Baker McKenzie has assisted Lighter Capital in securing a AUD 30 million fund from the Victorian Government to invest in Australian Tech Start-ups. Lighter Capital, a US headquartered leading provider of non-dilutive financing to tech start-ups, has been appointed by the Victorian Government to deliver the Victorian Venture Growth Fund. This AUD 30 million funding facility comprises AUD 10 million from the Victorian Government, matched by AUD 20 million of private capital from existing firm client, iPartners.
Baker McKenzie's lead partner, Alastair Gourlay stated: "This is a great outcome for our clients Lighter Capital and iPartners, and the start-up fintech community in Australia, in attracting interest from government through co-investment coupled with high quality institutional investors to expand their business and increase their workforce."
In seeking to explain their business model, Melissa Widner, CEO, Lighter Capital stated: “Lighter Capital’s revenue-based financing provides startups with non-dilutive growth capital and valuable connections. Lighter takes no equity or warrants and does not require companies to give up any control. Our mission is to help founders grow their companies on their terms.”
Travis Miller, Chief Executive Officer at iPartners added, "iPartners is thrilled to offer our investors the opportunity to support early-stage businesses. iPartners has provided over AUD 250 million debt capital across the last 24 months to early-stage companies. It was a pleasure working with experienced professionals at the Victorian government, Lighter Capital & Bakers to solve for a unique financing outcome, that will ultimately make a difference for start-up businesses and provide more jobs in Victoria!"
Tim Pallas, Victorian Minister for Economic Development commented: "We’ve seen how startups can rapidly grow from one or two people to employing hundreds of people – so supporting the growth of companies like these will create jobs for Victorians. The Venture Growth Fund addresses a gap in the market where technology-focused startups are often considered too risky to finance.”
The Baker McKenzie team was led by Alastair Gourlay, with assistance from Josh Donald, Dean Bao and Lara Ilic.