Australia’s digital investment platform for alternative assets, VentureCrowd, and Melbourne venture capital firm Pitch VC launched a venture to transform startup fund management in Australia. Pitch VC founders Johnny Quattro and Campbell Walshe will join the VentureCrowd executive team tasked with bringing a new Emerging Fund Manager platform to market.
What does the partnership mean Australian VCs?
The platform will offer VentureCrowd’s market-leading technology and funds administration infrastructure as a white label product. This will empower subject matter experts and highly networked individuals to launch and operate their own startup venture capital fund.
VentureCrowd’s innovative technology platform has powered over the investment of $310 million of capital since inception, redefining the landscape of alternative asset investment by digitising the entire venture capital process. It is also under the process of enhancing its state-of-the-art investment infrastructure with a Web3 version due by the end of the year.
Johnny Quattro is a computer science engineer and the founder of the music technology app JAMN, which went on to sell more than 5 million copies on the iOS App Store worldwide; win multiple awards; and later sold part of its technology to a United States tech company.
On the other side, Campbell Walshe is the co-founder of global Medtech company CNSDose and co-founder of Pitchblak, a venture studio which went on to create and launch Mr Yum. Together, the two entrepreneurs co-founded Pitch VC and launched Founders Fund 1, which will be the inaugural external fund to trial the new VentureCrowd platform as its first user.
The VentureCrowd Emerging Fund Manager platform will manage fund establishment, compliance, and administration so that new fund managers can focus on what they do best – finding and investing in the standout companies of tomorrow. As portfolio companies grow, they will have access to the entire VentureCrowd ecosystem including access to new investors across Australia and South East Asia, helping them to raise follow-on funding faster.
Alongside the tech component, VentureCrowd’s back office team have established and administered a number of investment funds such as the VentureCrowd HealthTech Fund.
What does the partnership mean for VentureCrowd?
Commenting on the partnership, Steve Maarbani, Chief Executive Officer, VentureCrowd, said: “There are hundreds of potential fund managers in Australia who are held back only by the administrative and technological burden of building a cost-effective back-office.”
“Having Johnny and Campbell join us to develop this new offering expands VentureCrowd’s venture capital capability by giving the hottest fund managers in the market a platform from which to build and operate their new fund. In effect it democratises startup fund management in the same way that crowdfunding democratises startup and property investment,” he said.
“The effective commercialisation of innovation requires efficient private capital market possible. One way to improve efficiency is to increase participation at every level, thus diversifying decision making and increasing the volume of capital available,” Maarbani said.
“VentureCrowd’s investment tech grants access to countless new investors, offering opportunities previously unavailable to them. This new platform is designed to continue that theme by removing barriers to entry to as many talented new fund managers as possible.”
What does this mean for Pitch VC?
Johnny Quattro, co-founder, Pitch VC said: “In the past two years of raising and deploying Pitch VC’s first Founders Fund with the ambitious goal of backing 100 early-stage start-ups, we quickly realised the operational challenges of launching a startup fund of this size.”
“Having scoured the market for some sort of technology or support that could help us, we realised that VentureCrowd’s unique tech and capabilities were a perfect fit. Having spoken to the team there, we shifted our thinking to solving not just our problem, but fixing a gap in the market for a platform that can empower a new generation of startup fund managers.”
“We believe that Australia has an exceptional line up of new VC fund managers ready to step up and run their show, it is clear that the future of VC will not be centralised,” said Quattro.