Sixty-one Australasia-based private equity firms currently target venture capital opportunities as part of their investment strategy, either exclusively or as part of a broader investment approach, with 31 doing so exclusively. Over the past 10 years these GPs have raised a total of $1.5bn in capital commitments in venture capital opportunities. As of July 2012, however, close to a third of this amount ($500mn) has yet to be called up.
A breakdown by investment stages within venture capital shows that Australasia-based GPs favour investing in early stage companies. As of July 2012, a total estimated $400mn of dry powder remains available for exclusively early stage enterprises, while the remaining $100mn of capital held in reserve is to be invested in companies across all venture stages.
All Australasia-based GPs that have an exclusive focus on venture capital opportunities invest in Australasia. Slightly less than half ($220mn) of the total dry powder of Australasia-based venture capital GPs will be exclusively invested in the region, while $280mn in dry powder is available to funds that focus on regions outside of Australasia.
With its latest early stage fund Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund, which closed in December 2011, Southern Cross Venture Partners is at the top of the Australasia venture capital dry powder league table. The firm has an estimated $250mn in uncalled capital available exclusively for venture capital investments and while it has a global investment focus, it targets investments predominately in Australasia, China and the US. Brandon Capital Partners ranks second, with $56mn of estimated dry powder available for early stage venture investments focused on Australasia. Ranked third is Movac, a New Zealand fund manager with estimated dry powder standing at $30mn. Movac closed its latest expansion/late stage vehicle, Movac Fund 3, in Q1 2012. The fund manager will invest across all venture stages and has an exclusive focus on the Australasia region.