BetterLabs Pty Ltd has launched a $3 million seed fund to support founders in overcoming the hurdle of working to validate their product and business model, prior to accelerating towards their profitable growth.
BetterLabs Pty Ltd is part of the RAC’s strategic innovation function that was set up over three years ago, ensuring the organisation continues to innovate into the future for the benefit of its members and for the better of WA.
RAC Group CEO, Terry Agnew said RAC has successfully evolved over the past 113 years.
“The pace of change and disruption in the world is accelerating. To ensure we remain relevant and sustainable, we need to learn and innovate at a greater speed. BetterLabs is one of the innovation initiatives that we are pursuing to secure RAC’s future,” Mr Agnew said.
The BetterLabs Venture Fund will initially build a portfolio of around 10 companies and while the fund is backed by the RAC, it is looking to invest in a range of opportunities, not just those that may be associated with RAC in the areas of mobility and insurance, including:
• Clean Tech: Technology that enables sustainable living and commuting;
• Member Community: Innovation that generates deeper connections, fosters collaboration and builds meaningful community;
• Third Age: Opportunities that support the transition of the aging population into their next stage of life;
• Life, Work & Money: Technology that supports the new ways we will design life and structure our work and money;
• Mobility of The Future: Innovation that supports the new ways we will get around; and
• Next Gen Insurance: Technology that supports the new models of insurance.
Erica Haddon, Executive General Manager Strategic Innovation, said BetterLabs has ensured we are able to incubate new businesses in line with startup prototyping principles, including the recent launch of RAC’s energy business.
“We recognise that while part of building a successful innovation culture is to incubate our own businesses, we also understand the value in backing other entrepreneurs to access new technologies, business models and growth opportunities. We are excited to launch our first venture fund to partner with some of WA’s best startup companies,” Ms Haddon said.
Derek Gerrard has recently been engaged as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence and will lead the BetterLabs Venture Fund. Well known in the startup community, including bringing Innovation Bay to Perth in 2015, providing over $3 million of investment to Perth startups, and as Director of Go Capital which has invested over $10 million in some of Perth’s best startups including Health Engine and iCetana.
Mr Gerrard, also the co-founder of the sustainability software company Greensense, which was successfully sold in 2015, has also reviewed over 300 startup investment opportunities and said this is a great opportunity for WA startups.
“Seed funding is vital in supporting the growth journey of a startup, so I’m excited to be a part of launching the BetterLabs Venture Fund. Innovation is part of our future and I’m looking forward to finding the right people with the right ideas, so we can work with to help make WA a better place,” Mr Gerrard said.
The BetterLabs Venture Fund made its first investment in Perth founded Power Ledger in December 2016. Power Ledger have developed a series of blockchain energy applications to trade renewable energy.
More information on the BetterLabs Venture Fund, including the application process, will be available from Wednesday 12 September 2018 at www.betterlabsventures.com.au.
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RAC media contact: Will Golsby 0401 703 719 email@example.com