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A purple and red horizon in bird vision

One billion for the ambitious

Date Published:
November 2, 2022

We are here to change the system, to change the culture.

The year is 2032. 

Australia and New Zealand’s five most valuable companies are technology companies. One-fifth of our GDP comes from technology.

Hundreds of startups each employ more than a thousand highly skilled employees. Those employees will take their experiences from these startups and found the next generation of companies that follow.

At Atlassian and Canva, there are hundreds of thousands of people creating technology used by consumers and businesses all over the world.

Founders of successful startups invest in and help the next generation. The superannuation and Kiwisaver funds of all Australians and New Zealanders provide the capital to fuel the ever-increasing ambition.

Australia and New Zealand as countries have, quite simply, succeeded, punching far above our weight on the world stage.

This is the future we work towards at Blackbird. We are here to change the system and change the culture.

In pursuit of this mission, we are pleased to announce Blackbird has raised a new fund of A$1 billion to invest in generational companies born in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our second decade

Blackbird started ten years ago. Over the course of our first decade, it became very clear that our world of venture capital comes down to a few generational companies and that it should be our mission to believe in them at the very beginning and continue to invest throughout their life, with hundreds of millions of dollars.

The atomic unit of Blackbird is great relationships, not picking morsels from an alphabet soup of funding rounds. And so we have designed our funds, team and culture around building relationships we hope will last decades.

As we have always done, we strive to start those relationships right at the beginning, before product and revenue. No member of our investment team will ever say “it’s too early” to a founder. 

We love to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first round of capital, as much as we love to invest hundreds of millions throughout the later stage rounds of generational companies.

Blackbird will invest in founders possessing the greatest of ambition. There is nothing greater than a founder doing their life’s work, determined to make a difference, and having a high sense of responsibility to see that change through.

That ambition is the common thread that ties graphic design, robotaxis and rockets together.

The Blackbird + Startmate team on Waiheke Island for our 10th anniversary earlier this year
Progress over a long, long time

Daily, the financial world tries to make sense of what is happening. Stocks up, stocks down, emotionally moving from one day to the next. And what a year 2022 has been. 

Ultimately, the arc of progress is measured in decades not days

We are thankful to our partners who not only continued their belief in Blackbird but who significantly upgraded their commitments with this fund. We also gratefully welcome those new investors who have joined us on this mission.

The vast majority of Blackbird’s capital is in service of the underlying 4.5 million members of our 7 superannuation fund investors, and each of our sovereign wealth funds. Ultimately, it is the citizens of Australia and New Zealand who will enjoy the spoils of startup progress. 

The coming era for Australian and New Zealand startups will be our greatest yet.

Niki, Rick, Sam, Nick, Robyn & Alex, on behalf of Blackbird

PS: If you want to hear from those leading the charge for a more creative and inventive Australia, and help us paint a picture of what the future could be, join us at Sunrise Australia next week. There’s a handful of tickets left here.