Australian venture capital firm Blackbird said Wednesday it has raised Australia’s largest venture capital fund at just over AUD$1 billion ($640 million) in committed capital.

The fund, consisting of a AUD$284 million ($180.77 million) core fund, AUD$668 million ($425.2 million) follow-on fund and NZ$75 million ($43.76 million) dedicated New Zealand fund, will help Blackbird deliver on its mission to become generational owners of generational companies, Blackbird said in a statement.

The fund had its first close in May, with subsequent closes bringing the total above the target AUD$1 billion ($640 million).

Investors in the funds include several of Australia’s largest superannuation funds such as AustralianSuper, Hostplus, HESTA, Aware Super, Telstra Super and NGS, Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund and New Zealand’s sovereign wealth funds, New Zealand Growth Capital Partners Elevate fund and ACC.

The fund is also supported by over 270 individual investors, many of whom are tech founders and operators themselves.

“In a great circle of life moment, we’re proud to welcome some of the founders we backed in earlier funds as investors in this new fund,” said Rick Baker, Partner at Blackbird.

“Our mission has been to help catalyze the startup community in Australia and New Zealand and this is a wonderful example of how our startup ecosystem is maturing and founders are investing back into the community,” he added.

According to the statement, the new fund is set to invest AUD$1 billion ($640 million) of dry powder into Australia and New Zealand’s startups and has already made 18 investments into startups from artificial intelligence (AI) to manufacturing to e-commerce, including employee and student wellbeing company Sonder and data and AI-driven infrastructure platform Spice AI.

“Our investment approach isn’t changing, we are still investing at the earliest stages and the majority of our first investments are made before there is revenue,” said Nick Crocker, Partner.

“This new fund gives us the privilege to invest in even more founders from the beginning, to give them the first capital they need to get started and then hopefully at every stage that follows,” he added.

The latest fund debuts a decade after Blackbird’s first AUD$29 million ($18.46 million) fund, launched in 2012.

That fund invested in the first rounds for Canva, Culture Amp, SafetyCulture and other companies that have made an outsized impact on the Australian technology ecosystem.

“By 2032, we believe tech companies will contribute one-fifth of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” said Niki Scevak, Partner at Blackbird.

“We’re here to change the culture of Australia and New Zealand’s ecosystems, to make a difference at a country level,” he added.

Cited research from the Tech Council of Australia, Blackbird said the tech sector currently contributes 8.5 percent of Australia’s GDP, with a combined direct and indirect contribution of AUD$167 billion ($106.3 billion).

While Lowy Institute estimates that the tech sector could account for approximately 15 percent of Australia’s GDP by 2030, Blackbird points to the sector’s growth over the past decade as a beacon to where it could grow.

“The Aussie tech sector’s economic contribution has increased 79 percent since 2016, and our 2.2 percent share of unicorn companies well exceeds our 1.6 percent of global GDP,” said Scevak.

“In 2032, we believe Australia and New Zealand’s five most valuable companies will be technology companies, and that the direct and indirect contribution of the technology sector will be more than AUD$300 billion ($190.96 billion) – bigger than mining, manufacturing or construction,” he added.

According to Blackbird Partner Samantha Wong, over the past decade, the firm has seen generational companies forming from across Australia and New Zealand – companies that are now used by 1 in 17 people who access the internet, that have punched above their weight on the world stage, and that employ thousands of Australians and New Zealanders.

“In the next decade, employees will take their experiences from these companies and start the next generation of companies that follow, and Blackbird will be there to partner with them,” she added.

Blackbird Partner Alex Apoifis said :” We wholeheartedly believe that the coming era for Australian and New Zealand startups will be our greatest yet.”

Blackbird portfolio is worth over AUD$7 billion ($4.46 billion) and includes 100+ of the most successful Aussie and Kiwi startups including Canva, Zoox, SafetyCulture, Culture Amp, Halter and Propeller Aero.

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