In our reflection on 2021, we wanted to share with you a snapshot of the year and provide some insights on the road ahead. It’s been an amazing year for Investible, with major highlights across every aspect of our business.
Our funds under management more than tripled this year, surpassing $150 million, and the strength of Club Investible continues to make its mark as a powerful tool in helping founders achieve their goals through access to capital and the unique global perspective Club members bring.
We brought two brand new funds to market, one of which closed oversubscribed after nine months, and we unveiled Greenhouse — a project aimed at supporting Australia to capitalise on the incredible opportunities in the Climate Tech sector. We delivered programs across the country, with a diverse group of partners supporting hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs.
Most importantly, we backed the founders of 23 incredible startups, bringing the number of companies in our portfolio—including investments made by our co-founders Creel Price and Trevor Folsom—to over 100.
Through this growth, our vision to enable global early-stage technology investment as its own asset class has shone through. Investible CEO Rod Bristow reflected on the year as we shared our reflections in our final ‘all-hands’ get together of 2021.
“What a privilege working at Investible this year has been. The highlights are too numerous to mention, from meeting some of our inspirational founders to working alongside our incredible team and investors. I’m energised and excited about what 2022 will bring as we continue to expand and grow here and internationally,” Rod said.
Expanding in every direction
Setting a springboard from which Investible can continue to scale means a renewed focus on founder-first portfolio management, operational excellence and robust governance, risk management and compliance across our investment operations.
As highlighted by recent media coverage in Southeast Asia, we are doubling down on our belief in founders and companies from the region. As the trend of digitisation has accelerated on the tail of the pandemic, we’re also seeing increased traction from the Investible portfolio in the region, in the form of more customers and bold new partnerships. Among our first seven investments from Fund 2 are businesses hailing from Singapore and Indonesia.
Our team met hundreds of founders over the course of the year, participating in programs and pitch events around the world, hosting virtual office hours, and engaging with aspiring builders through our ongoing support of universities, accelerators and community events. These visionary people, from all walks of life, are the driving force behind the work we do. They inspire us daily.
Not unlike the companies we back, our people are core to what we do. This year our team has also grown considerably—a trend already continuing into next year (join us!).
Happy new year from the entire team at Investible!
Enabling early-stage as an asset class
We are equally humbled and excited by the fact that our second Fund was raised in half the time of its predecessor, and more than double its size. In under nine months, we've raised $51.6 million and have already begun to deploy this capital in the region's most ambitious founders.
As Investment Director, Daniel Veytsblit manages Investible's Early-Stage Funds.
"2021 has been the biggest in the Australian start-up ecosystem's history with around $8 billion invested into technology companies. The growth in dependence on technology through COVID-19 highlights the need to continue to invest in innovation. Through this we have stayed disciplined and true to our philosophy and process, reviewing over 2,000 opportunities to invest in 14 new companies. The incredible founders we back continue demonstrating an incredible ability to progress, even in the face of macroeconomic uncertainty," he said.
In September, Investible's Early-Stage Fund 1 completed its final initial investment, rounding out the portfolio at 37 companies from nine countries and across 20 sectors.
Of the Fund 1 portfolio, 20 companies have already gone on to raise a further $120 million in capital. This is a testament to the exceptional calibre of the founders and the companies they've built, the appetite amongst later-stage investors for quality companies to back and the momentum behind the APAC region in particular. We believe these trends of maturity and increased traction will accelerate in the year to come.
Investible's Portfolio Manager Lisa Kim spends her time ensuring these companies have the expertise and capability of Investible's entire network and arsenal of expertise behind them.
“It has been an incredibly rewarding year working with our founders. I am in awe of the resilience and determination they have all shown through a challenging period. From the ongoing impacts of the pandemic slowing down sales cycles to hiring squeezes across the board, our founders have looked for creative ways to close the gap and continue sprinting towards their targets,” said Lisa.
