Carosa’s baby funds another three startups


Local web 2.0 investment house Future Capital Development Fund (FCDF) today revealed it had invested in three more online Australian web properties, adding to the company’s already extensive list of targets over the past year.

All of the three sites feature a transaction-based revenue model in certain niches. TheFarmTrader, for example, is an agricultural and product tender site for farmers and rural communities, RentABin is a national booking system for the hiring of skip bins for commercial and domestic waste removal, and GetMeInform delivers a business management solution from the cloud for health and fitness professions, including scheduling, customer relationship management, accounts and marketing management servivices.

“We continue to find new economy investment opportunities that have the potential to transform old economy business models,” said the fund’s executive chairman, local online veteran Domenic Carosa, in a statement today. “These are exciting businesses operated by passionate founders with strong potential to transform their respective markets.”

“Each offers simple but compelling services that drive down costs while delivering convenience and value for their respective customers.”

FCDF invests in companies which are revenue-generating, moving funds from hundred thousand dollars up to a million and usually gaining a minority stake. Its services aim to give practical assistance, along with capital, to foster the company’s expansion.

FCDF is planning to list on the Australian Stock Exchange in late 2011 or early 2012, and expects to raise between $10 million and $20 million from the process. As well as Carosa, the pool involves prominent business personalities such as former CEO Simon Baker, Danny Wallis — founder of DWS Advanced Business Solutions and Flexirent founder Andrew Abercrombie.

Previously, the company has invested in a range of other Australian web 2.0 companies, including Eventarc, Imorial,, and

Future Capital doesn’t just put in capital into a business — it will also “roll up our sleeves” and help the business grow, Carosa has previously said. There has been a great deal of debate in Australia’s startup community over the past several years as to what is required for Australia to grow a vibrant technology startup sector.

Carosa has previous stated he believes there had been a gap in the marketplace when it came to the availability of angel investment funding in Australia — for amounts up to several hundred thousand dollars.

“Future Capital plays in the quarter million to a million space,” he said in August 2010, noting the company saw itself as a venture accelerator, mirroring the “traditional US venture capitalist model”. However, Future was looking at new investment opportunities “every day”, he said — noting there were a plethora of opportunities and a limited amount of cash.

The key, he said, was more funds that would invest in more young entrepreneurs. This would naturally eventually lead to a few companies achieving a successful exit, and lead to the founders reinvesting in the local market.

Image credit: Svilen Milev, royalty free