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QIC adds to streak of venture capital investments

Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) has agreed to become a cornerstone investor in early and growth-stage fund Sprint Ventures, while also investing in biotech venture capital firm Brandon Capital.

Yesterday, Financial Standard reported that QIC's venture capital development fund (QVCDF) committed funds to technology investment firm Tidal Ventures.

QVCDF provided a binding term sheet to support Sprint Ventures' upcoming Sprint Fund 3, contingent on matching capital being raised.

QIC private equity investment director Leo Channon said the deal was aimed at bridging the identified early-stage funding gap for startups to scale from Queensland.

"Sprint is a home-grown Queensland firm that invests across a number of important thematics for Queensland innovation, including healthtech, aged care, climate and infrastructure tech, AI and automation," he said.

"QVCDF is pleased to be supporting Sprint as a cornerstone investor in its third fund which will deploy much-needed capital in the pre-seed to Series A space with a focus on B2B SaaS."

Sprint managing partner Georgia Barkell said the QVCDF will increase the number of investments Sprint can make in some of Queensland's fastest-growing sectors.

"Boasting a strong commitment to healthcare and one of Australia's fastest-growing populations, Queensland presents a wealth of opportunities to digitize its healthcare system," she said.

"With excellent universities, well-equipped hospitals, government funding, and innovation hubs like LuminaX, the state is well-positioned to lead the way in digital healthcare solutions.

"We're also seeing the ClimateTech sector boom fuelled by government investment in renewables and cutting-edge conservation solutions. Queensland is rapidly emerging as a global leader in climate action, and this positions Sprint to be at the forefront of sustainability investing, partnering with entrepreneurs, universities and ClimateTech accelerators such as EnergyLab."

Meanwhile, QVCDF invested in Brandon Capital's sixth fund to grow its presence in Queensland and investment focus.

QIC private equity senior associate Matiela Baker said Brandon Capital's track record of finding and investing in promising life sciences research is a value-add to Queensland's innovation ecosystem.

"Bridging the early-stage funding gap and maturing Queensland's venture capital industry will take key players like Brandon Capital, so we're delighted to have them on board with QVCDF," Baker said.

"Having previously backed needle-free vaccine patch innovator Vaxxas and pain relief therapeutic Spinifex, Brandon understands how rich in potential Queensland's biotech sector is and what it takes to help founders scale and succeed."

Brandon Capital founding partner and managing director Chris Nave said it will match the funds provided by the QVCDF to invest in promising local biomedical research, unlocking the health and economic potential generated by Queensland's globally recognised researchers.

"Queensland's biotech sector continues to deliver with 60% growth since 2019, and 324 biotechnology companies currently employing over 32,000 Queenslanders in high-skilled roles," he said.

"Thanks to the Queensland government and QIC, Brandon Capital will be able to increase the number of investments we make, creating a flywheel of downstream opportunities for talent and investors to boost the local biotech sector."

Read more: QueenslandBrandon CapitalQICQVCDFSprint VenturesQueensland Investment CorporationClimateTechMatiela BakerChris NaveEnergyLabFinancial StandardGeorgia BarkellLeo ChannonSpinifexSprint FundTidal Ventures