Investment

Two prominent family offices back analytics platform alongside institutional money

Culture Amp, a burgeoning employee organisation platform, has raised additional funding from two big family offices as well as eight institutional investors as the Melbourne-based venture grows rapidly. 

Australian billionaires and co-founders of tech group Atlassian, Scott Farquhar and Michael Cannon-Brookes, through their family investment groups Skip Capital and Grok Ventures, have participated in a Series E round for Culture Amp. Skip and Grok invested $82 million in a round led by heavyweight venture investor Sequoia Capital. Seven others participated in the round included big names like Index Ventures and Felicis Ventures. 

Skip and Grok had backed Culture Amp in its previous funding effort when the Australian group raised $40 million in a Series D round from six investors in July 2018. 

Farquhar and Michael Cannon-Brookes, who have yet to turn 40, still have a sizable stake in Atlassian, which listed on NASDAQ in 2015 and currently has a market capitalisation of around $31.5 billion. Skip Capital was set up in 2017 by Farquhar and his wife Kim Jackson, who has an investment banking background and takes an active role in the investment decisions at the Sydney-based group. 

Skip Capital says its investment focus is on high growth tech businesses, SaaS, data, the Internet of Things, biotech, energy, education, and infrastructure. Apart from Culture Amp, Notable venture investments by Skip Capital include a jobs platform called WORK180, a digital health platform called Metaoptima, and Wi-Fi innovators Morse Micro. 

Grok Ventures, also set up in 2017, has perhaps been even more active in investing. Indeed, last month Grok led a $100 million investment in Juvenescence, a bio-pharma development group involved in life extension research. The Isle of Man-based company was set up by Jim Mellon, a prominent UK-based investor. The other investor in Juvenescence was IPGL, the investment office of Michael Spencer, a well-known London financier. 

Grok other big investments include Dgraph Labs, a US-based graph database platform, Zoox, a robotics group, and Brighte, an Australian-based fintech group. 

 

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