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Strong appetite for Australian tech

Strong appetite for Australian tech

An Australian tech start-up company’s successful $30 million capital raising shows the ongoing interest from local and international investors in the space.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (SafetyCulture); Bird & Bird (Index Ventures)

Deal: SafetyCulture undertook a Series B capital raising from international and domestic investors. Index Ventures led the capital raising.

Value: $30 million

Area: Finance

Key players: The HSF team advising SafetyCulture was led by partner Peter Dunne (pictured). Senior associate Sami Wilson and solicitors Tom Hoare and Ben Waterfall assisted with the transaction.

The Bird & Bird team advising Index Ventures was led by partner Shing Lo. Sydney-based special counsel Lisa Vanderwal assisted.

Deal significance:

Technology startup company SafetyCulutre, has raised $30 million by way of Series B capital raising. The capital raising was led by international VC firm Index Ventures.

SafetyCulture, which creates mobile-first applications for safer and more efficient workplaces, plans to use the money to develop new products and grow its employee headcount. To date the company has created applications for workplaces in the aviation, construction, manufacturing and mining industries. Among its clients include Emirates, Qantas and Coles.

According to SafetyCulture chief executive Luke Anear, the company’s iAuditor app is one of the “most used safety-audit apps in the world”.

Mr Anear lauded the efforts of HSF partner Peter Dunne, who led the team advising SafetyCulture on the capital raising.

“Peter is one of the people I want to work with for the rest of my career. His balance of technical expertise and leadership helped us to ensure that a fair outcome was reached as efficiently as possible,” Mr Anear said.

“No matter what challenges we faced, the HSF team would provide a range of options, allowing us to make decisions and move forward. I can't recommend them highly enough,” he said.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Dunne indicated that there has been a consistent interest from investors in Australian tech companies and the SafetyCulture capital raising demonstrated this trend.

“This is a trend we see continuing, supported by recently launched Australian-based venture capital funds and the increasing prevalence of US, European and Asian VCs investing in the Australian market,” Mr Dunne said.

“We are pleased to have partnered with another great leadership team at SafetyCulture on this important transaction,” he added.

A team of lawyers from Bird & Bird provided cross-border advice to European-based Index Ventures on the Series B round financing. Index Ventures' inhouse legal counsel, Rini Banerjee, praised the expertise of the Bird & Bird team.

“We were impressed by Shing and her team's experience, particularly on the Australian legal start up issues,” Ms Banerjee said.

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