New Year, New Us – Building a new kind of seed VC fund in Australia

Coming into 2022 fresh-faced, we explore why we created Galileo, and how we are a new type of Australian VC.
Team Galileo
Jan 2022

As an early-stage founder looking for funding, how do you choose the right VC for your startup? The ‘value’ of the investment you receive from a VC is not just about money, it’s about value alignment and the extent of founder support they provide.

At the end of last year, our Galileo core team decided to sit down and truly understand what we stand for and what we offer to early-stage founders.

Providing “series A and beyond support” at seed and pre-seed

We are a new type of Australian VC aiming to provide the kind of support startups get from firms investing millions in Series A rounds and beyond - at the seed stage.

Collectively, what drew us together was frustration about the lack of investor interest and support for first-time startup founders. It baffled us why some investors made it harder for founders to be successful in the early days. You hear “they’re not a proven team” way too often – or even just not giving founders the transparent feedback they deserve.

So we thought, why not level out the playing field between VCs and founder relationship dynamics, offer parts lacking in the Australian VC landscape, and get founders the funding and support they need right from the beginning.

Instead of saying we invest early but only doing so with founders we’ve previously invested in (or who have the right “pedigree”), we actually invest early – often the first cheque ever for first-time founders.

Here is where we landed with our ‘vision’…

First-time founder, First round

We aim to be the first VC in first-time founders or can co-invest with existing investors up to Seed and Series A.

Mo’money, Mo’support

We invest $200k-$400k so you have more time to build your business and less time pitching. We're big on helping founders refine their go-to-market strategy to make a mark, AND fast.

“All-encompassing post-investment support” - Ally Assist

No Bullshit (and no ROWGS*)

We know how hard it is to navigate through the early stages of your company with a lot of noise, so we aim to be intentional and constructive with the advice we give. You don’t need another VC giving you general fluffy advice or not saying what they actually think at seed! Finally, we’ve built a team from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, gender, sexual preference and shades specialising in early-stage tech startups. We're not just a room full of *Rich Old White Guys!

“We knew that as an investor Galileo would want to guide us to success. We had no idea how insightful, thoughtful and friendly they would be”- Wriveted

Defining who we aren't

Let’s be honest, we were a bit of a hot mess (self-inflicted) when it came to saying who we are. 

Much like the early days of a startup, it can take a bit of time to find your feet and the best way(s) to explain who you really are.

Talking to our existing portfolio and community members, we found that the way people perceived us was completely different from what they experienced when meeting or working with us.

The things that people often associated with Galileo (by our own doing!) that we realised don’t really define us:

  1. An accelerator
  2. For just university students
  3. An angel syndicate

❌  We're not an accelerator

No. Not in the traditional sense.

We provide a founder support program as part of the Galileo Platform offering upon investment. This includes regular founder-partner meetings, strategy coaching, executive coaching, access to the network, Sprint Weeks and workshops, and other support for our founders as they get into the market.

A lot of our program design ethos – essentially our ‘product for founders’ – is around bringing support you would typically see in larger funds in the US down to seed for early-stage founders and startups.

"Galileo gives you the space to operate " - Lemonade Social

❌  We are not just for university students

Although we believe there are many ambitious first-time founders coming out of university-affiliated programs, we invest in first-time founders from all backgrounds and all walks of life.

We found university-affiliated programs have done a great job preparing first-time founders on the fundamentals of running a company - graduating over 300 startups per year in Australia alone. As a result, first- have been well equipped to take on the subsequent growth of their companies with us.

❌  We are not an angel syndicate

No, we are not an angel syndicate. We are an early-stage VC focused on pre-seed/seed-stage. We identified a gap in support for first-time founders, who are typically too early for VC and have limited access to sophisticated angel investors.

TLDR, tell me in a meme:

What’s next?

🧠  We will be providing more transparency and education for first-time founders raising their first round. Although we may not invest we are dedicated to helping all early-stage founders put their best foot forward.

💸  We aim to write more cheques this year with our rolling applications. Startups don’t work in seasons so why should funding.

💜  Growing our team - Watch out for new role drops on our Twitter and LinkedIn.

💡 FUN FACT:  Our speed from term sheet to money in the bank can be as short as 10 days. Lengthy due diligence wait times shouldn’t take so long at the pre-seed and seed stages.

If you’re a first-time founder looking to raise the first round we want to hear from you! Apply today and we’ll aim to get back to you with real feedback from a real human. Galileo is an early-stage Australian VC firm based in Sydney, Australia.

About the Author
Galileo Ventures is a seed VC firm supporting the world's most ambitious emerging founders.

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