Black Nova Venture Fund II, LP
Championing the next generation of Australian B2B technology
Over the last 10 years, the Australian startup ecosystem has changed dramatically. There are more individuals willing to take the leap and become founders in new, emerging industries. There are more investors looking to take risk and put capital to work; more advisors looking to roll up their sleeves and support these early stage businesses as they seek growth. Despite the recent challenges and market uncertainty, we believe, now more than ever, that there are significant opportunities for investors with the right experience and focus to create value by backing the technology businesses of tomorrow.
Black Nova Venture Capital is a best in breed, early-stage venture capital fund manager built by founders and experienced investors to support Australia’s rapidly growing industry of B2B technology companies. For our first fund (Fund I), we set out with a simple investment thesis of “boring is better” – having demonstrated through our prior experiences (such as eight-figure exits) that exceptional upside exists to support the less-glamorous, but essential, businesses solving acute, but everyday, business problems. We believe, that in the 24 months since the official launch of Fund I, our thesis is being proven true as we have:
- Raised approximately $22m for first fund in 12 months (of which ~$9m was raised during the ‘tech selloff’ from February 2022 onwards)
- Deployed 90+% of capital aligned to investment thesis, with investments across thematics such as ERP, regulatory, cybertech, construction, devops, AI, future of work, and productivity tools and businesses that generally solve for efficiency issues
- NTA of 1.17 as of 30 June 2023
- Gross IRR of 24%
- 25%+ of committed capital deployed into impact investments (per United Nations SDGs)
- 34 companies in the portfolio with many supported over multiple rounds (pre-seed, seed, Series A)
- Supported one company through exit, resulting in a positive return for investors
- Over 100 unique investors across individuals, family offices and professional investors
- Co-invested into businesses and received follow-on investment into the portfolio across funds including but not limited to Accel Partners, Bessemer, Blackbird, Squarepeg, Airtree, Tidal, Carthona, Flying Fox and Possible Ventures
Given the growing success of our first fund, we believe that now is the time to launch Fund II. The investment thesis will remain the same and we will continue to strive to deliver best in class returns through backing category defining businesses. Additional details regarding the fund can be found below.
As serial-founders, we believe in finding people who – like us – see the world differently. They are relentless, determined, mission oriented, scrappy and hungry to prove themselves, their thesis and ours. Black Nova’s vision is to create the necessary business and social support infrastructure, as well as capital, to nurture these founders and their businesses. They have a vision to become leaders in their markets and drive the growth of our economy for years to come – doing our portfolio, and Australia, proud.
In this world of opportunity we see before us, we are excited to offer you the opportunity to invest alongside us as we usher in a new generation of startup technology businesses and support the technology companies of tomorrow.
There has never been a better time to back mission critical B2B software at the earliest stages founded in Australia – get involved by submitting an application to Black Nova’s Fund II.
The Black Nova Venture Capital Team
B2B SaaS Startups (Australia)
30% IRR after fees and carry
2% per annum
Pre-seed, seed & Series A
First close December 2023 Final close within 12 months of first close
Term of the Fund:
10 years with extension up to five years
ESVCLP (tax exempt)
We have a soft investment target of 35%
Matt was the CEO & Co-Founder of Donesafe, a market leading global Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) SaaS startup with 1.5million+ paying users, taking the business from launch in 2013 to an eight-figure sale in 2020. Matt is an angel investor, serial co-founder, Y Combinator alumnus, Venture Partner at Antler and has mentored hundreds of startups over the past decade.
Darcy has been heavily involved in the startup space since 2010 with roles spanning partner at venture fund, angel, company director and mentor to hundreds of early-stage businesses. His first fund invested in 12 startups with notable exits including Donesafe and Omny Studio. He is Chairman of Tractor Ventures and was previously a founder of YBF (York Butter Factory).
Talent & Investor Relations Principal
Alex has been recruiting for startups and scaleups for 11 years. He has worked for 2 leading global Recruitment Agencies, ConSol and Salt, working in the UK, Germany and Australia. Whilst at Salt, Alex supported Matt Browne with building his Engineering & Sales team at Donesafe. He joined Black Nova to build the Talent function from zero, providing Talent support to portfolio companies. He’s also responsible for engaging with potential investors to facilitate introductions to our Partners.
Chief of Staff
With over 10 years supporting and leading delivery and Executive Leadership teams at the likes of Atlassian, Afterpay and Brighte, Jo’s had various roles within scaling tech organisations across PMO, Strategy & Operations and Change Management in global, cross- functional capacities. She also serves as a coach and founder mentor for Blackbird Giants, Startmate and Global Sisters Australia.
With senior experience including 1835i (ANZ’s corporate venture fund) as Principal, IAG Firemark Ventures as Partner and investment bank JP Morgan, Alex is a major contributor to the investment process, deal assessment and investment committee.
Investments, CEO & advisory.
Startup growth expert.
Ex UrbanYou, Yahoo!
Matt & Aprill Allen
Super angels, deal flow and network. CEO/COO Tractor Ventures.
Growth & operations gun.
Ex Silicon Graphics.
Growth hacker and advisor.
E-commerce creator, investor, global advisory.
VC investor, advisor, startup enthusiast.
Super angel. CEO of Aussie Angels.
Get In Touch
Following a diverse corporate career across media, procurement and safety, Matt identified an undeniable gap in the world of safety software. Failing to garner the support to address it internally, he made the leap into founding and leading Donesafe in 2013. Slightly later, he would go on to co-found whistleblower software startup Whispli and get first-hand experience in what top-tier investing and early-stage support from experienced operators looks like through participating in Y-Combinator out of the Silicon Valley.
In 2011 Darcy left a corporate institutional investing career after recognising a distinct lack of early-stage venture capital in the Australian market. Upon establishing his first fund and realising that there was an even more salient lack of social support for startups, he would spend the next decade of his life committed to growing the Australian startup ecosystem across his investments, incubator space (YBF) and rolling out hackathons, an angel network, events and user groups as well as founding a series of his own startup software businesses.
Matt and Darcy came together in 2014 when Darcy’s fund made a pre-product, pre-revenue investment into Matt’s Donesafe. With firm agreement that the world needed Donesafe, the two would share the next seven years together on the board and build a common view about the potential for great Australian-grown B2B software businesses grown by hungry, scrappy and tenacious founders solving recurring real-world problems.
Following the sale of the business in early-2020, it was clear to Matt and Darcy that their respective paths had led them to launch a venture fund together. A recipe for success was clear to both, as were the trends playing out in the world. Australia needed an experienced, operator-run, (very) early-stage, thematically-tight professional VC to support nascent businesses building recession-hardy business software.