Sydney, May 23: Melt Ventures, Australia’s first fund dedicated to advanced manufacturing, has today raised $10 million for its first fund and expects to raise $20 to $30 million by the end of this financial year.
The raise was supported by new investors including founder of Camplify (ASX: CHL) Justin Hales, CEO and founder of Newcastle tech firm Pegasus, and co-CEO Andre Pinkowski of Sydney contract and supplier software platform Portt, as well as family offices.
Managed by Slingshot Accelerator founder and Camplify chair, Trent Bagnall, and established angel investor, Steph Hinds, Melt Ventures is a venture fund that invests in hardware, not software.
Melt Ventures found that of the 106 early-stage funds in Australia, 103 were dedicated to software and there were no funds dedicated to hardware startups.
This is the first fund from Melt Ventures, which was first launched in 2022 and backed by organizations including EnergyLab, Robotics Australia, and The Melt Accelerator.
This fund has announced its first three investments into game-changing longer-duration storage companies Allegro Energy, Endua, and MGA Thermal.
“It’s time to double down on investing in advanced manufacturing in Australia. We strongly believe that when it comes to the energy transition, software will only play a minor role.
“This is the first fund helping to build incredible hardware companies that are doing everything from sustainable and thermal energy storage to using Hydrogen to replace the need for diesel generators,” Trent Bagnall, Managing Partner, Melt Ventures said.
“As a nation, we’re built to support renewable energy like solar and wind. Renewables are now outcompeting coal-fired power, with the Liddell Power station readying to close leaving a 6,000 GWh energy gap.
During the day, the transition challenge moves to the night and shoulder periods where the need to store excel renewable energy produced during the day becomes critical to achieving a decarbonized grid,” said Bagnall.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ recent announcement of the Federal Budget, emphasized the need to make Australia a “renewable energy superpower,” aligning with the government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050. With these net zero agreements, short-term targets will drive significant investment into decarbonisation of the electricity sector and the need for investment in domestic manufacturing capabilities such as the storage of wind, solar, and battery.
“We encourage investors to shift their perspective beyond SaaS and focus on investing in advanced manufacturing and hardware. The fund has a minimum 50 percent impact target and invests in companies that have an industrial-sized impact on the clean energy transition. For every $1 million we raise, that’s invested back into one individual company in the engineering, construction, mining, agriculture, technology, and energy sectors,” Steph Hinds, Managing Partner, Melt Ventures said.
Investments from the fund will continue Melt Venture’s mission to provide venture capital, expertise, and advice to advanced manufacturing-focused Australian startups with global ambitions.
Melt Ventures is also increasing its focus on clean technologies such as renewable energy and storage, automation and robotics, agriculture, and transport, as well as advanced materials and space.
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