The dust is still in the air from Square’s mega $39 billion acquisition of Afterpay, but that hasn’t stopped the buy now pay later fintech from fuelling the next phase of its venture capital fund. It’s understood that Afterpay have committed $10 million to AP Ventures new $100 million capital raise.
Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen’s Afterpay has committed to investing another $10 million into AP Ventures. Eamon GallagherThe remaining $90 million is up for grabs, with the first $42.8 million allocated to existing investors, including directors which are expected to take up their $11 million of entitlements in full. The offer, sources say, is priced at 40¢ per share. It is understood existing investors were told about the capital raising on Friday. Bell Potter is believed to be assisting AP Ventures with the raise.
AP Ventures’ decision to pursue a capital raising was made after the company also considered undertaking an initial public offering and sharemarket listing. Structured as an unlisted public company rather than an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP), to date it has raised capital from its 100-plus shareholders on a deal by deal basis.
AP Ventures’ major investors are understood to include Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Investment Group, Regal Funds Management, Duncan Saville’s ICM Group and David Paradice’s Transcontinental Asset Management.
The early stage investment company is led by Hein Vogel, who previously spent nine years at Investec as a senior banker, and co-managed its emerging companies fund in recent years. AP Ventures backed LayAway Travel (a layby service for the travel sector) as its first investment last year, putting in $15 million, of which $6.5 million was from Afterpay. Since then, it’s has invested in the likes of Australia Post rival Sendle, data capture company Basiq, Chinese BNPL player Happay (in which it invested$US10 million) and Dubai BNPL competitor Postpay.
The AP Ventures board has a bunch of recognisable names, including Bell Potter’s Hugh Robertson, former Touchcorp chairman Michael Jefferies and Melbourne IVF (now Virtus Health) founder John McBain.
AP Ventures raising comes after Our Innovation Fund upsized its latest raise to $100 million last month, having received strong demand from founders, and King River Capital banked $US95 million in the first close of its second fund. CSIRO’s Main Sequence Ventures currently holds the mantle for the largest new VC fund of 2021 though, scoring $250 million in April.