As Breakthrough Victoria turns three it is an important time to look back at where it all started, what has been achieved… and what the future holds.

In just three short years Breakthrough Victoria has invested in 22 innovative companies (18 announced, four approved and awaiting announcement), one fund, one grant and six University Innovation Platforms with commitments totaling over $300 million.

“Over three years we have built a great investment book, we’ve built a solid reputation out there in the business and investor community and we’ve built a great team,” Breakthrough Victoria Chair John Brumby said.

“For new Government businesses or organisations, it usually takes a long time to start up and then make their first investment, but we really hit the ground running and I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we’ve made.”

As a state, Victoria has the most highly skilled and best educated workforce in Australia with 52 per cent of Victorians holding a tertiary qualification. And according to Pitchbook, in terms of global venture capital ecosystem rankings, Melbourne is the highest-ranking city in Oceania.

“I think we are all familiar with the great Australian challenge. While we are good at R&D, we rank poorly at translating and transforming that research into new products, new businesses, new drugs or new services,” Mr Brumby said.

“That's why Breakthrough Victoria is so important. Our goal is to fundamentally change the paradigm — to turn more innovative ideas into successful products and businesses — through investment to support innovation and catalyse our capabilities in emerging industries. As we like to say, we invest in innovation for impact.”

In the last three years, Breakthrough Victoria has received more than 1000 pitches worth a combined value of more than $3 billion.


      ^Figures are accurate as of 16 March 2024.

      The dollars

      ^Figures are accurate as of 16 March 2024.

      Since Breakthrough Victoria’s inception, global financial conditions have tightened which has put the Australian investment market in a state of flux. Early-stage companies are finding it more difficult to raise capital, valuations have declined, and growth is slower.

      The need for capital in these more challenging times does not stop; in fact, it can become more acute.

      Company founders still have great ideas and are seeking to grow their businesses, notwithstanding the challenging economic backdrop. Breakthrough Victoria’s presence in the market provides certainty to other investors and early-stage companies looking to raise capital under unfavourable market conditions.

      “Breakthrough Victoria has supported smart, cutting-edge companies looking to solve society’s problems and build their presence in Victoria,” Mr Brumby said.

      “From transformative new treatments for peanut allergies to smart tags that track the health and location of livestock, our portfolio companies bring to life our mission of investing in innovation for impact.” When Breakthrough Victoria was launched the following sectors were identified as areas where investment could have the greatest impact for Victorians:


      Victoria’s reputation for clean, green, and safe produce gives us a platform to develop, scale and source the next generation of agriculture and food product and boosted security.

      Advanced manufacturing

      Modern manufacturing can transform industries such as medical technologies, recycling, clean energy, and space technologies, producing better, cleaner materials and more efficient processes. 

      Clean economy

      Our future depends on technologies and innovations that reduce emissions across all sectors to accelerate the path to net zero emissions by 2050.

      Digital technologies

      Commercialising digital technology developments and capability will support greater innovation, jobs, and business growth.

      Health and life sciences

      Victoria is a life sciences hub for research capability, healthcare, and digital health development. Our focus is on better outcomes by investing in early-stage innovations across the health and life sciences sector.

      “There is also great diversity when we invest. Our portfolio includes investments from pre-seed to series C,” Mr Brumby said.

      “Breakthrough Victoria will continue investing to help grow this ecosystem, create jobs, and support innovative businesses through capital. And importantly, to help solve some of society’s most challenging problems.”

      Portfolio Company Highlights

      Atmo Biosciences a world-first gas-sensing capsule the size of a vitamin pill that when swallowed, can electronically report data about the human gastrointestinal system.

      They reached their patient recruitment target ahead of schedule for its pivotal clinical study, recruiting more than 200 patients in a multi-site trial (11 US sites) to support submission for US regulatory clearance. More than 40% of persons worldwide suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders, Atmo has the potential to improve the lives of more than 3 billion people.

      Kite Magnetics are re-engineering the aviation industry’s electric motors and generators for aircraft that is safer, quieter, significantly cheaper and emissions-free. The Victorian company officially opened its Aircraft Propulsion Test Facility at Kite’s head office in Notting Hill, Victoria. Completed production of their first KM-120 engine unit. From a single employee a year ago, the team now employs 10 skilled aeronautical and manufacturing staff with plans for further workforce expansion.

      Infleqtion are developing quantum sensors and other devices on the Edge that maintain quantum data, network, software, and computing integrity from the Edge all the way to the computer. Working with Swinburne University to progress the development of cold atom technologies. They are also developing security protocols that play a key role in future access/usage of quantum compute in the cloud.

      Quantum Brilliance were founded by diamond quantum scientists at Australian National University (ANU) in 2019, Quantum Brilliance has developed the first portable quantum computer that operates at room temperature. announced a strategic collaboration with the UK-based Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)’s Hartree Centre to accelerate quantum computing toward wide application of room-temperature diamond quantum devices.

      Smart Paddock was the only international company to land an award at the inaugural Canadian Animal Ag Tech Awards, winning the Innovation Award for its Bluebell GPS smart ear tags. Sold out of first batch of ear tags and is now producing and pre-selling a new batch of 10,000 units by partnering with Victorian manufacturers to scale. The technology enables farmers to access real-time data about the health and location of their livestock on their mobile phone thanks to Smart Paddock’s Bluebell tag, the first reusable digital ear tag for livestock that is battery-free. With the potential to save farmers tens of millions of dollars in calf and stock losses.

      Eden Brew uses science to emulate the proteins in cow’s milk to produce animal-free dairy products, including milk and ice cream. They moved headquarters to Melbourne and closed a $24.4m Series A funding round to scale up precision fermentation production. Eden Brew expects its milk to create a third of the carbon emissions of dairy, and is estimated to use up to 95 per cent less land and 99 per cent less water.

      See all our portfolio companies here.