Nine startups that raised almost $40 million this week


Ordermentum founder Adam Theobald. Source: supplied.

It’s been another big week for Australian startup raises, with $39.6 million invested across nine companies.

Here’s a quick look at who raised new funding this week.

Darwinium: $10 million

Customer protection platform Darwinium has scored $10 million in seed funding led by Blackbird and joined by AirTree. While Darwinium is US-based, with both VC funds being Aussie we’re going to count it.

The platform has a holistic approach to customer protection by combining tools used internally for cybersecurity with the tools used to combat fraud.

“The industry is seeing a surge in fraudsters capitalising on new technology and techniques to adapt attacks targeting online businesses and currently many are operating with ‘point-in-time’ solutions that are not fit for purpose. Alongside this, the security and fraud divisions of these businesses are operating in siloes which leaves them wide open to attacks,” Alisdair Faulkner, found and CEO, said in a statement.

“Fraud Farms walk right past bot defenses, and social engineering and malware render fraud solutions useless. Protecting your customers must be about continuously scrutinising their digital journey and behaviour, rather than a point-in-time evaluation. It requires a joined-up system that allows proper collaboration between digital security and fraud via one singular view.”

Vexev: $8.5 million

Medtech startup Vexev has received $8.5 million, led by Neotribe Ventures as well as Blackbird.

The company was started by two former University of NSW PhD students after closely studying blood flow dynamics. They are now developing medical imagining technology that aims to detect and diagnose vascular diseases earlier.

It utilises ultrasound and 3D imagining software and hardware so labs and clinics can assess blood flow. It also aims to be low-cost and easy to use.

WearOptimo: $5 million

Healthtech firm, WearOptimo, has landed a $5 million cash injection to help roll out clinical trials at Queensland University of Technology.

The platform utilises painless wearable sensors that penetrate the outer skin layer to measure biomarkers to detect conditions such as dehydration and cardiac arrest in real time.

“When we think of today’s wearables, we typically think of something like an Apple Watch or a Fitbit,” founder and CEO Professor Mark Kendall said in a statement.

“However, from a health point of view, they are extremely simple and limited because of their inability to safely access key signals within the skin.”

Ordermentum: $6.2 million

Hospitality tech platform, Ordermentum, has completed a $6.2 million capital raise. Key investors include Pure Asset Management, Naos Asset Management, Matt Rockman, David Gordon and Bosco Tan . This follows a $5 million raise back in February 2021.

Ordermentum is an online wholesale order management platform for the Australian food and beverage industry. In addition to the raise, it has now also reached $1 billion in annual gross merchandise value.

According to the company, COVID-19 drove a 153% rise in payments through the platform.

“The use of digital payments from both suppliers and venues has been an absolute game changer for small businesses. It went from a nice to have in our suite, to the core reason new customers come to us. Suppliers on our platform are being paid up to five times faster than those who haven’t adopted digital payments,” founder and CEO Adam Theobald said in a statement,.

Zitcha: $4.7 million

Retail media platform Zitcha has received $4.7 million in seed funding, led by OIF Ventures.

Zitcha is an all-channel platform that allows retailers to connect and monetise all of their assets (social media accounts, newsletters, website, in-store etc) in one place. It also automates the purchase of media across these channels.

“We are rapidly scaling the business and taking it to North America, Asia and Europe. With OIF’s track record of partnering with founders and helping them launch in the US, they are the perfect investor for us,” co-founder and CEO Troy Townsend said in a statement.

Sauce: $2.3 million

Product management system Sauce has received $2.3 million in seed funding from Blackbird and AirTree to help launch its beta product.

The platform was created by former product managers from Atlassian, SafetyCulture, Amazon and Eucalyptus after they became frustrated with the current suite of tools available in the market.

“On top of tools to create strategic opportunities, track feature iterations, automate customer insights and stakeholder reporting, Sauce is building a much more strategic ‘mission control room’, to help PMs leverage an open library of product playbooks, automate sequences like feature retros, and create radically more engaging stakeholder communications with micro-content that cuts through the noise,” co-founder, Matt Hinds, said in an email to SmartCompany.

sauce founders

Sauce founders James Szklarz, James Gabb and Matt Hinds. Source: supplied.

Kara technologies: NZ$1.3 millon

New Zealand’s Kara Technologies has closed a NZ$1.3 million seed round from Investible, Te Pae ki te Rangi, Quident Ventures, Icehouse Ventures and Startmate.

The startup aims to make content more accessible and equitable for the Deaf community and those who use sign language. This includes a combination of motion capture, AI, and neural network algorithms to create digital sign language avatars to translate video, audio and text.

“This injection of capital and support from our strategic investors will enable Kara Technologies to further connect with the Deaf community and scale our technology platform to enable improved accessibility to important information and valued content,” said co-founder and CEO Arash Tayebi in a statement.

Orkestra: $1.1 million

Clean energy platform Orkestra has completed a $1.1 million seed round led by Tidal Ventures and joined by some angel investors.

The company develops tools for B2B energy companies to succeed in planning, selling and managing new energy rollouts to customers.

“Our aim is to be the intelligence layer that underpins clean energy projects around the world,” said co-founder Chris Cooper in a statement.

“Teams that were previously using excel spreadsheets or outdated software are instantly seeing the value in Orkestra’s offering, and so far we’ve been blown away by the feedback from customers.”

DataFarming: $500,000

Agtech startup DataFarming has secured a $500,000 pre-Series A round of funding led by Investible.

The Queensland company provides precision agriculture solutions for farmers and agronomists as well as data for corporations and industry. It currently provides service to over 120,000 paddocks across the world.

It will use the cash injection for further sales and product development.


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