Blackbird Ventures: Unlocking "unprofitable beasts" and why they need more patient capital

Companies are staying private for longer than ever before with abundant capital on offer, but the flipside is that sizeable global funds are entering the Australian market earlier to make their mark on the startup community.

Meanwhile, local public equity funds are often unable to do the same due to mandates that don't allow investments in unprofitable companies.

This was one message from Blackbird Ventures partner Samantha Wong (pictured) while speaking at the CSIRO's D61 + Live showcase last week in Brisbane, where she took part in a panel that addressed the country's 'impatient capital' dilemma.

"It's no longer tenable to just sit back and wait for companies that have traction and tick all your checklist to then decide to invest in those companies. It's too late; you are literally just a commodity at that point," Wong said.

For Wong's venture capital firm, which has invested in 47 companies through three funds and a further 65 through an accelerator, this engenders a need to help companies sooner and prove that value that can be delivered by being locally-based with a global outlook.

This dynamic has led to a tectonic shift in startup funding and how growing enterprises assess the trade-off between staying private and listing on the stock exchange.  Read more

Matt Ogg - Business News Australia - 26 September 2018

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