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5678.0 - Venture Capital, Australia, 2001-02  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2002   
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MEDIA RELEASE

February 26, 2002
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
15/2002

Healthy Growth In Venture Capital Despite Global Downturn

Australia's venture capital sector recorded strong growth in 2000-01 despite the beginnings of a global economic downturn, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The sector recorded a 14% increase, to $5.7 billion (b), over the year to June 2001 in funding commitments from investors and a 38% increase in funds drawn down from these investors (to $3.7b), leaving $2b of committed funds yet to be called on. Nearly 90% of drawn down funds were from Australian investors.

There has been considerable growth in venture capital markets in recent years. In June 2001 there were 150 venture capital investment funds and companies who had invested in 806 young or innovative companies (up 24% on a year earlier) for investors. Venture capital funds and companies had net assets of $3.1b at June 2001, 17% more than a year earlier.

At June 2001, manufacturing and transport related activities had attracted the largest share of investment with 35% (32% at June 2000) followed by IT, media, electronics and communication related activities with 29% (36% at June 2000).

The number of funds registered with the Federal Government's Pooled Development Fund Scheme increased by almost one third (31%) to June 2001. Much of this increase came from small individual deals involving new investment of less than $1million.

Venture capital is high risk capital directed towards new or young businesses with the prospect of rapid growth and high rates of return. The 2000-01 survey was undertaken at the request of and with the financial support of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources and the National Office for the Information Economy and with the advice and assistance of industry.

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