Steady growth in venture capital
Australia's venture capital sector continued to grow in 2001-02 despite a global economic downturn, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The sector recorded a 21% increase in funding commitments over the year to June 2002 (to $6.9b) compared with a 14% increase the previous year (from $5b at June 2000 to $5.7b at June 2001). There was a 21% increase in funds drawn down from these investors (to $4.4b), leaving $2.5b of committed funds yet to be called on. About 90% of drawn down funds were from Australian investors.
There has been considerable growth in venture capital markets in Australia in recent years. Venture capital is high risk capital directed towards new or young businesses with the prospect of rapid growth and high rates of return.
The survey also found there were 162 venture capital investment funds and companies at June 2002 who had invested in 839 young or innovative companies (up 4.1% on a year earlier).
At June 2002, Manufacturing and transport related activities had attracted the largest share of venture capital investment with 36% (35% at June 2001) followed by IT, media, electronics and communication related activities with 27% (29% at June 2001).
The venture capital survey was conducted by the ABS with the assistance of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources and the Department of Communications, IT and the Arts.
Further information is in Venture Capital, Australia, 2001-2002 (cat. no 5678.0).
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