Australia’s Starfish beats fund target

Starfish Ventures, the Australian venture capital firm, has announced the final closing of its Starfish Technology I fund on AUD$123m.

Australia’s Starfish Ventures has beaten a fundraising target of AUD$100 million (€60 million; US$78 million) by closing its Starfish Technology I (STF) fund on AUD$123 million.

STF is the second fund raised by Melbourne-based Starfish Ventures following the launch of the Starfish Pre-seed Fund in 2002. The fund will target Australian companies in the information and communications technology and life science sectors.

The fund was the first venture capital fund to be established under the new Venture Capital Limited Partnership (VCLP) structure, which was introduced by the Australian Federal Government to remove key barriers to attracting international investors to the Australian private equity market.

The VCLP reforms, introduced in 2002, are targeted at providing local managers with a “world’s best practice” investment vehicle for venture capital. The new structure is flow-through for tax purposes, and provides certain foreign investors with CGT exemption on gains. The managers are also taxed on CGT account for their gains. 

“This is a long-awaited milestone for Starfish Ventures and we are now looking forward to investing the capital into the Australian technology sector,” said John Dyson, investment principal at Starfish Ventures. “We are grateful to receive the support of many of Australia’s key investors in venture capital and also welcome new international investors to the sector.”

Established in 2001, Starfish Ventures has used its Pre-seed Fund to invest in a range of Australian technology firms including Compumedics, a computer-based medical monitoring and diagnostic equipment firm, and Moldflow, a plastics design and manufacturing business.