AirMail — November 2019 Edition

Nov 29 · 5 min read

AirTree’s monthly update on the Aussie and Kiwi Tech scene. And a few things we find interesting…💕

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The Big News 🔊

🗺DroneDeploy, a drone mapping tool with applications in industries such as agriculture, mining and construction, announced its most recent financing round of $50m and we are excited to double down on our commitment to supporting the team as they expand further into Australia 🐨. Read more about DroneDeploy’s amazing growth and our insights on the Enterprise Software Law of Antigravity here. 👍

💬 Joyous is providing employee engagement software to large, complex enterprises with distributed workforces and helping to give their employees a voice. They recently announced their $3.7m seed round which we are super proud to have led. Here’s to supporting more game-changing Kiwi founders! 🥝

📈Kudos to Expert360 for announcing their signed deal with recruitment giant Hudson to fill its 25000 contractor jobs! 🥳

🛋Big congrats to Brosa for opening another bricks-and-mortar 🧱 store in Brisbane Fortitude Valley 👏 If you’re in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane you can now peruse the latest home and living brands at one of their showroom locations.

Major Funding Rounds 💰

Compass Education, a school management platform, raised $60m

Rome2rio, a travel tech startup, sold to European rival Omio for $40m

v2Food, a plant-based burger startup, raised $35m

Icehouse Ventures, a NZ venture capital firm, raised NZ$26m for its Tuhua fund

Harmoney, a NZ digital personal lending platform, raised $22.9m

Advanced Navigation, a navigation technology startup, raised $20m

Cover Genius, a global insurance technology company, raised $14.7m

Kasada, a cyber security startup, raised $7m

Hometime, a short-term rental property management startup, raised $6.7m

HealthMatch, a medtech marketplace, raised $6m

Lawpath, an online lawyer marketplace, raised $4.4m

Hemideina, a medtech startup developing tiny alternative hearing devices, raised $4m

Zoom2U, an on-demand courier platform, raised $4.2m

Unfiltered, a NZ based business that interviews top business people for educational and motivational purposes, raised $2.2m

Mosh, a digital health clinic for men, raised $1m

Xceptional, an employment platform for people on the autism spectrum, raised $600k

Topics That Caught Our Eye 👀

👶‘Designer babies’ are upon us, and so are the related ethical questions.🤔 US company Genomic Prediction will enable couples undergoing IVF to choose their embryo by offering a polygenic risk score for each embryo for a variety of diseases including type 1 & 2 diabetes, breast/testicular/prostate cancer, heart attacks and high cholesterol. “At the moment it doesn’t offer scores for non-medical traits like height or educational attainment, but there is nothing to prevent it from doing so should it so wish.” 😱

Along a similar theme to the post above, A16Z published their latest manifesto, ‘Biology is Eating the World’: “We are at the beginning of a new era, where biology has shifted from an empirical science to an engineering discipline. Our ability to engineer biology will fundamentally transform how we diagnose, treat, and manage disease”.

🤓Paul Graham’s latest musings on what creates a genius: “If I had to put the recipe for genius into one sentence, that might be it: to have a disinterested obsession with something that matters. A bus ticket collector’s love is disinterested. They’re not doing it to impress us or to make themselves rich, but for its own sake.”

🎉Our industry has been advocating for this for aaaages and finally there’s an exciting development to share: the High-Skilled Visa is here! Earlier this month, Immigration Minister David Coleman launched the Global Talent Independent program which establishes a ‘high-skilled migration stream that will fast-track visas for 5000 of the world’s best and brightest every year, with the aim of entrenching high-tech industries in Australia.’ YASS!!! 🙌🥳

🧹Couples that use technological tools to manage household to-do-lists together stay together. This is a practical one for anyone sharing life responsibilities with a domestic partner. 🤣

Love for the AirTree Fam ❤️

🎈”The argument seems to be mounting, both locally and internationally, that VC-backed, privately held tech companies are not “real businesses” and that a reckoning is coming for us all. This is not the case.” John from our team takes on the issue of tech valuation bubble in this op-ed originally published on the AFR

🦜“If we do not start to invest heavily into the jobs of tomorrow — we won’t have jobs of tomorrow nor the stable society such a future would provide.” Daniel contributes to the Crossroad’s Thought Leadership Series with his take on the R&D spending (or the lack thereof) in Australia.

🥳Big congratulations to Katherine and the team at Brighte for winning the first ever Deloitte Tech Fast 50 Female Award and #2 in the overall Tech Fast 50 awards 🏅 with their whopping revenue growth of 8881% from FY17 to FY19. WOW! 🎉

🏠Athena has been recognised as one of the world’s top 100 fintechs in an annual list published by KPMG & H2 Ventures

🙌Natalie from Hyper Anna was featured on Lifehacker’s ‘How I Succeeded’ series

Hubspot is launching a Startups Ask Me Anything series which will answer all your unfiltered questions on topics such as fundraising, customer acquisition and culture. Save your spot here

What’s On 📅

3 DecHelen is speaking at the ‘Not in My Workplace’ summit in Sydney on diversity and the prevention of workplace sexual harassment

4 DecEmily is judging at the UTS Techcelerator Demo Day

4 DecElicia is speaking at the SaaStock Australasia Conference in Sydney

4 DecJackie and James are going to the West Tech Fest in Perth and AirTree is also hosting a networking drinks session. WOOT!! Lovelies from Perth, we wanna see your beautiful faces there!! 🍻🍷🍹🍸

5 DecMel & Andrew are going to the StartupAus Crossroads Report Gala Night in Sydney 💃🏻

9 DecElicia & Emily are speaking at Startup Grind APAC Conference in Melbourne 👗

High Profile Roles in ANZ 🇦🇺🇳🇿

🤓 Expert360, one of Australia’s fastest growing startups reinventing the way we work, is hiring a VP of Finance in Sydney

☁️ A Cloud Guru, a company building the world’s largest cloud learning and transformation platform, is hiring a Director of Product in Melbourne

💃🏻 Athena, a digital home loan platform with a mission to help Aussies own their home faster, is hiring a Software Engineering Team Lead in Sydney

💡Brighte, Australia’s leading point of sale finance platform for solar, batteries & home improvements, is hiring a CTO in Sydney

What We’ve Been Listening to👂

Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialised World

We’ve been taught that success in any field requires early specialisation and many hours of deliberate practice. What if this was completely wrong? In this landmark audiobook, David Epstein (The Sports Gene) shows that the way to excel in the 21st century is by sampling widely, gaining a breadth of experiences, taking detours, experimenting relentlessly, juggling many interests — in other words, by developing range.

Below the Line with James Beshara — Lenny Rachitsky on Marketplace Businesses

This Below the Line podcast with James Beshara interviews Lenny Rachitsky, who spent 7 years at Airbnb, and studied 17 of the biggest marketplaces in the world to release a 50 page deep-dive on building successful marketplaces. It’s extra special because this topic and interviewee was suggested by our very own Jackie (Jax as she is known in the Twitter sphere), and as James says: This one’s for you Jax! 💕


A venture capital fund in Aus and NZ. Working for game-changers. First round. Multiple rounds.


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



A venture capital fund in Aus and NZ. Working for game-changers. First round. Multiple rounds.

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