26 June 2015,


BLUE Sky Alternative Investments (ASX:BLA) has called first close for its venture capital fund, after securing more than $15 million in capital.

Strong interest among investors means Blue Sky Venture Capital is well placed to achieve the fund's target of $30 million.

A raft of Federal Government incentives designed to boost investment in the sector have attracted international high net worth investors.

The new Significant Investor Visa (SIV) requires a minimum investment of $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity funds.

The fund is also a registered Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership, which means investor returns will be exempt from tax.

Blue Sky Venture Capital investment director Dr Elaine Stead says renewed interest in the sector has been supported by the company's strong investment performance.

"These initiatives are most welcome as the sector has been cash starved for so long," Stead says.

"On the plus side, it does mean the calibre of deals coming to us is unprecedented. We have a very strong pipeline."

The capital will be used to invest in online retail delivery network ParcelPoint, with a second investment under due diligence.

Stead says 80 per cent of venture capital investment goes towards startups, while Blue Sky focuses on the lower risk early stage expansion market.

"We look for validated, game changing products, platforms or technologies with a global reach, rapid scalability or growth, established, experienced management teams and businesses where we believe we can genuinely add value," she says.

"Focusing on later stage opportunities also allows us to provide investors with a shorter investment horizon than is typically seen in venture capital.

"We see sectors that are substantially underpenetrated because historically, most venture capital has focused on biotechnology and digital technology we are open to all sectors provided the opportunity is right.

"Our goal is to provide investors with an opportunity for exposure to venture capital and the substantial returns this asset class can provide, but with a lower risk profile."

It's the second venture capital fund for Blue Sky, following investing in online retailer Pet Circle, social app HeyLets, specialty pharmaceutical company Hatchtech, biotech company Conventus Orhtopaedics and anti-ageing procedure Serene Medical.


Have you ever thought of taking a chance at alternative investments? That's what Mark Sowerby, founder of Blue Sky Alternative Investments (ASX:BLA), does every day.

As founder and managing director of Australia's first diversified alternatives asset manager, Sowerby is well versed in investment opportunities beyond traditional markets.

Sowerby, who has grown Blue Sky's assets under management to $1.35 billion in the past nine years, knows what it takes to test his comfort zone. He has just returned from a personal journey to the UK where he swam the English Channel.

Don't miss the opportunity to hear from one of Brisbane's most inspiring entrepreneurs at this special Brisbane Business News event.






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