WHO ARE WE?
Black Nova exists to champion the next generation of B2B technology startups. We invest in ambitious founding teams at pre-seed, seed and series A funding with a bias towards ’boring is better’.
What We D0
What We Do
We find, fund and nurture early-stage opportunities and back purpose driven founders who create exceptional solutions to everyday problems. We are industry agnostic and support founders who think globally, have unwavering determination, want to change the world and build their legacy.
What sets us Apart
What Sets us Apart
The Black Nova team is made up of founders, investors, experts and executives who have all been through the startup journey, and know first-hand the challenges, setbacks, emotional journey and grit required to make a success of an early-stage business. Which is why we make the most of our extensive network and technical teams to nurture and provide support to our portfolio companies.
Meet The Team
Matt was the CEO & Co-Founder of Donesafe, a market leading global EHS SaaS startup with 1.5million+ paying users. Matt took the business from launch in 2013 to exit with the acquisition by HSI in 2020 for an eight-figure sum. He is Co-Founder and Advisor of Whispli, a Y-combinator alumni SaaS startup for safe and secure anonymous whistleblowing with clients including Westpac, Qantas, EY, Oxfam and Fairfax Media that is growing 100% YoY. He is a Venture Partner at Antler and has mentored hundreds of startups through the Founders Institute and Antler programs.
Previously in institutional funds management, Darcy has been heavily involved in the startup space since 2010, starting with early-stage venture fund, Adventure Capital, as one of two partners. Notable exits including Donesafe (exit: HSI) and Omny Studio (exit: E.W.Scripps). He is Co-Founder, Director and Chairman of YBF Ventures (formerly York Butter Factory) which has housed, mentored and incubated hundreds of startups. Along the way, he has also co-founded several businesses via YBF Ventures in the fintech and prop-tech space as well as being a major proponent in Australian startup events like Startup Weekend.
Kevin has a unique skillset that traverses both finance & accounting law, and drives growth in technology startups. For the past five years he has been Black Nova Group and Experience Digital’s COO. He is also CFO to Goanna Solutions, an indigenous Australian owned technology solutions provider, and Co-Founder of Ezi-Debt Collection, an automated debt recovery tool for businesses that was the only Australian business to make the last 200 out of 10,000 applicants at Y-combinator in 2018. Prior to this Kevin spent four years in the legal world with Alsop Glover as a Lawyer, and Norton White Lawyers as a Paralegal.
Tim Baker is a Financial Services Professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the financial markets. Tim has established and operated Hedge Funds, Superannuation Funds and Managed Risk within the Investment Banking trading businesses in the UK, Asia and Australia. His experience spans a diverse range of trading asset classes including Equities, Derivatives, Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities, Debt Instruments, Digital Assets and Energy. Tim enjoys building businesses which align the interests of investors with the managers of such funds and providing the frameworks to ensure success.
Jamie brings six years’ experience in community management, end-to-end brand creation and activation, project management, marketing management, strategy & engagement. Whilst with Hitachi Australia, Jamie managed their regional corporate affairs activities across branding, events, sponsorships and PR, facilitating and presenting brand workshops across Australia and New Zealand. She has worked with major Australian sponsorships including the World Business Forum and Asia-Pacific City Summit and was involved with a Global Sustainability Collaboration as the representative for the Oceania Region.
Jess has over 7 years’ experience in marketing and event management, both within corporates and startups. She is Head of Marketing for Black Nova Group and supports our portfolio companies to optimise their marketing strategies to best position their brand for maximum success. Jess founded her first company in New Zealand in 2016 which was subsequently acquired by a multi-national in 2018 after 2 years of solid growth. She has deep empathy for founders and her passion is seeing other founders on their start up journey, from ideation, to their first customer, to (hopefully) a successful exit.
Alex has spent eight years scaling startup teams, focusing predominantly on technology and product skillsets from Junior to C-Level. He has worked for two globally recognised recruitment agencies, ConSol Partners in the UK and Salt in Sydney where he established and grew the largest and highest performing team out of their five APAC offices, generating over $1 million in annual revenue. He has worked across the UK, Germany and Australia and is responsible for identifying, selecting and qualifying potential startups for Black Nova, whilst launching Black Nova into the UK and Europe as part of our continued global growth. He is a mentor to startups in the North West via the Tech Manchester program.
Anthony has over 40 years’ experience as a senior executive across a broad range of diverse roles including business strategy, managing high-performance teams, running businesses, sales, innovation, fund raising, investment and advisory. He has been an executive, advisor and board member to sustainably grow business for multinationals (Intralinks, Time Warner, CanWest Communications, Kronos), Australian corporates (Network Ten), investment banking, advisory (EY, PWC), start-ups (Katasi, Cheetah Experiences), not-for-profits (Outcomes Australia, SupplyNation, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce), government (Northern Sydney Local Health District Board, The NSW Export and Investment Advisory Board), Indigenous-owned businesses (Integrity Health & Safety, Goanna Solutions) – and across the world including USA, Israel, South Africa and Australia.
Richard Tsiang is based in Hong Kong and is a Director of The Hong Kong Jockey Club and looks after Strategic Projects, Operations and Digital Transformation. He holds Bachelor of Commerce and MBA degrees from Melbourne University as well as a MS from NYU Stern. He is an ardent believer in continuing education and will complete his MS in Technology from Columbia University in 2020. Richard is qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Richard has been based in Asia for 25 years. He was the first CFO for Yahoo! in Asia before becoming the CFO for MGM China. He brings significant management and operational experience to the Group.
Dan Ross 10+ years experience leading Go-to-Market teams at high-growth Silicon Valley companies. Most recently, Dan was the founding Asia-Pacific Managing Director for Optimizely, establishing a local team and building a multi-million dollar regional business from scratch. Dan’s experience lies in identifying target markets then crafting a whole-of-business execution strategy. This includes deploying the right mix of marketing, sales, customer success, and channel resources underpinned by enablement and internal tools.
Matt & Aprill Allen
Since 2013, Matt and Aprill Allen have been regular investors in the Australian startup scene. Their portfolio consists of 26 companies worth 19x their initial investment. Matt’s experience on both sides of the cap table has given him hard-won insight into what founders need to be successful, in terms of both drive and guidance. Aprill’s specialist expertise is in scaling customer-facing operations. With 10+ years experience working with enterprise IT, she knows the challenges companies face and how modern tech can make an impact.
Bill brings over 30 years experience in building and leading high performance teams to execute market creation and revenue goals in deep technology market places. Over the last 10 years Bill has worked closely with the founders of over 40 start-ups globally. He supports businesses across personal, leadership and management development to scale.
Previously a corporate lawyer at top-tier law firms in Australia and the UK, General Counsel at Yahoo!7, Noga has been deeply immersed in the startup ecosystem since 2013 when she co-founded on-demand home services marketplace UrbanYou. The startup scaled rapidly and successfully exited to Oneflare. Her insight into the startup journey and ability to work with early-stage founders has seen her mentor 100s of startups at Australia’s leading accelerators and build a portfolio of angel investments. She serves on the Board of SBE Australia which supports women-led business and boasts a proven track record of 85% of alum going on to raise capital.
Alex has 10+ years experience as a CTO with leading tech implementations, and a founder for 9 years in B2B SaaS business. He is engrained in the startup ecosystem as a mentor, angel investor and a limited partner. His experience lies in targeting the operational challenges, and crafting a support system that encompasses culture, deal flow, network expansion, strategy and tech support. This includes the ability to identify a startup’s ability to grow & scale, through a snapshot of the team, target market, financial composition, vision and roadmap.