Female-focused angel investor network, Scale Investors today announced a strategic partnership with alternative assets crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd, as well as the appointment of three new members to the Scale Investors board – Catherine Robson, Judith Smith and Lynda Coker who have joined the board, effective from 1 March.
The Scale Investors and VentureCrowd collaboration has two main components. VentureCrowd will ease syndication of an investment for Scale Investors by handling the administration, such as collecting investment funds, setting up a unit trust and all required documentation. It also includes facilitating on long-term relationships between startups and a syndicate by managing investor updates and communications.
Secondly, companies that Scale Investors invest in are able to gain further exposure to the market by running campaigns via the VentureCrowd platform. A major benefit for both organisations is that through this, investors have access to more deals across both drivers.
New board members Catherine Robson, Judith Smith and Lynda Coker join existing board members Lynne Thornton, Sean Gregory, Annette Kimmitt and chair Susan Oliver.
Catherine Robson is an accomplished entrepreneur and award winning financial adviser. Catherine is the founder of successful financial service business Affinity Private and has over 20 years’ experience advising sophisticated high net worth individuals and family groups.
Judith Smith has a number of non-executive board roles and sits on the boards of Universal Biosensors Inc, Acorn Investment Capital Fund Ltd, Labour Union Co-Operative Retirement Fund (LUCRF Super), South Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF), as well as membership of the IFM Investment Committee and the ARENA Risk and Audit Committee. Previously, Judith has enjoyed board roles at ARENA and The Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL).
Lynda Coker is a chartered accountant with 18 years’ experience working in financial services and as a corporate finance advisor to both financial institutions and private equity. She has significant experience working with government and regulators during the financial crisis in the United Kingdom and was involved in authoring the 2014 Financial System Inquiry report to Commonwealth Treasury, Australia.
Recently appointed CEO of Scale Investors Ariane Barker took up her role in February this year. Ariane has over 20 years’ experience in blue chip financial services companies in senior executive management roles, having worked until recently with JBWere at National Australia Bank in Melbourne. Previously Ariane has also worked in capital market roles with HSBC, Goldman Sachs Group and Merrill Lynch, in Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York and London.
Susan Oliver, Chair of Scaleincreasingly effective consumer goods decisions, which also feed into our investment decisions. Women are one of the best arbitrage opportunities of this decade.”
Sunny Yu, CEO of VentureCrowd, said, “We are thrilled to have joined forces with Scale Investors and are looking forward to seeing more women investing in female-led startups. This exciting engagement will facilitate further streamlined administration for angel investors to early stage venture capital deals, particularly with the use of VentureCrowd’s private syndicate platform and compelling technology for an improved user experience throughout the investment process. We look forward to building on our mutual expertise to bring startups and sophisticated investors together.”
As the investment landscape for Australian startups continues to grow, Scale Investors and VentureCrowd are particularly well placed to leverage their networks, pipeline and technology in facilitating better deal access, entrepreneur experience and scalability for investment administration.