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Black Nova launches new $35M fund to do ‘boring tech’

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// // The Sydney-based VC's first successful fund, $22M, invested in 33 companies including Perth-based Functionly ...

Early-stage Sydney-based VC Black Nova announced the launch of its ‘Fund II’, targeting $35 million of capital with a first close within six months. Its first $22M fund closed late last year, and has accounted for 33 investments.

The additional funds will bring Black Nova’s commitment to early-stage startups to $57 million, over multiple rounds (pre-seed, seed, Series A) with one company already backed through exit.

Black Nova has since deployed 95% of capital across ERP, regtech, cyber, construction, DevOps, AI, government relations, marketing-tech and businesses that generally solve for efficiency issues.

The firm has also committed over 25% of its capital to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) ethical impact investments such as those with Sydney-based startups PathZero (carbon emission measurement and reduction) and Evidentli (standardising digital health records to unlock better treatment and drug efficacy).

The first fund also backed WA-based orgtech business, Functionly, which has former Plus Eight accelerator Entrepreneur in Residence at its helm, Tim Brewer.

Black Nova launches new $35M fund to do 'boring tech'
Matt Browne, Black Nova VC

Without a doubt, our bold investment thesis “boring is better” continues to work very well for us, demonstrating that there is an exceptional upside in supporting the less-glamorous, but essential, businesses solving acute, and everyday problems for the mid-market and enterprise customer.

Matt Browne, Managing Partner , Black Nova

The fund is looking for “ambitious B2B SaaS solutions” that are able to make “positive changes worldwide.”

According to Matt, there’s never been a greater need to support Aussie startups. 

“When our portfolio companies receive investment from Black Nova VC, they are automatically enrolled in our Venture Partner (VP) Program, where they are mentored by our VPs. We built our VP Program with founders in mind, guaranteeing that they receive ongoing 1:1 support,”  he said.

Black Nova’s commitment to supporting its founders post-fundraise is one feature that sets it apart from other funds, according to Matt.

The Black Nova team has assembled an impressive list of Venture Partners, all of whom have successfully invested in, founded and/or successfully exited companies themselves, including:

  • Christian Wanner – an exited entrepreneur that co-founded the first pure-play profitable online grocery in Europe, as CEO; Senior Advisor to Mckinsey & Co, C-suite and board level experience across the globe.
  • Noga Edelstein – co-founder of UrbanYou which pioneered on-demand home services in Australia and successfully exited; Director of Advisory at Tractor Ventures; Lifetime Ambassador at SBE Australia; angel investor; former top-tier lawyer and General Counsel at Yahoo7.
  • Matt Allen – Co-founder and co-CEO of Tractor Ventures; co-founder and VP at SideStage Ventures; chairman of Qsic; Investment committee for the Alice Anderson fund; co-founded and exited 5 tech startups; has made over 50+ early-stage investments.

General Partner Darcy Naunton is fairly well known in WA as well, being a UWA grad, and one-time resident out west. He even mentored on Perth’s first Startup Weekend before work took him over east.

Cooper Darling-Blair, founder and CEO of research tool GovConnex, another one of Black Nova’s portfolio companies, said his business has grown 17-fold since Black Nova’s investment in 2020:

”We wouldn’t have been able to achieve that result without, not just Black Nova’s capital support, but also their operational support. As a B2B SaaS company, operating in a niche market, sales operations can be particularly complex. This is one area where they have been able to lean into the nitty gritty of our business and help us achieve outstanding results,” he said.


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