October 2021 Monthly Update

Michael Batko
November 1, 2021
October 2021

Hi SM Family,

Bronte asked me to provide some more behind-the-scenes insight in my GBUs... so here we go.

In 2021, we raised ~$6.1m from ~250 LP checks.

Startmate is the most active investor and most active community fund in Australia and New Zealand.

We raise a new ~$3m fund from ~120 LPs for every cohort that comes through the Accelerator every 6 months. For context, VC funds raise every 2-3 years from 50-100 LPs.

As you can imagine, that is an immense operational challenge, involving checking hundreds of signatures on subscription agreements, anti-money laundering checks, sophisticated investor statements, US and EU FATCA/CRS tax submissions and annual valuations and tax reporting.

Why do we do it?

It would be easier to raise a $10-20m fund and deploy it over 2-3 years.

So why do we raise a fund every 6 months?

Startmate’s magic comes from every mentor having skin in the game in the cohort they mentor.

Every single mentor is personally invested in the fund and has real stakes on the line when they help our startups.

It creates symmetry, sharing in the up as well as downside.

It's a truth serum for empathetic, honest advice and the incentive to go the extra mile.


  • Sign up for our first ever Founder’s Fellowship Demo Day this week! The entire community is invited. Our Founders Fellows come from a wide range of backgrounds, and over the last 10 weeks, have formed teams, validated unique problem spaces to solve and started working on their MVPs!
  • Register for Open House, our week-long event series, built to level-up founders at all stages of the startup journey. Speakers include Culture Amp Founder Rod Hamilton, HealthMatch Founder Manuri Gunawardena and Future Founder Rishi Mandal.

Startmate Goals


1. Lay the Foundations: Set up Startmate for long-term success

  • We’re laying the foundations for the first Startmate product, which will empower startups to hire. We’ll beta launch by EOY.
  • The W21 Accelerator Fund is close to $3m. This the largest fund to date and gives us some firepower to participate in follow-on pro-ratas.
  • Startmate City conversations have kicked off with most states, which have the side-effect of also leading to some short-term opportunities.

2. Ambition Magnet: Attract the most ambitious founders, operators and investors

  • The MVP Engineering Fellowship attracted 60+ applications.
  • The Student Fellowship received 650+ applications.
  • Demo Day had 2,021 registrations and 850+ viewers at its peak.

3. Smooth Operator: Set us up as the smoothest plug-and-play system to serve the team

  • Our Blue Moon Fund investors received their AMMA tax statements and we covered the full FY21 fund performance.
  • We deployed the largest $$ amount in the largest Accelerator cohort to date (x18 companies) all before the end of the program.
  • Lockdowns are taking a toll on all of us. We’re leaning into 'kitkat days' (collective company days off), 'freedom fanfares' (in-person dinner celebrations as states reopen), and we’ve given the team some long weekends to help keep us powering until the end of the year.


  • The Women Fellowship #5 kicked off, and is already half way through, with many Fellows already landing startup jobs!
  • Our First Believers have conducted a series of founder calls with some incredible early-stage companies. Looks like we’ll be making our first community-driven Small Bet Fund investment very soon!


  • First Believers mid-program NPS of 47, which is just above the mid-program NPS of our previous cohort, but gives us room to improve to hit our 70+ target towards the end of the program.


  • We unfortunately can’t accept US investors because of US PFIC requirements, which was a setback for our Small Bets Fund with a couple of investors dropping off. The fund itself is already at a minimum $750k raised and up and running.

Startmate in the News

This section is getting a bit out of hand. 🤗

For all alumni news:

  • Subscribe to the newsletter (it is excellent!); and 
  • Follow Startmate on Twitter.

Thanks Team!

Michael Batko

CEO, Startmate

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