Folklore's year in review

Looking back on milestones and memorable moments across the Folklore community in 2022


Folklore Ventures

December 12, 2022

As first-cheque investors, we understand how the startup journey isn’t always full of headline achievements and big-time press articles – which is why it’s important to celebrate all of the wins along the way, big and small. 

While 2022 had its highs and not-so-highs, we’re proud of everyone in our community for pushing through and reaching some pretty great milestones. 

As we close the chapter on another year of early-stage investment which has seen us grow to manage over $150M, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the year’s milestones and memorable moments from across our Folklore family and community.

Portfolio Hits of 2022. 

We’re proud of our portfolio companies as they weathered the storms of 2022 and hit major milestones in spite of it all. 

Among the Hits: we were excited to continue being part of Swoop Aero’s journey as its first VC investor by following on and investing in its Series B. We have loved supporting the company to scale to more than 20,000 commercial drone flights and establish its new facility in Port Melbourne.

Folklore led HealthMatch’s Series C as the team continues on its mission to democratise access to clinical trials with over 1M users predominantly in Australia and the US. The tenacity of Manuri Gunawardena and her team has been an inspiration this year as they continue to cement relationships with the world’s largest Pharma companies.

ScholarSite became Sphere, joined Y Combinator and raised US$4.3M from Felicis Ventures as it continues to disrupt learning; Lived launched a new brand and their new app to deliver self-care to people with addiction.

Folklore welcomed new Folks to the portfolio, with SimConverse, Canopy Study, ProductEngine and Strong Compute all receiving lead investment from us this year in their seed rounds. Strong Compute was a particularly exciting early ride as global VC Sequoia joined its investor ranks in the months following our investment. We’re also pumped to announce our investment in Crypto Tax Calculator who we have seen thrive over the past year, and can’t wait to see their growth into 2023 and beyond.

On the awards front, we celebrated Wonde ranking second on Deloitte’s Fast50 list of the fastest-growing tech companies in the UK with a growth rate of 31,000% (!!!); and Auror’s founders Tom, Phil and James were recognised as EY’s Entrepreneurs of the Year in New Zealand as they push into the US and work with some of the largest retailers globally; Komodo and Canopy Study were recognised as among ANZ’s most promising edtechs as they build out solutions desperately needed in global education. 

Celebrating Australia’s startup fundraising.

We kicked off the year by launching the first-ever State of Australian Startup Funding report alongside Cut Through Venture. 

The State of Australian Startup Funding is the most comprehensive celebration of our funding landscape and the ingenuity within our ecosystem. Our report features insights from the investors and founders who are driving our ecosystem forward, and we were blown away by the response to our first report – over 40 Aussie VC firms provided their valuable data, over 800 founders and companies shared their experiences in our surveys and the finished product received over 25,000 downloads globally! 

We can’t wait to bring the 2022 report to life – and by the way, if you’re an investor or founder in Australia, make sure your voice is heard and complete the surveys

Releasing Chapters to the world. 

What started with us wanting to fill a gap in critical areas for startup success has become an ecosystem-wide immersive educational experience called Chapters that we’re proud to deliver. 

Since the launch of Chapters this year, we’ve had 230 people learn from the very best experts in the world. From skills development to startup-building playbooks, this year we ran Chapters on People & Culture, Growth and Design. Our Chapter participants went on a multi-week journey of learning and discovery to upskill their knowledge and capability. 

Next year we will expand Chapters to new areas so that Folklore can continue to support skills and talent development in our ecosystem. We’re convinced Australia’s ecosystem is teeming with great talent and ambition, and can’t wait to see what our Chapter alumni end up building 👀

Building Campfire. 

As early investors (we’re talking pre-product, pre-revenue early), we have grown to really understand the early-stage startup experience. So we decided to distil some of that knowledge into offerings and programs for our companies to help them scale their visions into generational companies.

Campfire is more than just a knowledge hub – it’s a platform we have built to connect our vibrant community of founders, portfolio operators, experts, Chapter participants and partners together to learn from each other, communicate directly, and develop their understanding of rapid and durable scaling. 

Reconnecting in real life. 

Folklore has hosted networking mixers, student tours and competitions, panel discussions and more; suffice it to say our new office space saw a lot of visitors this year. 

We loved playing host to so many impactful events, including DAO Under’s first-ever meet-up, VC Women Down Under’s Sydney mixer, F2F, Textbook Venture’s VC Case Challenge, City of Sydney’s Visiting Entrepreneurs, UQIES and our own Chapter meet-ups – among many others. This year alone, we’ve seen and connected with about 500 of your faces IRL and can’t wait to meet more of you! 

Working towards a more inclusive ecosystem. 

A few months ago, Folklore supported our own Britt Boxall and Stefanie Safahi along with Hannah Mourney at Giant Leap to create VC Women Down Under, a space for women working in all types of VC roles across ANZ to connect, collaborate and champion further representation. The importance of diversity cannot be lost, and inclusiveness must be fostered. VCWDU has grown to more than 220 members (and counting), and we’re excited to watch this community grow as more women and non-binary folks get into our venture ecosystem.  

New Folks in the family. 

If you saw the photo above, you might see a few new faces. Over the past year, our family has grown with several new faces joining us across both our investment and operations teams: Britt, Sachin, Allyson, Loren and Cass

On top of that, Dan, Duncan and Stef from our team all stepped up into new roles! 🎉

A big thank you to our full community for another memorable year. We can’t wait to jump into 2023 alongside our brilliant companies and to meet more founders and operators building the legendary companies of tomorrow.

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates delivered directly to your inbox.