Sam Kroonenburg, co-founder and CEO of Cloud Guru, is pouring some of the proceeds from his London-based startup’s $2 billion exit last year into local tech companies after signing up as a venture partner with SecondQuarter Ventures .
“As someone who has started their business from the bedroom, I fully understand the value of having a robust secondary risk market in Australia. Building a successful business can take sacrifices, but there comes a point when as a founder you have to use some of the value you’ve built to help your family’s financial security,” he said.
“The same goes for your team. Helping them realize some of the value they helped create well before a major exit or transaction can be an incredible motivation to attract and retain talent.”
SecondQuarter Ventures provides liquidity to stakeholders and founders who own shares in high-growth startups.
The first $51 million fund made 17 investments in just over a year. They include unicorns GO1, Canva, and SafetyCulture, as well as Bare, Shippit, Edrolo, Athena Home Loans, Buildxact, UpGuard, and Assignar. There is also a return with American company Moxiwork acquiring ActivePipe in early 2022.
Kroonenburg said the secondary fund is part of a new wave of funding supporting the founders.
“This idea of toiling at your startup for years and not realizing any kind of material wealth gain or reward until an exit finally succumbs,” he said.
“SecondQuarter is playing a big part in this shift and I think it will benefit the ecosystem and lead to even more people starting a business.”
The fund’s managing partner, Ian Beatty, said they had strong support from Fund 1 investors for the latest increase.
“Our second fund is really a natural response to the fast-growing venture ecosystem in Australia and New Zealand. When markets grow rapidly, liquidity must follow – and current market volatility creates many opportunities to invest in wonderful Australian and Kiwi tech companies,” he said.
“Our vision is to be the liquidity provider of choice to the technology sector in Australia and New Zealand. Looking ahead, there is still work to be done to educate Australian founders on the value of engaging a Secondaries investor, and Sam will play a vital role in this regard.”