Australian Blackbird VC Fund Raises $30 Million to Bring Late-Stage Investing to the Land Down Under


Blackbird Ventures — a $31 million VC fund based in Sydney, Australia — launched this week, according to The Next Web. The fund will focus on growing Aussie-based startups into worldwide ventures.

Blackbird has close ties with the U.S. entrepreneur scene, as Dave McClure of 500 Startups and other American investors invested in the recently closed funding round of $20 million. The firm will be raising the additional $10 million later this year.

Investments have already been made in Canva — a collaborative design platform — and Ninja Blocks, which focuses on connected hardware, and the fund will primarily support late-stage investments, as Australia currently has a robust angel network for early-stage startups.  The management team includes Niki Scevak, founder of Australian accelerator Startmate, Rick Baker, a former wealth-manager, and Bill Bartee, the co-founder of Southern Cross Venture Partners.

The U.S. connections are crucial to Blackbird’s roadmap for success, as Baker notes “We have a strong focus on businesses that we can help inject into the Silicon Valley ecosystem to connect them with expertise, customers and sources of finance.”

Of all the international VC experiments as of late, this seems like one of the most promising, based on the infrastructure of experience Silicon Valley investors and advisors to help guide the fund. I can already think of a million app ideas that would be great in Australia (‘Slapbox the Wallabee!’ ‘Didgeridoo Hero!’).

Seriously though, we’re looking forward to see what comes out of this.