startups

Three Australian startups that have already raised millions this year

Cheryl Mack, Executive Director of StartCon. Source: Supplied

The run up to Christmas saw a huge year-end rush for VC investment. While we had hoped for a bit of calm earlier in the year, the 2023 startup cash faucet is already starting to trickle down.

OpenSolar

Solar panel design startup OpenSolar has recently closed a $22 million Series B round led by Telstra Ventures. Joining Telstra’s investment arm is 2150 and Titan Grove.

Founded in Australia, OpenSolar now has a strong foothold in the US market and has raised nearly $38 million to date. The company’s free design and sales software is aimed at solar contractors. It connects professionals with hardware, finance and services around the world so they can expand their businesses. It also offers low prices per watt, as well as fast system installation in just a few weeks.

The company will use the funds to expand its software offerings as well as its partnerships with contractors around the world.

Lost bullet

During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, it was announced that Australian adventure tech startup Loose Cannon had secured $12 million in Series A funding. The round was led by De Novo Ventures in the US and was joined by XT Ventures here in Australia.

The company initially launched on Kickstarter with its waterproof, hands-free walkie-talkie called the Milo. The idea is that it’s used for group chats outdoors, like when you’re skiing, hiking, or in the water. But it has also seen interest from other industries where hands-free communication is beneficial. Despite having an initial goal of $100,000, Loose Cannon raised more than $2.5 million.

According to the AFR, the new cash injection will be used to expand Milo’s functions. Updates may be implemented through mobile phone pairing.

australian angels

This one is a little different! Aussie Angels is an investment platform for angel investors who do not have the excess cash needed to start syndicates on their own. It was launched by Cheryl Mack in 2021 after discovering that many contacts wanted to participate in joint ventures, but the process was complicated and expensive.

Aussie Angels takes care of these issues at no upfront charge.

The seed round was led by Euphemia (via Up co-founder Dom Pym) with $1.4 million and was joined by AirTree Ventures, Rampersand and Black Nova.

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