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Funding highlights:  Australian Business Growth Fund invests $10 million in Solbari 

Here’s a recap of recent funding developments from Australia, India, the US and beyond.

Futurerent Secures $50 Million in Debt Funding for US Expansion

Futurerent, a landlord borrowing alternative, has successfully secured $50 million in debt funding to fuel the launch of its new U.S. division, Downpayments. The venture debt comes from prominent investors, including Second Century Ventures and Partners for Growth (PFG), known for supporting successful Australian startups like Koala, Prospa, and Employment Hero.

Futurerent’s unique model allows property investors to access up to $100,000 of their rental income in advance, catering to a growing niche in the real estate market.

Ideally Raises $2 Million in Seed Round for Australian Expansion

New Zealand-based customer insights innovation platform, Ideally, has raised $2 million in a Seed round, with the backing of Auckland VC Icehouse Ventures. The funds will support Ideally’s expansion into the Australian market. The platform, born out of a collaboration between TRA Labs and Previously Unavailable, aims to revolutionize customer insights and brand tracking.

Australian Business Growth Fund Invests $10 Million in Solbari

Australian clothing brand Solbari, focusing on sun protection through its range of clothing, hats, and accessories, has received a substantial $10 million investment from the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF). This marks ABGF’s second investment in a female-led business, bringing its total investments to $153 million. Solbari, founded by Johanna Young in 2014, has made a significant impact in the sun protection industry.

Vortexa Secures $34 Million in Series C Funding Led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital

Real-time global analytics platform Vortexa has successfully closed a $34 million Series C funding round, led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. Existing investors, including Notion Capital, Monashees, Metaplanet, FJ Labs, and Communitas Capital, also contributed significantly. Vortexa specializes in energy and freight markets analytics.

FlyORO Raises $1.6 Million in Pre-Series A Round for Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) startup FlyORO has secured $1.6 million in a Pre-Series A round led by Audacy Ventures. The round also saw participation from Asia-Pacific-based VC Investible and other private investors. Audacy Ventures, with a strong focus on driving the energy transition, has strategically invested in the SAF industry, collaborating with key players like Qantas, Airbus, and LanzaJet. FlyORO’s inclusion in their portfolio further strengthens their commitment to developing the SAF value chain and fostering market growth.

Indian Fintech Sector Sees a Dip in VC Funding

In 2023, Indian fintech startups faced a significant dip in venture capital funding, securing $2 billion—63% less than the previous year. This amount also represents a quarter of the record high of $8.4 billion set in 2021. The downturn was particularly pronounced in early-stage funding, which witnessed a 56% drop. Seed and late-stage startups also faced challenges, experiencing funding declines of 69% and 56%, respectively.

Despite the overall decrease, the alternative lending sector emerged as a standout performer within the fintech domain, securing the highest share of funding at $835 million by the end of the year.

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