Breakthrough Victoria (BV) is an investment company established to drive innovation and attract capital to Victoria. We work alongside domestic and international partners to commercialise new technologies and help turn innovative ideas into new products and new businesses.

Since our establishment just on three years ago, BV has now exceeded $300 million in committed capital, as follows:

  • 22 direct investments in innovative companies
  • One fund (Tin Alley Ventures)
  • One grant (Jumar Biotech Incubator)
  • Six University Innovation Partnerships

More than just a VC

Through our direct investments and industry partnerships we are working to fundamentally reshape the innovation landscape.

Our direct equity investments support early-stage companies that not only have the long-term potential to generate sustainable returns over time, but also the potential to improve the lives of all Victorians.

Through our University Innovation Platform co-investment program, BV is partnering with Deakin University, La Trobe University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT, and Swinburne University of Technology to drive the commercialisation of their research.

And through our $25 million funding, BV has supported the creation of the Jumar Incubator located at CSL’s global headquarters in Melbourne, that provides the wet labs to support the next generation of biomedical breakthroughs.

In short, BV is more than just a venture capital firm.

“The challenges in raising funding in the early stages of commercialisation, and as businesses seek to grow outside of Victoria into overseas markets, are widely understood,” Breakthrough Victoria’s CEO Grant Dooley notes. “At BV, we seek to bridge both these funding “Valleys of Death”.

“As a three-year-old company, our focus is on refining processes, building relationships, and increasing awareness about the role BV can play in the market,” Mr Dooley adds. “But we are already having a significant impact”.

Investing for impact

As an impact investor, BV believes in the power of capital to have a positive impact on people’s lives and the planet. By investing in and supporting the ideas, businesses and products that can change lives for the better, the team at BV are driven not solely by financial returns, but also to improve the wellbeing of Victorians and people around the world.

Our portfolio companies are already generating a positive social and environment impact for all.

One such example is our investment in the peanut allergy treatment developed by Aravax. This treatment has the potential to improve the lives, and in some cases save the lives, of the 1 in 50 Australian children who suffer a peanut allergy.

Seer Medical is one of BV’s first investments. BV's investment in Seer is in the form of a convertible note, not direct equity. This investment structure affords BV downside protection and additional rights to ensure impact for Victorian taxpayers from the investment. As the convertible note has not yet been converted into equity in Seer, it retains its current value.

“BV continues to believe in Seer and its technology. It’s a world leader in neurological monitoring for epilepsy. They’re on target to do $11 million in revenue this financial year, and as of September 2023 they had over 15,000 patients in Australia,” Mr Dooley said.

But a slower-than-expected expansion into the US has put pressure on Seer’s balance sheet. As such, BV is working with Seer on a number of measures designed to help them through this period. This includes some significant reductions in overheads, which has resulted in job losses.

Transparency and accountability

All of BV’s investments are listed on the BV Website and are regularly updated. Investment valuations are undertaken in strict accordance with industry standards and regulatory requirements.

With both a private company and Government overlay, BV is subject to more scrutiny, more checks and balances and more reporting requirements than most other investment firms.

BV is required to provide an annual report of its operations and financial statements in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards, the Commonwealth Corporations Act 2001, and the State Financial Management Act 1994.

All financial statements are audited by the Victorian Auditor-Generals Office.

Operating efficiency and expenditures

BV has built a great team which prides itself on professionalism and driving value for money.

Contrary to media commentary, BV did not spend “$22 million” on staff expenses last year.

As outlined in the Annual Report, BV‘s operating expenses, minus investment-related costs and grant expenses for the 28 month period from March 2021 to June 2023 was $24 million. This figure incorporates ALL company establishment costs, professional services and salaries incurred during that 28-month period.

Looking forward

Since inception, BV has received more than 1,000 potential investment opportunities for funding totalling more than $3 billion. These applications highlight the enormous level of unmet demand for VC and private equity funding to support company development in the innovation and technology community.

After three years, we’re just getting started.

BV is excited to work with many partners in the investment and innovation community and to continue to back ideas, businesses and products that have great potential to disrupt through innovation.

“Over the last week we’ve received overwhelming support from fellow investors, founders and CEOs and the innovation ecosystem globally. I’m proud of the work we do at BV, our team and our portfolio companies and to be delivering for Victorians everyday,” Mr Dooley said.

We're on a mission to discover the next breakthroughs. If your innovation is in advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean economy, digital technologies or health and life sciences, we’d love to hear from you.

Submit your pitch here.

For further information about Breakthrough Victoria and our investments, visit our LinkedIn page and follow us on X (formerly Twitter) .