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AirMail — July 2018 Edition

Our update of what we’ve seen in tech across Australia and New Zealand this month. And a few things we find interesting… FWD to a Friend

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We announced two new partnerships with:

Alyona (Thematic), John (Airtree), Mike (Joyous)

Joyous — turning HR processes into conversations. Welcome to the family Mike and Philip Carden — our 3rd kiwi founding team 🇳🇿🥝
Read more here

DroneDeploy founders — Jono Millin, Nick Pilkington and Mike Winn

DroneDeploy — the global, market leading drone data platform. We’re thrilled to be backing Mike, Nick, Jono and the team as they expand downunder 🚁
Read more here

🤑 VC in Australia hit a new record in 2017–18 FY with US$630m invested (up 12% on last year). In H1 2018 in the the US, VCs have raised more than $20bn across 157 funds. By comparison, VCs raised $18bn across 157 funds for all of 2004. It’s a good time to be an entrepreneur!

🌎 We were delighted to see the federal Government’s new pilot visa Global Talent Scheme go live on 1 July. We’ve been helping on this in the background.. it’s designed to enable startups to fill highly skilled positions in tech/STEM, replacing 457 visas

📱86400, the latest digital lender to target Australia, is set to launch in Q1 2019 wholly funded by Cuscal and chaired by Anthony Thomson (co-founder of Metro Bank and Atom in the UK). How long until we see Revolut or Monzo launch on Australian shores…?

💰Raiz Invest (previously Acorns Australia), an app that accumulates people’s spare change by rounding up the difference on purchases and provides a mechanism for users to invest the difference, listed on the ASX raising $15m at a valuation of $120m (listed at $1.80, now trading at $0.93)

🇦🇺To help grow Australia’s tech community into a thriving and creative ecosystem we need to make sure that everyone is invited along for the journey. Last month, alongside our friends at Blackbird, Square Peg, Rampersand and Blue Sky VC, we launched the first version of a Model Code of Conduct to help build a more inclusive and diverse #startupaus community. We invite you to join us in adopting the code!

Funding rounds 💰

Culture Amp, an employee engagement platform, raised $54m led by Blackbird with participation from Grok Ventures, Skip Capital, Hostplus and US-based VCs

Zoox, a self driving car startup, raised a US$500m Series B round led by Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has joined the board

Airwallex, a digital payments network, raised $108m led by Tencent alongside Sequoia and Square Peg Capital

Xplor, an end-to-end software solution for early education providers, raised $4.5m in Series B funding from OMKA Group and Airtree Ventures

Joyous, next-gen HR platform turning processes into conversations, raised $1.5m in seed funding from Airtree Ventures, Sam Morgan (founder of Trade Me) and Tuhua Ventures

Seatfrog, an app which allows travellers to bid auction-style on seat upgrades, raised $8m in a Series A round led by Octopus Ventures and earlier backers HOWZAT Partners

Q-Ctrl, a quantum computing software company, raised $1–10m of seed funding from Sequoia and DCVC, joining existing investors Horizon Ventures and Main Sequence

GAMURS, an eSports network, raised $3m from Alium and Artesian

DroneDeploy, a drone software platform, raised US$25m led by Invenergy Future Fund, Scale Venture Partners, Uncorked Capital, Emergence Capital and Airtree Ventures

Credit Clear, a fintech which automates the process of requesting payments from customers, raised $8.5m from Regal Funds Management and Thorney Technologies

What’s on? 🗓

30–31 Jul — Sydney: AFR Innovation Summit where Daniel will be on stage talking about ASX tech listings and funding Australia’s future tech giants!

30 Jul — Sydney: muru-D demo day. We’re looking forward to meeting all the companies!

31 Jul — Melbourne: SINET61, a leading cybersecurity conference — James loves all things cyber and is joining the team from Main Sequence and MacCap on stage to discuss the cyber and AI/ML landscape from a VC perspective

31 Jul — Melbourne: StartupVic Cyber Pitch Night. With lots of prizes on offer, James is one of the judges on the night!

8 Aug — Sydney: AirTree Speaker Series with Scott Farquhar. Get in quick as spaces are limited (RSVP password is airtree)

9 Aug — Sydney: B2B Rocks is a conference focused on B2B SaaS in Aus. Adam is looking forward to joining the investor panel on stage and sharing some insights into the enterprise software trends we’re seeing at Airtree!

29 Aug — Melbourne: As part of Digital Innovation Festival, we’ll be down to Melb in full force for Above All Human. Daniel is looking forward to getting up on stage alongside other Airtree fam — Mina, Ivan and Anil

High profile roles in #startupaus 🇦🇺

Product Manager
More info here

Lead Engineer
More info here

Customer Success Manager
More info here

More info here

Shout-outs 👏

Employment Hero launched their 1st partner program, The Hero Network, a collective of partners focused on making employment easier and more rewarding for everyone.

Nat from Hyper Anna looks two years ahead to the changing skillset required for professional services in an augmented world.

Imagine the world if companies had no employees… The Economist profiles Expert360 alongside LinkedIn as one of the go to platforms for freelancers to manage their day to day freelance business in 2020. won the Innovation category at the 2018 Mumbrella Awards, one of Australia’s biggest and most respected media and marketing awards.

Canva released the first “Women in tech” report which tackles how can we drive more diversity and equality in the workplace.

Your product is awesome, why are you selling it so cheap? A huge effort is always put into sales & marketing… don’t overlook pricing! Adam shares his insights into how important it is to continuously monitor pricing and how much you should be charging!

Meet Andrew, our Head of Talent at Airtree! If you want to work in some of #startupaus’ hottest companies, get in touch with

Cool things that caught our eye 👀


AI obsessed? Import AI is worth a read

Out of all the tech giants, Amazon’s likely to be the most formidable player in finance

We’d assume Anna Wintour’s job would be safe from automation… but AI is undeterred

Bugs are coming to your dinner table

$30m over 4 years won’t cut it for Australia — an overview of national AI strategies

A deep dive on Tesla’s valuation from corp finance guru Aswath Damodaran

Lessons from Gusto — how the role of a CTO changes

Finally… a problem only quantum computers will ever be able to solve

The cult of the coin


Waking up with Sam Harris
Sam Harris — neuroscientist, philosopher, and author — explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events.


Nobel Economics Prize-winning concept explores the possibility of designing environments to make us act in our own interests to improve health, wealth & happiness.

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For the previous edition of AirMail, click here.



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AirTree is a venture capital fund that supports the most ambitious Australian and Kiwi tech founders. First round, multiple rounds.