5678.0 - Venture Capital and Later Stage Private Equity, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/02/2014   
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1 This publication contains Venture Capital and Later Stage Private Equity (VC&LSPE) statistics for the period 2007-08 to 2012-13.

2 The 2012-13 VC&LSPE survey was funded by the Department of Industry. The survey was first conducted for the 1999-2000 reference period, with results released as a Special Article in the Managed Funds, Australia (cat. no. 5655.0) - December quarter 2000 issue.


3 The VC&LSPE survey is aimed at all investments by resident VC&LSPE vehicles in enterprises that met the following definitions of venture capital and later stage private equity.

4 Venture capital is defined as high risk private equity capital for typically new, innovative or fast growing unlisted companies. A venture capital investment is usually a short to medium-term investment with a divestment strategy with the intended return on investment mainly in the form of capital gains (rather than long-term investment involving regular income streams).

5 Later stage private equity is defined as investment in companies in later stages of development, as well as investment in underperforming companies. These companies are still being established, the risks are high and investors have a divestment strategy with the intended return on investment mainly in the form of capital gains (rather than long-term investment involving regular income streams).

6 As VC&LSPE vehicles invest in a business, they become part owners and may require a seat on the company’s board of directors. They tend to take a minority share in the company and usually do not take day to day control, but the investment managers provide support and advice on a range of management and technical issues to assist the company to develop its full potential.

7 Fund of funds which invest mainly in other VC&LSPE funds are also included within the scope of this survey. This type of fund pools investments from a diverse range of investors and mainly places its investments with other VC&LSPE funds who then invest in unlisted companies. Direct investments in unlisted companies may occur, but are typically undertaken as a co-investment with another fund manager who manages the investment.

8 Organisations which were not considered VC&LSPE funds for the purposes of this survey included organisations with a principal activity of providing non-financial support to seed industries. For instance, incubators (typically providing office space and support) set up by either a state government or by way of a Commonwealth grant facilitate seed enterprises in their efforts to get the business into a position of growth. The incubator may offer grants, seed funding, reduced office rental, mentors, marketing contacts and access to office equipment. Only those incubators with significant equity investment in seed enterprises were included in this survey.

9 Investments by non-resident VC&LSPE funds in Australian investee companies are out of scope of this survey, however, funds sourced from non-residents and Australian funds investing in non-resident companies are in scope. In addition, non-institutional investors such as "business angels" (private individuals investing in private equity) are also excluded.

10 The population of investment managers included in the survey was constructed from lists of participants in government programs (including Pooled Development Fund, Innovation Investment Fund, Venture Capital Limited Partnerships, Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership), membership of AVCAL, the Australian Venture Capital Guide, business directories and venture capital journals. The survey is a census of VC&LSPE vehicles domiciled in Australia. Investment managers reported on behalf of the VC&LSPE investment vehicles they controlled.


11 The following are typical characteristics of VC&LSPE activities.

  • The VC&LSPE industry receives a large number of approaches from individuals and groups of individuals who have what they believe to be good business propositions.
  • A small number of these may receive more thorough examination, and decisions are made as to which proposals will receive funding.


12 The following describes various stages at which a venture capital vehicle may make investments.
  • Venture Capital (VC) refers to the pre-seed, seed, start-up and early expansion stage of investment.
  • Later Stage Private Equity (LSPE) refers to the late expansion, turnaround and buy-out or sale stage of investment.


13 The following definitions of the type of capital sourced from investors are used in this survey.
  • Commitments from investors: capital pledged by investors, representing the maximum amount that the fund may drawdown from investors. Committed capital is cumulative.
  • Drawdowns from investors: for funds, this represents cumulative called capital. This is the amount of capital committed by investors that has actually transferred to a venture capital fund in aggregate for the life of the fund, and is also known as paid-in capital. Calls made, but not yet received, are excluded. For companies, drawdowns from investors represents paid-up capital as at the end of the year.


14 The VC&LSPE industry uses a variety of valuation methods for the equity they hold in the investee companies. The valuation methods may vary between organisations.

Methods of valuation


15 Assets may be valued by the directors taking care to undertake valuations with integrity and based on a common sense approach. This will need to be logically cohesive and subject to a rigorous review procedure under the direction of senior management and possibly non-executive directors.


16 The fund may choose to engage a registered independent valuer who will then value the asset based on the current market movements and environment.


17 The cost of the asset at time of purchase by the fund, is the preferred method, at least for the first 12 months.

18 As of 2012-13, the AVCAL method was no longer an applicable valuation method type. AVCAL had adopted the International Private Equity and Venture Capital (IPEV) Valuation Guidelines, replacing the former Venture Economics method. If an organisation followed the AVCAL/IPEV guidelines, their chosen valuation method would be based on who carried out the valuation of investments.


19 Industry groupings are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006 (ANZSIC06), and are being used for the first time. These industry groupings do not align with industry groupings in previous VC&LSPE releases. The new industry groupings consist of these ANZSIC06 division categories:
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing includes Division A 'Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing'.
  • Mining includes Division B 'Mining'.
  • Manufacturing includes Division C 'Manufacturing'.
  • Construction and utilities includes Division D 'Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services' and Division E 'Construction'.
  • Trade and accommodation includes Division F 'Wholesale Trade', Division G 'Retail Trade', and Division H 'Accommodation and Food Services'.
  • Transport, postal and warehousing includes Division I 'Transport, Postal and Warehousing'.
  • Information media and telecommunications includes Division J 'Information Media and Telecommunications'.
  • Finance, administrative and support services includes Division K 'Finance and Insurance Services' and Division N 'Administrative and Support Services'.
  • Professional, scientific and technical services includes Division M 'Professional, Scientific and Technical Services'.
  • Health care and social assistance includes Division Q 'Health Care and Social Assistance'.
  • Other industries includes Division L 'Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services', Division O 'Public Administration and Safety', Division P 'Education and Training', Division R 'Arts and Recreational Services', and Division S 'Other Services'.

20 For further detail on ANZSIC06 classifications see Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) (cat. no. 1292.0) - issue, 2006 (Revision 2.0).


21 The activities reported have been classified using Standard & Poor's Global Industry Classification Standard. This classification is commonly used internationally. Further information can be found at http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices/gics/en/au.


22 Care should be exercised when viewing investee company data. The number of investee companies displayed represents the number of investments that VC&LSPE investment vehicles have made, and not the total number of companies that have received funding. In some cases an individual company may receive funding from several different VC&LSPE investment vehicles.

23 Industry and activity of VC&LSPE investee companies' were self classified by managers at the time of reporting. Some organisations may have experienced difficulty in classifying their investee companies. The ABS makes every effort to ensure correct and consistent interpretation and reporting of these data by applying consistent processing methodologies.


24 Any discrepancies between totals and sums of components in the tables are due to rounding.


25 Related ABS publications which may also be of interest include:
26 Non-ABS data source:
27 Additional information relating to VC&LSPE (including data cubes in spreadsheet form) can be found on the ABS website https://www.abs.gov.au.

28 Data available on request: The ABS may be able to provide additional data for this survey on request.