Capital Investment in Tech – Good timing or vote of confidence?

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Capital investment in tech companies around the world has been flooding the market in search of the next Airbnb, Tesla, Stripe, Facebook, WeWork, Amazon, but as Covid-19 hits will we descend into a Capital Winter where deals dry up and companies are left out in the cold to survive?

We believe it’s too early to say. While the travel sector has been hit hardest, there has been some resilience shown by the tech companies relied on in the remote world of work – just take a look at Zoom, its share price has quite literally Zoomed north. Amazon is hiring aggressively, as is Peloton, and Atlassian hired more people in the month of March than any other!

While we watch with bated breath, we’re tracking the capital raises around the globe as a sign of what’s to come. The question is, are the capital raises being announced now exceptional timing with the ink drying pre-Covid or are investors that bullish on the companies they’re backing that this can be seen more as a vote of confidence? 

Here’s a rundown of some of the local raises in March & April:

Vamp – $8.5m – Sydney

A world leading influencer and content marketing platform. Its aim is to solve the key challenges for brands across the globe, by providing high-performing influencer creative content at a cost-effective rate. 

Karen Chan from Investec Emerging Companies said: “We strongly believe in the growth opportunities for Vamp. They offer brands scalable, high-quality content that outperforms and disrupts traditional content in an increasingly digital and social world.”

AirWallex – $160m Series D – Melbourne

Melbourne-based cross-border financial startup whose services include foreign exchange accounts that let businesses receive money from around the world. The system uses inter-bank exchanges to trade foreign currencies at mid-market rates in a similar model to San Francisco-based Brex and Hong Kong-based Neat.

Archistar – $6m Series A – Sydney

Aims to be the fastest and best property technology and generative design company in the world, adapting to the needs of the market and actioning feedback with extreme agility. This latest round will trigger growth in new markets, following many Aussie tech companies, by tackling the US and UK with an attractive total addressable market.

Qwilr – $10.8m – Sydney

Its document design and automation tool brings outstanding visual polish, together with intelligent tracking, automation, and integrations. Aside from AirTree and Skip Capital backing them, the co-founder of Typeform, Robert Munoz, was a Series A investor and saw potential in their product early.

Major capital raises happening in the major tech hubs of San Fran and London:

Stripe – $600m to $36B val – San Fran 

The digital payments company highlighted the recent Covid-19 outbreak that is “pushing the economy online” and says several years of offline-to-online migration are being compressed into several weeks.

Onfido – $100m Series D – San Fran

A new identity standard for the internet. Its AI-based technology assesses whether a user’s government-issued ID is genuine or fraudulent, and then compares it against their facial biometrics. 

Glassbox – $40m Series D – London 

Glassbox’s pioneering technology equips enterprises with a new generation of visibility over their digital platforms. Companies are able to receive a complete playback of every digital customer journey, identify vital trends and patterns to optimise the customer experience and maximise efficiency.

Privitar – $80m Series C – London 

Privitar enables companies to extract value from data without compromising their customers’ privacy and confidentiality. The platform is all about allowing companies to leverage large, sensitive data sets while adhering to regulations and ethical data principles.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this space in the coming months to see if the Capital Winter appears or whether this is all a blip on the bright future of tech in Sydney.