Telstra Ventures has closed its third fund, raising $500 million to invest in what it calls “all Cs”: cloud, cyber, crypto (including blockchain), carbon and climate, coders, makers and consumers.
The corporate VC arm of Australia’s largest telco is based in San Francisco and invests primarily in technology companies. 88 investments in the first decade, with 33 liquidity events including Auth0, BigCommerce, Box, Clopen, CrowdStrike, DocuSign, Rancher, Skillz, Snap and Whispir.
In 2018, Telstra transformed Ventures into a VC firm backed by LPs, including the investment platform HarbourVest and Telstra. The VC now has approximately $1.3 billion in funds under management.
Sydney-based joint director Matthew Koertge said they had returned more than A$800 million to the fund’s existing LPs over the past 10 years.
“The fact that we have been able to raise these funds from a range of existing and more than 35 new limited partners, around the world when there is significant volatility in financial markets and pandemic issues to navigate, speaks to the high reputation our team has built up. , the entrepreneurs of our portfolio companies and the quality returns they have achieved with our first two funds,” he said.
To be San Francisco-based co-MD Mark Sherman said they were already busy supporting tech startups with the new fund.
“We have developed a world-class reputation for identifying, investing and serving extraordinary entrepreneurs,” he said.
“From our Fund III, using our unique investment strategies from our on-site team and with our data science analytics, we have already invested in 15 startups, including Cequence, ClosedLoop, Enable, Forage, FTX, LambdaTest, Lively, Pandion, Sleeper and Strata.”
Of the previous 88 investments by Telstra Ventures, 17 of the companies have achieved unicorn valuations of more than $1 billion, with five achieved decacorn status – a valuation of over US$10 billion.
Telstra’s head of corporate finance, Guy Wylie, said they contributed to all three funds.
“We recognize that our contribution to Telstra Ventures is about more than just money,” he said.
“Through its smart investments, identification of new technology and support for partners and companies in monetization and great returns for investors, Telstra Ventures is a very different venture capital company.”
Koertge said the VC had driven A$640 million in revenue for portfolio companies since inception.
“With our expertise in applying data science to investment strategy, we bring the world’s smartest technology to a global audience and to the millions of customers who use Telstra’s services,” he said.
“From helping our portfolio companies monetize, leveraging data science and raising capital, we work hard to help our portfolio companies and our limited partners at every stage of the journey.”