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This city’s early-stage startup ecosystem value doubled in the last year to $24b

The Andrews Labor Government is backing high-potential global startups to invest in Victorian jobs and innovation and boost the state’s future economy.

With startups proven job creators, the Labor Government today launched the $20 million Equity Investment Attraction Fund that will co-invest with lead institutional investors and take non-controlling minority stakes in companies.

Investments will focus predominately on attracting the best and brightest early-stage startups from countries like Singapore, Israel, United Kingdom and United States to bolster Victoria’s thriving startup ecosystem.

Startups are driving significant jobs growth in Victoria with a 10.7 per cent rise in employment year on year between 2018 and 2020. Melbourne’s early-stage startup ecosystem value has more than doubled in the last year – up 125 per cent from $10.5 billion to be worth $23.6 billion.

The fund will invest between $1 million and $5 million in each venture, which is expected to result in five to 10 high-quality investments.


Companies must be willing to locate or invest large and critical parts of their operations in Victoria, have a strong lead investor and possess novel products and services with high commercial potential.

The Labor Government will also prioritise investment proposals that create broader contributions to the economy, such as supporting the development of new industries, increasing employment opportunities within Victoria, boosting productivity and increasing long-term economic growth.

The fund will be guided by an advisory board comprising independent investors Brigitte Smith, managing director of GBS Ventures, Rachel Yang, partner at impact venture capital fund Giant Leap, and Kerri Lee Sinclair, an experienced investor with more than $100m of capital under management.

The Equity Investment Attraction Fund is part of a $65 million package in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 to attract innovative global companies to the state and help established Victorian businesses expand.

Victorian initiatives to foster innovation and jobs growth are headlined by the $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund and include the $60 million Victorian Startup Capital Fund and $10 million Alice Anderson Fund.


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