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Aussie tech accelerator gets set to pump $125M into global start-ups

Australian tech accelerator, BlueChilli, has partnered with Singapore-based venture firm, Hatcher+, in a US$125 million fund for start-ups around the world.

BlueChilli and Hatcher+ will co-invest and build 240 global start-ups in this three-year partnership. The Australian accelerator said it will expand its operations into other countries in order to select those start-ups.

Hatcher+ uses artificial intelligence and machine learning-based technologies to identify early-stage opportunities in partnership with accelerators and investors worldwide.

Hatcher+ has selected BlueChilli after an extensive, year-long due diligence of its accelerator program. By partnering up with an accelerator, Hatcher+ is able to maintain its strategy of investing in companies as early as possible.

"BlueChilli’s intense support for early-stage start-ups removes much of the risk in early-stage investment," Hatcher+ partner and co-founder, John Sharp, said.

“We seek to partner with the best accelerators around the world – the sector champions and geographic champions. We are looking forward to working with BlueChilli as we believe their approach is the best in the region and can help us achieve our vision of investing US$125million into top startups over the next three years."

According to BlueChilli CEO, Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, the partnership will see the US$125 million fund back the BlueChilli accelerator cohorts and provide US$200,000 follow-on funding to each start-up when they raise capital upon completion of the program.

"Its [Hatcher+] global network across 168 countries, combined with a solid track record of investments and focus on redefining the practice of venture investing, aligns well with our global ambitions," Eckersley-Maslin said.

The BlueChilli accelerator program offers idea stage start-ups with access to a specialist team who help them validate and build their product along with working on pilots, which is given over two 12 week periods.

Read more:Govt pushes for South Australian start-up visa pilot

The team support plus a cash investment is received in exchange for 15 per cent equity and, after the first six months, the start-ups can continue on as part of the BlueChilli community.

In addition to this, BlueChilli start-ups will be eligible for early stage innovation company (ESIC) status. According to Eckersley-Maslin, this can make it easier for start-ups to raise capital in the angel round.

The ESIC status is given by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and it means that companies in the BlueChilli portfolio who raised more than $50,000 are eligible to some tax incentives.

BlueChilli was established in 2011 and has invested in 113 start-ups since then. The accelerator runs programs including SheStarts and CityConnect. 

Read more:Aussie start-ups tap Microsoft’s channel with Sydney accelerator launch

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