Investible is expanding its commitment to become Australia’s preeminent seed-stage investment group, today announcing financial services industry veteran Rod Bristow as CEO and that the raising of its second early-stage fund is now underway.
Bristow joins Investible having most recently served as CEO of ASX-listed Clime Investment Management Limited. He brings more than 25 years’ experience across the asset management, wealth management and consulting sectors. Previously, he held senior executive roles with Australia’s largest retail stockbroker CommSec, national wealth management group Infocus Wealth Management Limited and environmental NGO Greening Australia Limited.
His initial focus includes leading Investible in successfully raising a $50 million early-stage fund.
The move marks the next evolution for Investible, which was first launched by entrepreneurs-turned-angel investors Creel Price and Trevor Folsom in 2014 to discover, develop, invest in and support the world’s best early-stage companies.
“The opportunity to work with Creel and Trevor and to help founders successfully grow their businesses was a major drawcard for me in joining Investible,” Bristow said.
“Investible enables investors to access a new asset class and its approach to seed-stage investing delivers very attractive risk-return characteristics. In a world characterised by low yield, a well-researched and managed portfolio of seed-stage companies should be part of every sophisticated investor’s portfolio.”
The second fund will build on the momentum generated via Investible’s inaugural Fund I, which closed oversubscribed in late 2019.
To date, Fund I has made more than 32 investments, having reviewed more than 4,000 opportunities. The portfolio represents 19 sectors and 9 countries, with 19% of companies having at least one female founder.
Combined with Club Investible, its global network of active angel investors who co-invest alongside its Funds and assist in sourcing, engaging and supporting founders, Investible has achieved an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of more than 55% and 3.9 times cash return on deals prior to 2015. Its failure rate sits at just 16%.
Bristow says the early signs of success from Fund I reflect a more significant opportunity for investors to capitalise on the growing demand for ‘smart capital’ at the seed-stage.
“While the overall amount of VC funding is on the rise in Australia, most of this funding is going to a relatively small group of more established companies,” he said.
“Investors now have the opportunity to capitalise on the gap in the market at early stage by leveraging Investible’s early stage investing expertise to back the next generation of tech pioneers.”
This significant milestone for Investible signals the start of another exciting endeavour for Co-founder Creel Price, who is teaming up with startup ecosystem veterans Mick Liubinskas and Elisa-Marie Dumas to launch a new sister company to Investible. Liubinskas was a driving force behind Pollenizer, Startmate and muru-D while Dumas is Investible’s current Head of Programs and Partnerships and the former CEO of Springboard Australia.
The new venture will explore innovative ways to leverage capital, talent and development programs to help early-stage startups achieve their growth goals, particularly in the precarious stage between seed and series A funding.
Price will also remain active within Investible as a member of Board and the group Investment Committee. Co-founder Trevor Folsom will continue to serve as Investible Chairman and as a member of the group Investment Committee.
“From the beginning, our vision for Investible has been to elevate seed investment on a global scale and enable high-potential founders to achieve their goals. Trevor and I welcome the additional experience, leadership and passion Rod brings to the business, as we enter this next phase of growth,” said Price.