Impact investor calls on super fund VC
Thursday, 11 February 2016 1:16pm

Impact investor Trimantium Capital expects to deploy about $700 million in venture capital by the end of 2016, working with several Australian superannuation funds in the process.

Trimantium Capital managing director Phillip Kingston and US-based co-chairman Roderick Thomson have been touring the country recently, meeting with super funds and mainly fintech start-ups in a bid to provide better access to venture capital deals.

"What we're trying to do is bring well performing funds to Australia by virtue of the people we've pulled together, so that there is an Australian option that has access to truly world class global deals," Kingston said.

Speaking to Financial Standard recently, Melbourne-based Kingston said the best venture and growth private equity funds are oversubscribed and Australian super funds have a lot of trouble getting into them.

"All the good funds they want to get in to, they can't. And all the funds they can get in to, they don't want," Kingston said.

Thomson, an early investor in Skype and Baidu, said super funds don't have access to the best VC deals because they're not looking for them.

"The people that are creating them [deals] have friends in San Francisco and New York or London so they're subscribed two days after they come out," Thomson said.

"Everything goes falling off the wagon by the time it gets here. We want to reverse that trend because there're people here who really deserve it."

It is Trimantium's belief that as a result of super funds' overexposure to domestic listed equities, valuations in that area are becoming unsustainable. It is trying to grow private equity in unlisted asset allocations inside super funds.

"We don't think there's enough deal flow in Australia. This is not about putting more money in to Australian deals. There are a lot of people doing that and there's way too much capital here," Kingston said.

"The political rhetoric is we need more money in the innovation space. I don't see this as being true. What we need is Australian mums and dads and their super funds getting access to the best possible returns.

"And that means to invest in great deals wherever they are and not to be arbitrarily and geographically constrained."

Trimantium is primarily interested in fintech and healthtech deals in the Asia-Pacific.

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