AirTree bags $700 million in fresh capital for new seed fund and Web3 investment vehicle

AirTree bags $700 million in fresh capital for new seed fund and Web3 investment vehicle

AirTree's 2022 partners (L-R): James Cameron, John Henderson, Elicia McDonald, Jackie Vullinghs, Craig Blair, Helen Norton. 

AirTree Ventures has today announced it has received $700 million in fresh funding, bringing its total funds under management (FUM) to $1.3 billion and giving it the capacity to launch new investment vehicles.

Startups and companies playing in the emerging crypto space will be the biggest beneficiaries of the capital, with AirTree today unveiling two new funds: AirTree Seed and AirTree Web3.

A third fund called AirTree Growth has also been established, which will support founders from the beginning of their journey through to an initial public offering (IPO).

The raise will support the firm’s mission to back ambitious Australian and New Zealand founders, with AirTree looking to replicate the successes of alumni Canva, A Cloud Guru, Linktree and Immutable.

It follows a bumper 2021 for AirTree, which saw the company invest and partner with breakout startups like Mr Yum and MILKRUN.

AirTree co-founder and partner Craig Blair said he hopes the new seed fund will evolve the Sydney-based fund’s strategy which sees it partner with founders as early as possible, providing them with tools, networks and expertise.

AirTree Seed will receive $200 million of the total new capital, making it one of the largest seed funds in the nation.

"Our seed fund is a firm commitment to invest more money at an earlier stage than ever before,” Blair said.

“Our mission has always been to partner with founders from the very start when they're creating something from nothing, backing their vision before it’s obvious to the rest of the world.

“This new fund enhances our ability to back the new wave of founders emerging, and double down on breakout successes in follow-on rounds.”

Over the past seven years, AirTree has grown its first $60m fund to holdings now valued above $2.1 billion. The firm currently has over 23 active portfolio companies with $100 million-plus valuations, eight unicorns and a stable of ‘soonicorns’ – the most of any VC in the region.

With the bulk of the company’s investments having previously centered around technology and software, AirTree’s latest move is to support the growing Web3 space - think projects focused on decentralised finance, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs).

AirTree Web3 will deploy $50 million in total to companies in the space, supporting founders creating the next wave of crypto protocols, apps and tooling.

“We’re seeing the next generation of entrepreneurs building on Web3,” AirTree partner John Henderson said.

“We want to partner with them from the outset and become active users of their products and participants in their communities and governance.

“Web3 unlocks new paradigms and we’re excited to support founders starting projects that will disrupt incumbent internet companies and financial institutions.”

The remaining $450 million will be placed into AirTree Growth, with funds acting as follow-on support for founders already partnered with the company.

“There's no manual for founders on how to manage every twist and turn that comes with building a startup,” Mr Yum co-founder and CEO Kim Teo said.

“AirTree’s team are always thoughtful – strategic when it makes sense, and simply encouraging when that’s what we’ve needed.

“We’re grateful for their support from the early seed stage. To top things off, they’re a bunch of legends!”

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