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WA Gov throws support behind three new VC funds in WA

Henry Thai
Henry Thai
// // Purpose Ventures, FundWA, and Quokka Capital will receive support under the new WAVES program..

In what looks like a major step forward for the startup sector in WA, three new WA-based early stage venture funds have been, or are being, formed. Each will also receive support from the state government (JTSI) New Industries Fund through its WA Venture Support (WAVES) pilot program (2022-2025).

The program will provide support to Purpose Ventures, FundWA, and Quokka Capital each with $100,000 in matched annual funds to assist with operational expenditure for the next three years.

Some of WA’s most notable venture capital leaders are at the helm of the three funds, including Kylie and Derek Gerrard (formerly of RAC’s BetterLabs Funds), Glenn Butcher, Pia Turcinov and Asheesh Malaney (Fund WA) and Charlie Caruso and Nigell Lee (Quokka). Derek and Kylie Gerrard’s Purpose Ventures also includes Brodie McCulloch (Spacecubed) and Nicole Lockwood (Infrastructure WA, Malka Foundation).

All three funds are expected to be operational in the coming months. They are already looking for deals in WA and will devote the majority of their funds to invest in WA-based startups and scale-ups over the next few years.

On 29 March, they are each going to be on a panel at Perth Morning Startup and will be available to answer questions about their funds. This event will also be livestreamed and recorded.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to show the world how good WA companies can be,” said FundWA in a statement.

State Development, Jobs, and Trade Minister Roger Cook added:

WA has never been short of great business ideas.

More than ever, we want to help those ideas turn into a reality for startups and scale-ups

State Development, Jobs, and Trade Minister Roger Cook

Plugging the funding gap

Innovation and Digital Economy Minister Stephen Dawson said, “The WAVES program is designed to attract the funds that will support the commercialisation of promising ideas generated by WA’s growing early-stage innovation ecosystem.”

The program is designed with the prime purpose of addressing the early stage funding gap, the funding boost, essential for the growth and diversification of WA’s economy and the creation of jobs across sectors.

In addition to WAVES, the State Government also initiated a market sounding process last month to identify venture capital interest in WA and how to further encourage greater investment into the State.

WAVES is funded through the State Government’s $16.7 million New Industries Fund, which supports new and emerging businesses to diversify the WA economy and create new jobs.

For more information on the WAVES program visit the New Industries Fund website.

Read more of the latest news from the startup ecosystem here

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Henry Thai

Henry Thai

Henry studies engineering at Curtin University. He has a diverse set of interests and was previously a journalist and news presenter for 107.3fm and The Wire National Current Affairs on Radio.
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