Starfish Ventures raises A$185m

The Australian venture capital firm fell short of its A$200m target owing to the 'market turning quite a bit in the last couple of months'.

Starfish Ventures has closed its second technology fund and third fund overall on A$185 million ($119 million;€95 million), A$15 million short of its target.

The firm is pleased with the final amount raised although it could not raise the $A200 million it had set out to, Michael Panaccio, an investment principal and one of the founders of Starfish Ventures, said in an interview. Panaccio attributed the smaller close to the “market turning quite a bit in the last couple of months”.

Starfish Technology Fund II will invest in information and communication technology, life sciences and cleantech companies. The fund will invest an average of about A$10 million in each company over the various stages of financing.

The firm has already made seven investments out of the fund but Panaccio declined to comment on the amount invested thus far. The most recent deal disclosed by the company was for Ausra, which provides large-scale solar thermal energy systems for industrial processes and utility electricity generation.

The firm’s previous fund was an A$135 million vehicle that is fully committed, said Panaccio. Prior to that, Starfish managed a “pre-seed” fund worth A$54 million.

Established in 2001, Starfish Ventures manages about A$385 million and has invested in 35 companies.

Earlier this week, GBS Ventures, another Australian venture capital firm, held a second close on A$100 million for a $A200 million venture fund it is raising.