BetterLabs invests $2.7M into WA startups

Bernadette Olivier
Bernadette Olivier at the Startup News Awards 2018, a recipient now of new funding from Betterlabs. Photo - Startup News.

As RAC’s BetterLabs venture fund enters its third year of operation, it’s been busy, closing four recent deals worth over $2.7m of fresh investment.

This includes investments in 3 well-known WA startups: fashion rental marketplace The Volte, social media training platform for kids, Digii Social, and Hey Lady, a social platform helping women learn English.

Even better, each WA company is headed up by excellent female founders. Just as we were saying that the Boosting Female Founders grant did not support WA startups last year (hopefully will do this), so our very own WA-based VC fund has gone and done so, which is fabulous.

Bernadette Olivier, Managing Director of The Volte said it was amazing to have the support of a strategic investor like BetterLabs.

Their investment will help The Volte scale rapidly and continue to change the way Australian women consume fashion. We believe that the circular, fashion economy is the key to ensuring that fashion is sustainable in the future.

Bernadette Olivier

Bernadette was also voted Startup Person of the Year in the 2018 Startup News Awards, and her sister and co-founder Genevieve Hohnen appeared in episode 22 of our Startup West podcast.

Claire Orange (Digii Social) and Shah Turner and Emma Jacobson’s Hey Lady were graduates of last year’s Plus Eight accelerator program, and Claire also appeared on a recent episode of Startup West.

We wish them all well.

The fourth investment was in US InsureTech company Waffle, which provides a single location to access insurance using algorithms developed at MIT to insure the person rather than the product.

RAC General Manager of Strategic Innovation James Edwards said BetterLabs was starting to see higher quality investment applications.

“With fourteen investments, the BetterLabs fund is now starting to take shape across the emerging innovation domains we are focused on building,” Mr Edwards said.

“We have seen a significant influx over the past 12 months of great overseas startup and scale-up talent returning to WA which will provide a great opportunity to further grow and develop the local start-up community.”

It’s good to see BetterLabs step up its funding in this way. And the 3 WA businesses they have invested in are eminently deserving cases. Go #WA #Startups!