Photo of the Blackbird team in Melbourne.

Blackbird Melbourne is Open for Business

Date Published:
August 27, 2018

We’re so excited to let you know we’ve opened our Melbourne headquarters on Gertrude St in Fitzroy.

We’re so excited to let you know we’ve opened our Melbourne headquarters on Gertrude St in Fitzroy.

Lots has been happening in Melbourne recently.

We led Nura’s Series A.

We led Culture Amp’s Series D.

The Melbourne community is humming

One of Blackbird’s core values is founders helping founders.

A great example of this is that one of our LPs — Bevan Clark — opened an office in Cremorne which LIFX took over. LIFX rents out some of their space to other startups, including to one of our portfolio companies Myagi.

Last year, Myagi introduced us to XY Sense, who was also working from the LIFX space, and we ended up leading their seed round.

More than that, LIFX’s Marc Alexander has gone on to be the most valuable advisor to XY Sense, and to Nura, guiding them both through their early days manufacturing products in China.

We call that the Blackbird circle of life, and it’s one of the proudest things about our culture.

The Numbers

Blackbird has invested $55.5M into Melbourne startups since 2013.

Through Blackbird, we’ve invested in 13 Melbourne companies.

Through Startmate, we’ve funded another 18.

And now, Blackbird has 4 of the team based here in Melbourne:

Blackbird’s Central Insight

There are three things we’ve written that you should (re)read:

There were 5–10 great Australian technology companies in the last generation (companies like Atlassian, Redbubble, Campaign Monitor, Envato, & Aconex) but no great Australian VCs.

It is clear to us at Blackbird that the best companies in the world can be built by Australians and funded by Australian VCs.

There is still a huge opportunity for Australian venture funds to capture the value in the best Australian companies, for example: the 20 companies in our First Fund have collectively raised more than $1B+ in capital over the last four years and Blackbird through our various funds has provided them with just 18% of that.

And despite having more than $480M under management, we are still focussed on meeting founders at the earliest stage.

In fact, the first investment from Blackbird’s third fund was a $150,000 pre-seed investment. We’re getting bigger, but we’re meeting founders earlier.

What’s Next?

Our goal with Fund III is to continue our mission to supercharge Australia’s most ambitious founders.

While that usually means we first invest in the seed round of a company, we don’t see ourselves as investors in a specific stage. We want to be an investor all throughout a company’s life.

We will make better decisions when we have had a courtside seat to their story over a number of years.

We will continue to search for the best companies in three main areas:

  1. Software companies built on recurring revenues and efficient sales channels.
  2. Founders exploring the frontiers of technology (autonomous vehicles, robotics, 3D printing and space).
  3. Potential new rivers of opportunity (clean meat, anti-aging, cities 2.0) and as always, the best founders will lead us to the best ideas.

If you’re a founder we should meet, reach out directly!