Equity Venture Partners

Partnering with exceptional Australian technology companies

About Us

Equity Venture Partners is a Sydney based corporate advisory and investment business. We work with some of Australia’s most exciting technology startups, advising on capital raising, corporate transactions and strategy.

Our engagements typically begin at the seed funding stage, when we selectively take on capital raising mandates. We arrange funding from close networks of private investors and generally participate ourselves. Beyond the initial funding round, we’re retained to provide ongoing board representation, financial and corporate counsel, strategic guidance and operational support.

Our current clients include leading Sydney based startups Oneflare, Rezdy, Deputy, Booodl and Shippit. Historically we’ve also advised Siteminder, DesignCrowd, Beat the Q, ConTgo and others.

We have a track record of working with these companies over the long term, serving at times as in-house “Commercial Director”, arranging follow-on funding over several rounds and providing hands-on support through a multitude of corporate transactions, acquisitions and divestments.

BeattheQ

Beat the Q is a mobile ordering and payments platform.  With an initial focus on the high volume coffee take-out market, Beat the Q has become the largest provider of mobile payment solutions to the Australian café sector.

An early investor in the company, EVP has worked closely with Beat the Q through several financing and corporate transactions including the acquisition in February 2014 of eCoffeCard, Australia’s largest coffee loyalty platform, and the spin out in August 2014 of Ordermentum, the company’s proprietary wholesale ordering platform. 

Rezdy

Rezdy provides online booking and distribution services to Tour and Activity providers around the world. Having processed over $100M in bookings for a wide range of operators, Rezdy is rapidly becoming the leading reservation platform in the sector.

EVP has worked closely with Rezdy since Grand Prix Capital led the company’s seed funding round in December 2011. Most recently, EVP helped to arrange Rezdy’s $3M Series-A round in October 2015, led by Bailador Technology Investments Investments.

Spoonfeedme

SpoonFeedMe is dedicated to improving the learning outcomes of University students. Drawing on student resources and peer-generated video content, the platform creates, curates and delivers on-line tutorial materials tailored to individual courses at specific universities.

SpoonFeedMe launched in early 2014. EVP has worked closely with the company since launch, with Grand Prix Capital providing seed funding.

Contgo

ConTgo developed and distributed a mobile technology platform for tracking, locating and communicating with travellers around the globe. With over 1 million travellers registered, some 5,000 companies used conTgo for real-time communication with their travelling employees.

In March 2013, EVP served as corporate adviser to conTgo Pty Ltd on the successful combined sale of conTgo Pty Ltd (Australia) and conTgo Limited (UK) to Concur Technologies (Nasdaq:CNQR).

Alternative Media

Alternative Media operates a large stable of websites in the consumer finance and insurance sectors, generating highly qualified leads for a range of partner organisations.

Grand Prix Capital became the founding investor in Alternative Media in 2011 and has contributed several rounds of follow-on funding.

SiteMinder

Siteminder is the leading provider of online distribution and direct booking technologies to the global hotel industry.  With over 20,000 hotel customers across 140 countries, Siteminder facilitates over US$10 billion in hotel room bookings per year.

Grand Prix Capital became the first external investor in Siteminder in 2007 and led several subsequent Angel investment rounds. In May 2012, EVP arranged a $5M Series-A investment by Bailador Investment Management. In January 2014 Siteminder closed a US$30M Series-B investment by Technology Crossover Ventures.

DesignCrowd

DesignCrowd is a crowd-sourcing platform for logo, website, print and graphic design. With over 400,000 freelance graphic designers represented, DesignCrowd is amongst the largest custom design marketplaces in the world.

In October 2009, Grand Prix Capital led an Angel investment syndicate to become DesignCrowd’s first external investor. In October 2011, EVP helped arrange a $3M Series-A investment from Starfish Ventures. In November 2013, Starfish invested a further $3M in the company. Airtree Ventures subsequently invested $6M in the company in February 2015.

Oneflare

Oneflare aims to become Australia’s dominant online marketplace for local services.  With over 50,000 registered businesses across 200 categories, Oneflare is rapidly becoming the primary source of job leads for a diverse range of local service providers.

In July 2013, EVP arranged Oneflare’s seed round of $500k from a group of private investors. In October 2014 EVP arranged a follow-on angel round of $1M and in June 2015 EVP arranged further funding of $3M.

booodl

Booodl is a social commerce platform that helps users find the things they want and manage the things they have.

EVP was amongst the co-founders and early funders of Booodl. Howard Leibman has served as a director since inception and acted as Chief Commercial Officer during the formative phase of the business. Alongside EVP, Booodl is backed by an experienced group of private investors.

Hotel Club

As one of the earliest online booking platforms in Australia, HotelClub pioneered the online distribution and reservation of hotel rooms.

Grand Prix Capital became the founding investor in HotelClub in 1999 and participated in several subsequent rounds of investment. The company was acquired by NYSE listed Cendant Group in April 2004, by which time booking revenue had grown to over US$150 million per year.

Team

Howard Leibman, Director

Howard’s experience spans investment banking, corporate finance and general management. Prior to co-founding Growth Equity Partners (the precursor to EVP) in 2010, he served for five years as head of Corporate Development for NASDAQ listed HeartWare International. Previously in Corporate Finance at Emerging Growth Capital, he advised mid-market technology companies on corporate and capital markets transactions. Having begun his career as an engineer with General Electric Company, Howard has also held various operational and management positions, and served for a time as Managing Director of ASX listed Aeris Technologies. He co-founded Booodl in 2012 and served as Chief Commercial Officer. He maintains a number of directorships and ongoing advisory roles with startup and early stage businesses.

Tel: +61 402 440 644
Email: howard@equityventures.com.au

Les Szekely, Director

Les is an experienced lawyer, M&A adviser and startup investor.  He spent almost 30 years as a specialist consultant with Horwath and Deloitte, advising family office and corporate clients across a wide range of transactions. 
Les is a recognised specialist in taxation law and has authored over a dozen books on the subject.
He has been an active angel investor since 1999.  He left Deloitte in 2009 to focus full time on his startup investing, through Grand Prix Capital.  
He is a director and active adviser to a number of startups, including Siteminder, Rezdy, Oneflare and Spoonfeedme.

Tel: +61 432 500 144
Email: les@equityventures.com.au

Howard Leibman, Director

Howard’s experience spans investment banking, corporate finance and general management. Prior to co-founding Growth Equity Partners (the precursor to EVP) in 2010, he served for five years as head of Corporate Development for NASDAQ listed HeartWare International. Previously in Corporate Finance at Emerging Growth Capital, he advised mid-market technology companies on corporate and capital markets transactions. Having begun his career as an engineer with General Electric Company, Howard has also held various operational and management positions, and served for a time as Managing Director of ASX listed Aeris Technologies. He co-founded Booodl in 2012 and served as Chief Commercial Officer. He maintains a number of directorships and ongoing advisory roles with startup and early stage businesses.

Tel: +61 402 440 644
Email: howard@equityventures.com.au

Les Szekely, Director

Les is an experienced lawyer, M&A adviser and startup investor.  He spent almost 30 years as a specialist consultant with Horwath and Deloitte, advising family office and corporate clients across a wide range of transactions. 
Les is a recognised specialist in taxation law and has authored over a dozen books on the subject.
He has been an active angel investor since 1999.  He left Deloitte in 2009 to focus full time on his startup investing, through Grand Prix Capital.  
He is a director and active adviser to a number of startups, including Siteminder, Rezdy, Oneflare and Spoonfeedme.

Tel: +61 432 500 144
Email: les@equityventures.com.au