James Chin Moody CEO Sendle, Will Richardson and Amanda Goodman, Giant Leap Fund
The Giant Leap Fund invests in world changing Australian start-ups that deliver environmental, social, and sustainable benefits, giving investors the opportunity to align their values with their financial resources.
Giant Leap is an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) fund launched in 2016 by the Impact Investment Group. The group initially focussed on sustainable property investments. It later diversified into renewable energy infrastructure, managing solar funds. The Giant Leap Fund has AU$15 million in committed capital. The fund invests in impact businesses – businesses who aim to create maximum positive impact for their customers, business partners and the public at large, as well as for the environment.
Giant Leap has approximately 80 investors. The Impact investment Group has ambitions to attract superannuation capital into future funds.
Giant Leap has invested in nine early stage companies in the past two years. Giant Leap initially focussed on Series A – growth stage with early sales and manufacturing – companies. However, AU$1 million of the AU$15 million fund has been allocated to earlier seed stage –financing to prove a new idea investments.
One of the Giant Leap Fund’s success stories is Sendle, a carbon-neutral courier business, who has also secured funding from other investors. Sendle’s innovative approach to providing courier services is shaking up the industry and setting a new benchmark for convenience, affordability and simplicity in parcel delivery. Sendle helps small businesses send parcels door to door for less than the cost of parcel post.
Sendle has benefitted from the Giant Leap Fund’s participation in the ESVCLP, with funds assisting the company to grow sales, employ more people, develop its service offering and gain recognition in its field.
Giant Leap recognised that Sendle’s business model was highly scalable within a very clearly defined market. Sendle also shared Giant Leap’s values with respect to the environment and sustainability.
- The Giant Leap Fund is designed for investors who want to make a positive social or environmental impact.
- The Giant Leap Fund has invested in Sendle, a carbon-neutral courier business providing a critical service to an under-served market.
How the Government has helped
The ESVCLP programme has made it possible for the Giant Leap Fund to attract investors through its tax incentives. The ESVCLP also supports networking opportunities for investors and investee companies in addition to enabling investors to work closely with the investee companies, offering support and advice.
The ESVCLP programme is helping Australia to position itself in a growing economy of future relevance. It’s helping Australian businesses move away from traditional sectors which are in decline and move forwards into the knowledge and innovation economies.
Amanda Goodman, Director at Giant Leap, believes the programme also contributes significantly to the growth of the economy.
“The ESVCLP programme incentivises investment in early stage businesses in Australia, stimulating growth in innovation and new technologies that will help shape the economy of the future. It has also facilitated the launch of Australia’s first 100% impact focused venture fund, boosting funding for purpose-driven businesses tackling meaningful social and environmental challenges.”
Sendle has been assisted by the Giant Leap throughits fund registered under the Australian Government’s Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLP) programme.