-party tools via a single API. Encrypted data storage technology startup CipherStash raised an oversubscribed Seed round. SafeStack Academy raised a Seed to support the roll-out of its cyber security training for businesses. QuintessenceLabs, which uses principles from quantum physics to build data security tools to protect against the most sophisticated of cyberattacks, raised a later stage round.

Legal e-eagles take flight. Smokeball raised a mega-round to deepen the market penetration of its legal practice management software. Smokeball handles the entire operational side of running a legal practice, to let lawyers focus on lawyering. After bootstrapping for five years, Persuit raised a giant round to grow its private marketplace for corporate legal services for large enterprises. LawPath raised a sizable round from well-known HNWs, corporates, and investors to cement its market-leading position delivering customizable legal documents and access to a marketplace of legal professionals.

Virtual dispute mediation and legal hearing platform Immediation raised to expand into the US. Safewill raised a Seed to continue scaling its digital will platform to make the essential but often avoided post-death planning process a little less unpleasant. Startmate grad Vxt gives a new meaning to "call my lawyer" with its text, call, and voicemail automation platform, built specifically for lawyers.

The Founders

After hitting a peak in September, funding flows to female-founded startups slipped back in line with the 2021 average.

  • The two top-funded startups were founded by mixed teams.
  • 20% of all deals and 25% of all funding went to teams with at least one female founder.
  • Just 9% of all deals and 4% of total funding went to all-female founding teams.
  • The average round size achieved by diverse teams was 33% higher than all-male teams.

The Funders

Excluding crowdfunding participants, 179 unique investors were reported as part of October's venture funding activity. The most active investors were Icehouse Ventures (Sharesies, Easy Crypto, EnergyBank, GoGenerosity, Vertus Energy, Aspiring Materials), and AirTree (FrankieOne, Reejig, CipherStash, Perx Health). Birchal saw the most successful fundings amongst the crowdfunding platforms (Kester Black, Sobah, Good Empire, SkyPortz, Ziinkle, GetMee).

That's it. See you next month.– Chris

Forwarded this email? Subscribe here!

Refer a Friend