Start-up Australia and RCT formed BioVentures Australia, Pty. Limited in March 1999 to invest in early stage life science and medical technologies originating in Australia. The primary investment of BioVentures Australia was in the AU$40 million BioVentures Australia Fund established in 2001 and managed by George Jessup and Stephen Robinson of Start-up Australia. The BVA Fund invested in a portfolio of nine companies and returned more than AU$80 million to investors for an annual internal rate of return (IRR) of 13.6% per year (after payment of management fees, carried interest and other costs). This IRR compares favorably with the top quartile return of 5.4% (Cambridge Associates LLC, U.S. Venture Capital Index®) to investors in other 2001 vintage funds.
Notable successes in The BVA Fund’s portfolio include: