Main Sequence, the Australian deep tech investment fund founded by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, has on Wednesday announced the first close of its third fund, raising AUD 450 million ($304.46 million) from investors including Singapore state-owned fund Temasek.

Main Sequence said in a statement that the funding has surpassed the milestone of AUD 1 billion ($680 million) in total funds under management.

Recognizing that Australia’s expansive research and innovation capabilities offer a unique opportunity to solve global challenges, the fund has welcomed the participation of large institutional funds, wealth groups and top tier climate investors.

These include high profile new investors as well as many returning investors, underlining their confidence in the fund.

Other than Temasek, the investors include Hostplus, LGT Crestone, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, NGS Super, Australian Ethical Investment, Daiwa Securities Group and The Grantham Foundation.

The fund also includes the first half of the committed AUD 150 million ($101.49 million) CSIRO investment announced as stage three of the federal government’s Australia’s Economic Accelerator program.

It comes as Main Sequence backs and builds companies that reflect Australia’s national priorities investing in ideas that will diversify and transform Australia’s industry and economy.

Founded in 2017, Main Sequence has backed 53 companies including Regrow, Advanced Navigation, and Q-CTRL.

The Australian deep tech companies supported by Main Sequence have created over 2,100 new jobs, and the market value of those companies has grown to over AUD 6.8 billion ($4.6 billion).

“We embark on an extraordinary journey with this fund, guided by two key imperatives. First, decarbonization—we want to ensure more translation of climate research into the solutions urgently needed to address our environmental impact,

“Alongside this, we are advancing critical technologies central to Australia’s national interest including cybersecurity to protect citizens and infrastructure, quantum computing to unlock new possibilities, and advanced semiconductor technology to fuel innovation,” said Mike Zimmerman, Partner at Main Sequence.

According to him, the firm’s focus remains on big, global challenges that need scientific backing, patient capital and long-term vision to solve.

“The community we have created around this mission cares deeply about finding and scaling solutions to planetary problems like decarbonization, feeding a growing population and enabling the next intelligence leap,

“Thanks to their support, we have the flexibility and fortitude to back and build breakthrough companies grounded in research, and help them actualise their impact for decades to come,” he added.

This is the third fund from Main Sequence, following its AUD 240 million ($162.38 million) original fund and AUD 330 ($223.27 million) second fund which closed in 2018 and 2021 respectively.

According to the statement, Main Sequence is not only seeking out these companies, it is finding novel research and building them from scratch through its unique ‘Venture Science’ model of investment.

The approach pairs deep scientific knowledge with the industry expertise and capital funding required to build entire industries and ecosystems around solving a global-scale challenge.

“Our last fund saw the launch of five Venture Science startups— Endua, Eden Brew, Quasar Sat, Cauldron, and Samsara Eco,

“We are keeping up this momentum with Fund 3, pioneering new frontiers in biotechnology and plan to continue co-founding new companies at the bleeding edge of exciting advances in food and fibres with Fund 3,” said Gabrielle Munzer, Partner at Main Sequence.

“We are continuing to harness the forces of entrepreneurship and research to address the ‘Valley of Death’,

“We see incredible promise in pre-seed investments and our involvement with Australia’s Economic Accelerator, CSIRO’s ON Accelerator and University accelerator programs like UNSW Founders’ SynBio 10x program means we can deepen our focus on unearthing cutting-edge ideas,” he added.

Main Sequence is tackling the world’s biggest challenges by turning today’s scientific discoveries into tomorrow’s industries.

It works closely with scientists, researchers and industry collaborators to create, fund and accelerate new companies and industries across health, food, space, transport, security and deep tech to accelerate humanity for a more prosperous future.

Its Fund I and Fund II have invested in 51 companies that are solving the sustainability of food production, plastic pollution crisis, and renewable energy transition, while shielding them from increasing cyber threats and more.

‍Daiwa Capital Markets Australia Limited Chief Executive Officer Susumu Handa said that through the collaboration with Main Sequence, the firm is confident to be a bridge between two countries’ startup ecosystems to leverage their bilateral relationships for creating shared values.

Hostplus Chief Investment Officer Sam Sicilia said that deeptech companies have the potential to deliver strong long-term returns on behalf of their members whilst aiming to provide solutions to societal, technological or ecological problems.

LGT Crestone Chief Executive Officer Michael Chisholm said the firm has a vision to bring world-class investment opportunities to Australian high-net-worth individual (HNWI), and the Main Sequence fund is the latest move of them realizing this vision.

NGS Super Chief Investment Officer Ben Squires said that NGS Super has a focus on sustainable investing, and the collaboration with Main Sequence Fund shares the same ethos around addressing global challenges like decarbonization.

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