5678.0 - Venture Capital, Australia, 2002-03  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2003   
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December 19, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Slowing growth in venture capital

Australia's venture capital sector grew slowly in 2002-03 compared to the previous two years, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The sector recorded an 8% increase in funding commitments over the year to June 2003 (to $7.5 billion) compared with a 22% increase the previous year (from $5.7 billion at June 2001 to $6.9 billion at June 2002). There was a 10% increase in funds drawn down from these investors (to $4.8 billion), leaving $2.7 billion of committed funds yet to be called on. Approximately 93% 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.

There were 174 venture capital investment funds and companies at June 2003 who had investments in 850 young or innovative companies (up 7.1% on the previous year).

At June 2003, manufacturing and transport related activities had attracted the largest share of venture capital investment with 45% (37% at June 2002) followed by retail, services and real estate related activities with 23% (24% at June 2002).

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.