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Seed Space closes the gap for early-stage Australian fintechs

Oct 21, 2021
SeedSpace Team

Founded in 2018, Seed Space is a venture capital firm focused on early stage fintech investments. Seed Space was initially set up in Australia, supported by capital from its founders, its investment committee and a small group of family offices.
Having built a rigorous investment framework and attracted an experienced, talented and diverse team, the group created a fund under the Early-Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) initiative started by the Australian Government to encourage investment in startups.
Seed Space and its related entities have made more than 25 investments so far, with two of the early investee companies having successfully progressed to listing on the ASX and a third having just listed on Nasdaq. The majority of others have moved to second or third funding rounds, indicating the team’s structured approach is working.
Seed Space Founder and Managing Partner Dirk Steller: “We have been thrilled with the performance of our portfolio companies to date, we have seen the successful IPOs of buy-now-pay-later company Splitit and Australian and US-based financial wellness platform Douugh, as well as the listing on the Nasdaq of bitcoin miner Mawson Infrastructure.”

Dirk Steller - Managing Director of Seed Space Venture Capital

Seed Space is one of the very few early-stage fintech-sector focused funds in Australia. Seed stage venture capital investment not only provides funding support for young startups, it is crucial in supporting innovation within the growing fintech industry in Australia. 

“Venture capital at the early stage provides us with access to the growth stories of tomorrow. And we are one of very few early-stage fintech-sector focused funds in Australia,” Steller said.

“When we look at the more developed fintech ecosystems overseas we see broad systemic support to drive investment in seed stage companies, which is still evolving in the local market. Nevertheless, we see exciting opportunities in Australia, and have seen encouraging progress in our investments to date.”

One of the challenges for Australian investors and early-stage fintechs alike is the difficulty of making that initial connection with investors.  Seed Space partners with accelerators and innovation hubs, helping to bridge this gap between companies and investors.
“Our partnership model for deal flow focuses on all stages of the VC cycle such as incubators, accelerator programs and all the places where fintechs are being ideated and incubated. Steller said. “

By being involved in accelerator programs, it gives us direct access to startups that are approaching our funding window. It also reduces our risk, because before they are ready for funding, we are already hearing about them and gauging if they will be a good fit for Seed Space.”
Seed Space also partners with later stage venture capital, private equity, and stockbroking firms, helping with networking for portfolio companies for capital and other connections as they prepare for Series A or B. They have also established an Administration-As-A-Service agreement with Artesian Venture Partners to provide a range of back office support services.
The Seed Space team is heavily involved with its portfolio companies, an approach that has proven successful in other markets. “We take a hands-on approach with our investments, accepting board seats and providing assistance where needed,” Steller said.  “Independent VCs like Seed Space are incredibly important in providing unconflicted support for high-growth fintech companies, and our international experience suggests this approach leads to more successful and sustainable outcomes over the longer term.”
As for Dirk Steller, he is actively involved in industry bodies, like Fintech Australia and the Australian Investment Council; he is the ambassador for the Swiss Fintech Association, an actively involved in lobbying efforts to support the fintech ecosystem.

“It is our vision to improve and grow the entire fintech ecosystem in Australia. We want to be involved in all levels of the fintech ecosystem."

"An example of this is Seed Money which is a pitch night that is free for investors and startups to attend, but is sponsored by corporates who see the importance of interacting with the tech ecosystem. I strongly believe that having a healthy startup ecosystem is vital for the Australian economy as emerge post COVID-19.” said Steller
Their ESVCLP fund is expected to close early next year with up to $50 million to be invested in Australian companies. The fund’s unique approach is showing exciting promise, with a IRR (gross) that is averaging between 35% and 45% from quarter to quarter. 

Seed Space is also leveraging the team’s international experience to launch a fund covering Europe and Israel early next year, operating out of its Geneva office.

Support, empowerment, and vision are some of the main attributes that Seed Space wishes to share with the financial world. Simply having a great business idea is not enough.

To bring out an authentic vision and share it with future clients, there is always a need to rely on professional investors and trusted advisors, especially during their early stages. 

Whilst a significant funding gap remains, it is venture capital investors such as Seed Space that are changing the game and providing startups with new opportunities to learn and grow that otherwise would not be present. It is through this mutual collaboration and expertise that we will transform the startups of today into the financial powerhouses of tomorrow.

For Investors

If you are interested in investing in a portfolio of leading fintech companies, contact us for more information.

For Startups

If you are seeking Seed Round funding, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch with one of our investment specialist today