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Salus Ventures reaches $40m target with QIC investment boost
Wed, 14th Feb 2024

Salus Ventures, an Australian venture capital fund focussing on technology companies in their nascent stage, has attracted investor interest surpassing its target of $40 million, earning a substantial investment from Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC).

This fund pledges support to founders who create dual-use capabilities, strengthening Australia's national resilience. The sectors catered to encompass cybersecurity, defence, quantum, artificial intelligence, automation, aerospace, and software.

Salus Venture's debut fund, which was launched approximately 12 months ago, earned the distinction of being the pioneer Australian fund dedicated to backing founders at the seed stage. The investment from the QIC-managed Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund (QVCDF) nurtures Salus Ventures' further growth in Queensland and escalates its funding into budding Queensland startups creating world-class technology.

Despite the challenging markets and stern fundraising conditions over the previous year, Salus Ventures has emerged as one of the rare new Australian managers to successfully complete a significant fundraising. This achievement is noteworthy, especially considering a greater than 50% decrease in funds raised, as confirmed by a report by Cut Through Ventures.

Dan Bennett, Salus Venture’s General Partner and Co-founder, revealed their delight at surpassing their ambitious fundraising target for their debut fund. Bennett stated, "We believe Salus has unlocked a meaningful opportunity for our stakeholders as the dual-use market in Australia and globally is experiencing accelerated significance." The growth of privately developed innovation is strengthening governmental and defence capabilities, a shift that is largely driven by a changing geostrategic landscape and trending towards deglobalisation.

Salus Ventures' team evaluated over 600 companies in its inaugural year before finally investing in five promising Australian startups.

Bennett also expressed pleasure at acquiring a strategic investment from QIC, promoting a partnership to align mutual resources, networks, and expertise towards a shared goal of expanding the deep technology ecosystem.

Marten Peck, General Partner and Co-founder of Salus Ventures highlighted the experience and international exposure of their executive team, including key operational and investment roles in hubs like the US, UK and Israel. Peck stated Queensland is a strategic ecosystem with excellent characteristics to foster and quicken innovation particularly relevant to their investment mandate.

Nicholas Guest, QIC Private Equity Partner, acknowledged the potential benefits of Salus Ventures’ expertise, networks and capital. He cited, "Salus Ventures has rapidly established itself as a centre of gravity for emerging Australian national resilience start-ups." As an influential force in the local venture capital industry, Salus Ventures will augment the available capital. Nicholas added Queensland's excellent record in numerous sectors optimally positions it to enable connections to industries where commercial outcomes can address vital national challenges.