We believe in the capacity of Australian founders to build great companies, to launch here and internationally, and to mix it with the world’s best — and we want to support Australia’s best by investing in their vision.
Conscious we’ve been supporting the Australian startup ecosystem under the radar for a number of years, we’re now coming out of ‘stealth’ to announce the recent close of our $40M ESVCLP fund and a few developments.
Let’s do a short recap. In 2013 I decided to back myself and founded Folklore. This decision came after spending 10 years working with start-ups, managing investments into tech companies for others, and co-founding ShippingEasy which was later sold to Stamps.com.
The Tempus investment journey began in 2013 with an investment into Freelancer which then IPO’d (ASX:FLN). This was followed by a seed investment in Clipp which was acquired by Mobile Embrace (ASX:MBE), a double-down Series A in ShippingEasy acquired by Stamps.com (NASDAQ:STMP), a late stage investment in customer platform Plexure (IPO NZX:PLX), and a few others.
Off the back of successful exits from all of those investments, we raised our first (intentionally small) fund to make a limited number of early-seed investments in FY15/16. This further tested our investment frameworks and allowed us to build a network around Tempus Partners. We looked at 187 start-ups and invested in 5 great companies, backing exceptional founders early to build their vision. Our fund 1 investments are: Uptick, Forever Network, ExpenseCheck, Feature Flow, and AdviserRatings. We are super proud of each of the founders who have grown their companies faster and more successfully than we expected, and we look forward to continuing supporting them through their journey.
Today we announce the launch of Folklore Fund 2, a $40M+ ESVCLP investing in B2B and globally-scalable Australian startups built by Australia’s best and brightest tech talent. Fund 2 is investing at Seed/Series A stages, and has started deploying capital after a ~$20M first close a few months back.
Because we aim to invest in Australia’s best and brightest talent, Folklore has brought together a team with over 40 years experience as founders and investors — Andrew Larsen, Connie Lee, Conrad Yiu and myself — to support that mission and to work with our portfolio companies.
Many in the Australian start-up ecosystem will know Andrew as an investor in HealthEngine (recently raised $26M from Sequoia), EdTech company SEQTA and as a founder of WA’s first co-working space, whilst Conrad joined Folklore after successfully co-founding Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW), logistics start-up Parcel Point and then retail fulfilment start-up Fluent Retail, all of which have received significant VC investment. We welcome Connie to Folklore as an Investment Associate, after a 5 year stint at Macquarie Capital working on principal investments with a focus on tech and growth-stage companies.
In addition to the Fund 2 team, Folklore has also brought together an Advisory Board of brilliant tech founders and advisors in Australia and SF to support our efforts. We also recently launched a mentor network of exceptional founders and executives from companies such as Uber, Dropbox, Rocket Internet and Domo with unparalleled expertise in their respective domains to support our founders. More on this to come.
Over the coming months we will be openly discussing our mission and values, our investment focus and the type of founders we want to back, as well as being more active in discussing important issues within the start-up ecosystem.
We continue to meet exceptional founders every day, and we are excited to be announcing our initial Fund 2 investments shortly.
On behalf of the team, thanks for supporting us on our journey, we look forward to supporting you on yours!
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