AirTree raises $250m for venture capital fund


news Australia-based venture capital firm AirTree has announced that it has raised $250m for what will be the country’s largest ever VC fund.

The firm, which focuses on boosting founders from Australia and New Zealand, said the cash will be split, with half going towards an early stage fund, and half towards an ‘opportunity’ fund.

Called AirTree Ventures 2 Core, the early-stage fund will see $125m go towards backing “outstanding Australian founders who are attacking large markets”, AirTree’s founder and Managing Partner, Craig Blair, said in a blog post.

“Given our experience and historical success with them, we’ll continue to focus on SaaS and marketplace models, but we are the first to acknowledge and appreciate innovation and are always open to new ideas whether they be in machine learning, augmented reality, Internet of Things or other areas we haven’t yet considered,” Blair said.

AirTree will continue to fund businesses from seed stage to Series B, with funding amounts varying from $200,000 to $5m.

Blair said that his firm’s involvement with its selected startups means “more than just capital” and that it becomes an “operating partner” to its companies and further uses the AirTree Platform to help give them” an unfair advantage as they grow”.

The AirTree $125m Opportunity fund has been set up to allow AirTree to extend its funding support to up to $25m for breakout companies.

“We feel this is an important missing piece in Australian VC and are fortunate to have the backing of two of the largest Australian Super funds to help us plug this gap in the market,” Blair said.

“We are excited by the huge enthusiasm and support as the Australian tech ecosystem really establishes itself in the national pysche,” he added.

In July 2014, the VC firm launched its AirTree Ventures Fund 1 – a $60m fund aimed to support “outstanding” Australian and New Zealand founders based anywhere in the world.