South Australia launches new VC fund for local companies


Innovative South Australian companies are set to receive an additional $50 million in external venture capital with the announcement of the state government’s 15 year South Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF) – to be managed by Blue Sky Venture Capital.

The SAVCF will support local ventures with high-growth potential to secure funding and accelerate growth into national and global markets, with the aim of stimulating economic growth and job creation in South Australia.

Blue Sky Venture Capital, one of Australia’s leading venture capital fund managers, was appointed last week following an extensive tender and evaluation process.

The Fund manager will expand its office in Adelaide, with employees dedicated to the SAVCF, who will work alongside local businesses and organisations to identify high growth potential South Australian companies for investment and help attract additional private sector funding from national and international investors.

Blue Sky is a subsidiary of ASX-listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (Blue Sky). Blue Sky has offices across Australia and in New York with strong networks to ‘angel’ investors, high net worth investors, self-managed superannuation funds and institutional investors, including industry superannuation funds. The company has more than $3 billion in assets under management and has invested more than $250 million in South Australian businesses that employ approximately 1,000 people.

Dr Elaine Stead, Head of Venture Capital at Blue Sky Venture Capital, will lead the management of the SAVCF. Dr Stead is from South Australia and has more than 10 years’ experience as a venture capitalist, specialising in technology commercialisation.

South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, said the Fund will support innovative businesses to become more competitive and reach new markets, stimulating economic activity and job creation for the state through government and private sector co-investment.

According to Dr Stead, “We are delighted to have been appointed by the South Australian Government to manage this long-term, $50 million commitment to innovation.

“Blue Sky has a long history of partnering with South Australian businesses, and we are excited about applying our venture capital expertise to help early stage companies realise their full growth potential in national and international markets.

“Blue Sky understands that a strong and engaged ecosystem is critical to success and we are looking forward to playing an active, hands on role in supporting the dynamic South Australian start-up sector.

“Start-ups under two years old are responsible for 90% of net positive jobs growth across Australia. We are confident that the SAVCF will be an important catalyst for job creation in South Australia,” she added.