Australia has a vibrant venture capital market that offers investors the chance to support and benefit from groundbreaking and innovative businesses.
To encourage venture capital investment in these businesses, the Australian Government offers a range of investment programs. Investors can also take advantage of a number of tax benefits, depending on the program they choose.
Venture capital investment programs
Investors wanting to invest in Australia's venture capital market can do so through the following programs.
Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships
ESVCLPs give investors the opportunity to invest in innovative early stage Australian businesses. ESVCLPs have flow-through tax status and tax benefits are available to foreign and domestic investors, including a non-refundable carry-forward tax offset of up to 10% of the value of new capital invested during the income year.
To find out more, go to our ESVCLP page.
Venture Capital Limited Partnerships
Domestic and eligible foreign investors in VCLPs can invest in innovative Australian businesses at a range of stages of development. VCLPs have flow-through tax status and tax benefits are available for foreign investors.
To find out more go, to our VCLP page.
Australian Venture Capital Fund of Funds
Domestic and eligible foreign investors in AFOFs can invest in registered ESVCLPs and VCLPs and eligible direct investments of those funds. An AFOF has flow-through tax status and tax benefits are available for eligible foreign investors.
To find out more, go to our AFOF page.
Pooled Development Funds
PDFs supply capital to growing Australian small and medium-sized enterprises. Tax benefits are available for PDFs and their shareholders.
To find out more, go to our PDF page.
Tax incentives for early stage investors
Investors should also research the Australian Taxation Office's Tax incentives for early stage investors. These incentives are designed to connect eligible early stage innovation businesses with investors who have funds and business experience.
For enquiries about tax concessions, contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 66 (or on +61 8 8208 1847 if you are overseas).
Significant Investor Visas
The Significant Investor Visa (SIV) offers a four-year pathway to apply for permanent residency for high net worth individuals willing to make substantial investments that drive innovation and lead to the commercialisation of Australian ideas.
SIV applicants must invest at least $5 million in complying investments, which must include all of the following:
- at least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) invested in start-ups and/or small private companies
- at least $1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or listed investment company (LIC) that invests in emerging companies
- a 'balancing investment' of up to $3 million in managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include Australian listed securities, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to limits on residential real estate).
More information on SIVs, including the SIV complying investment framework, is available from Austrade.
These requirements are correct as at August 2018. As they may change, all enquiries on eligibility should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many successful Australian businesses began as start-ups or early stage firms with limited funds. Their access to venture capital and people with commercialisation skills helped them turn their ideas, research or innovation into commercial success. Australian Government venture capital initiatives have also helped venture capital funds and partnerships to grow and prosper.
To find out more about how Australian businesses and venture capital funds and partnerships have benefited from venture capital, read our customer stories.
Venture capital statistics
Learn more about venture capital in Australia.
The Australian Investment Council also publishes statistics and research on the Australian venture capital industry.
Registered venture capital funds
The following are lists of venture capital funds supported by Australian Government programs: