07 May 2015
New Venture Partner Melissa Widner brings US venture networks to support portfolio
Sydney-based venture capital firm OneVentures today announced the appointment of experienced technology investor and successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur Melissa Widner as Venture Partner.
Ms Widner comes to OneVentures from US Seapoint Ventures in Seattle where she was a general partner in two venture funds. She has been an active angel investor in both Australia and the US where she served on the board of the Alliance of Angels, one of America’s first and most active angel investment forums. For over 15 years, she has served as a Board Director for technology companies in the US and more recently in Australia.
OneVentures CEO and Managing Director, Dr Michelle Deaker said: “We are delighted with Melissa’s appointment. She brings a unique US venture capital perspective to OneVentures and has a deep understanding of the venture capital industry in Australia, as well as in the US. The appointment deepens OneVentures’ software and digital expertise and US venture networks.”
OneVentures’ portfolio companies Vaxxas, Smart Sparrow and Incoming are now headquartered in the US. OneVentures’ Australian home base and established investor relationships in the US, will benefit additionally by the appointment of Melissa.
“Melissa will work closely with the Partners to identify, evaluate and manage investment opportunities in the tech sector for our $100 million Fund II. She will also build our US relationships and leverage her US venture networks to support our portfolio companies as they migrate offshore,” Dr Deaker said.
Melissa’s experience at Seapoint Ventures is closely aligned to the philosophy of OneVentures with a focus on providing substantial operational, financial and management experience to build successful businesses.
Prior to her time at Seapoint Ventures, Ms. Widner was the co-founder and CEO of 7Software (acquired by Concur Technologies, NASDAQ: CNQR acquired by SAP) and previously the CEO of Northwest Industrial Supply. Under her leadership, both companies generated significant returns for investors.
Ms Widner served on the Advisory Board for the University of Washington Bothell’s Business School and she taught courses in entrepreneurship and venture capital at University of Washington’s Graduate School of Business. She graduated with a masters degree from Stanford with courses in policy analysis and business and a bachelors degree from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.
In Australia, Ms Widner is an established leader among executive women as co-founder and Executive Committee member of Head over Heels, a non-profit organisation that seeks to increase the representation of women leading high-growth businesses. She also served on the Federal Government’s Venture Capital Committee.
“The team at One Ventures brings a disciplined approach to investing as well as first-hand knowledge of the entrepreneurial journey,” said Widner. “It is a privilege and honour to join Australia’s leading venture capital firm.”
For more information contact:
Jarrah Aguera, Honner Media
Tel: +61 2 8248 3745
OneVentures is a Sydney based venture capital firm that invests in emerging Australian companies with differentiated products particularly in the information technology and life sciences sectors that address large and growing global markets. OneVentures is managed by a team of partners with a track record of hands-on business execution and operational management: a unique blend of highly successful entrepreneurs, technology business founders and corporate executives with a strong technical and scientific pedigree, extensive off-shore experience and networks combined with investment management expertise. This skill-set makes the team ideally suited to supporting and mentoring entrepreneurial management to help them drive growth and create value in their companies and subsequently, through leveraging collective experience, reduce portfolio company risk and enhance portfolio returns for OneVentures’ investors.
OneVentures Innovation Fund I and OneVentures Innovation and Growth Fund II are formed as Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLPs). ESVCLP returns are tax free on income and capital account for national and international investors. The OneVentures Innovation Fund I is a $40 million venture capital fund raised in 2010 and is supported by the Australian Government through the IIF (Innovation Investment Fund) program with this funding matched by institutional investors, individual high net worth investors and family offices. The IIF is an Australian Government venture capital initiative that provides investment capital and managerial expertise through licensed venture capital fund managers to investee companies. OneVentures Fund II is a $100M later stage venture growth fund focusing on technology rich companies. The Fund is particularly interested in companies developing products in the following sectors: healthcare, education, mobile, media, cloud computing and data, security and privacy, machine learning, software, sensors and robotics or food security.
OneVentures also manages 6 co-investment funds where its network of private investors invest alongside the Fund in companies where they have sector experience, networks and interest.
Read more about OneVentures at www.one-ventures.com
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