Hostplus, the superannuation fund for Australia's tourism and hospitality sector, committed A$50 million ($38 million) to Sydney-based venture capital firm Carthona Capital's maiden institutional fund.
A spokeswoman for Hostplus said that commitment lifts the Melbourne-based fund's combined venture capital allocations to A$350 million, or roughly 1.5% of its A$24 billion in total assets. The name of the Carthona fund was not provided.
Dean Dorrell, a principal with Carthona, said after three and a half years of investing "for ourselves," friends and family offices, the firm is responding now to a "cultural shift" that's found institutional investors in Australia focusing increasingly on the potential for good returns from investing in early-stage businesses.
With Hostplus as a cornerstone investor, Carthona will look to raise from A$100 million to A$125 million for the fund, which has "plenty of investments ready to go" in Australia and the U.S., said Mr. Dorrell.
In a joint news release, Sam Sicilia, chief investment officer of Hostplus, said the commitment to Carthona Capital is in line with the super fund's "broader and genuine commitment to leverage its scale and invest in a well-diversified portfolio of innovative companies that deliver strong risk-adjusted returns for members over the long term."