The impact of Club Investible
As capital flows into private markets and venture capital swelled this year, we've been steadfast in our affinity for signal over noise. Investible's unique model pairs the robust diligence and diversified fund-based investment approach with an active and exclusive group of co-investors, who seek to support founders with deeper involvement and access to exclusive investment opportunities.
Club Investible has participated in over 15 deals this year as well as increasing in size with new Club members hailing from leading public and private businesses with global reach and operations. There is an extensive appetite for co-investment opportunities as well as a true desire to support our founders with advice and introductions. Jacqui Fernley, new to the team this year, serves as Head of Club Investible.
"The last two months really highlighted the asset Investible has built over the last ten years. With the portfolio companies at various stages of maturity there is no shortage of opportunities to support and invest behind some highly capable founders. In the last two months we have had three firsts. The first Series B raise, the first exit and our first Israel ecosystem deal bought in by one of our Club Investible members.” she said.
Investing in our world’s future
This September, we formally announced a new fund built to back early stage companies contributing to a net-zero future: The Investible Climate Tech Fund. For the past few years, the number of dedicated founders working on tech-driven solutions to the climate crisis has increased significantly. We've seen this reflected in our investment pipeline and engagement with founders across the APAC startup ecosystem.
Both the urgency and the opportunity have also resonated strongly with investors, as indicated by the momentum behind committed capital to the Fund. Australia, with particularly strong roots in industry, agriculture and energy, has a unique opportunity to build and scale solutions in this space.
"In the 18 months we have been working on the Climate Tech Fund, both investor interest and investment opportunities have significantly increased. Despite the enormity of the challenge of climate change I’m excited by the ingenuity of founders and the opportunity for investors" noted Tom Kline, Investible’s Head of Climate Tech.
Climate, community, connection
This year also brought the realisation of another flagship venture for Investible. Greenhouse, a new climate tech hub being developed in the heart of Sydney, will accelerate the development, adoption and impact of climate technologies on a global scale.
As Project Lead for Greenhouse, Lauren Trucksess has been a driving force behind its evolution.
“The scale of climate change is daunting, but it’s incredibly empowering to be part of the solution. Greenhouse will be an ecosystem that unites entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, academics, researchers and passionate professionals in accelerating the transition to reverse global warming. The interest and enthusiasm we’re seeing from like-minded partners and large corporations who are actively seeking climate solutions gives me a lot of confidence that, together, we can make a real impact,” she said.
Greenhouse will be located at the heart of Sydney's CBD, overlooking the harbour[/caption]
We have long made the entrepreneurial community a centrepiece of our purpose, and this year Investible worked with a diverse range of partners to elevate business and foster entrepreneurship around Australia.
Investible supported over 350 businesses and founders through partnerships with the City of Sydney, Wollongong City Council, the Cultural Intelligence Project, LaTrobe University and Agriculture Victoria. Our indigenous partner First Innovators has demonstrated the impact of our partnership by supporting 60+ businesses over the course of the year through its accelerator program.
“I continue to be humbled by all of the founders that we have supported this year in this ever-changing environment. I love providing pathways for the innovators and disruptors in this world to do their life’s best work and am grateful to have had the opportunity to architect solutions that enable them,” reflected Elisa-Marie Dumas, Investible’s Global Head of Programs and Partnerships.
Greenhouse will carry on the impact focus of our mission, bringing together people who share a vision for creating a positive future for our planet and our civilisation.
New year, same vision
As incredible as this year has been, we are still early in our journey as a business. With a growing team, an ambitious roadmap, and a shared vision to champion, celebrate and support the visionary founders who are building our future, we look forward with eager anticipation for what lies ahead.
Since starting their journey as early-stage investors, Investible Co-founders Creel Price and Trevor Folsom reflected on how far the business has come.
"Seeing the journeys of the founders we backed many years ago unfurl has been a truly rewarding experience. For me, playing even a small part in the story of these great companies has been a blessing," said Trevor.
“As Investible's reach and impact grows, I’m humbled that our founder focused mission is as strong as it was on day one. We are incredibly excited about the future, and inspired by the possibilities that lie before us,” Creel added.
2022, we can't wait to meet you.