Category: australia

Mapped: EV Battery Manufacturing Capacity, by Region



The following content is sponsored by Scotch Creek Ventures.

Mapped: EV Battery Manufacturing Capacity, by Region

The demand for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) is rising rapidly—it’s set to reach 9,300 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by 2030—up by over 1,600% from 2020 levels.

For that reason, developing domestic battery supply chains, including battery manufacturing capacity, is becoming increasingly important as countries strive to shift away from gasoline vehicles to EVs.

Which countries are leading the race for batteries? The above infographic from Scotch Creek Ventures highlights the top 10 nations for EV battery manufacturing.

The Top 10 Countries by Capacity

The biggest battery manufacturers are located in regions that have high demand for EVs, and that have wide access to raw materials:

RankCountry2021 Li-ion manufacturing capacity (GWh)% of World Total
#1China ??55879.0%
#2U.S. ??446.2%
#3Hungary ??284.0%
#4Poland ??223.1%
#5South Korea ??182.5%
#6Japan ??172.4%
#7Germany ??111.6%
#8Sweden ??40.6%
#9UK ??20.3%
#10Australia ??10.1%
N/ARest of the World ?10.1%
N/ATotal706100.0%

Data as of February 1, 2021.
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

China is by far the leader in the battery race with nearly 80% of global Li-ion manufacturing capacity. The country also dominates other parts of the battery supply chain, including the mining and refining of battery minerals like lithium and graphite.

The U.S. is following China from afar, with around 6% or 44 GWh (Read more...)

Charted: Lithium Production by Country (1995-2020)



The following content is sponsored by Scotch Creek Ventures.

Global lithium production by country

Charted: Lithium Production by Country

Lithium is often dubbed as “white gold” for the development of electric vehicles.

With several countries committed to phasing out new gasoline and diesel engine vehicles by 2040, the recent growth in electric vehicle (EV) adoption has fueled a global boom in lithium production.

For that reason, lithium production more than doubled between 2016 and 2020, up from 40,000 tonnes to 86,300 tonnes.

The above infographic from our sponsor Scotch Creek Ventures charts 25 years of lithium production by country from 1995 to 2020.

A Brief History of Lithium Mining

Countries began producing significant amounts of lithium after World War II, with annual production averaging 5,000 tonnes between 1955 and 1980.

The U.S. was by far the largest lithium producer until 1995, followed by Zimbabwe and Australia. From 1995 to 2010, Chile took over as the dominant producer with a lithium mining boom in the Salar de Atacama, the country’s largest salt flat.

Lithium production grew steadily between 1995 and 2010, up from 9,500 tonnes to 28,000 tonnes. But the advent of rechargeable batteries and electric vehicles brought in a new wave of demand, fueling an exponential production surge.

The Largest Lithium Producing Countries

Today, three countries—Australia, Chile, and China—mine roughly 86% of the world’s lithium.

Country2020 Lithium Production* (tonnes)% of World Total
Australia ??40,00046.3%
Chile ??20,60023.9%
China ??14,00016.2%
Argentina ??6,2007.2%
Brazil ??1,9002.2%
Zimbabwe ??1,2001.4%
(Read more...)

Mapped: Economic Freedom Around the World


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


Map of Global Economic Freedom

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Mapped: Economic Freedom Around the World

How would you define a country’s economic freedom?

The cornerstones of economic freedom by most measures are personal choice, voluntary exchange, independence to compete in markets, and security of the person and privately-owned property. Simply put, it is about the quality of political and economic institutions in countries.

Based on the Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Organization, we mapped the economic freedom of 178 countries worldwide.

Measures of Economic Freedom

The index uses five broad areas to score economic freedom for each country:

  1. Size of Government: Greater government spending, taxation, and bigger government agencies tend to reduce individual choice and economic freedom.
  2. Legal System and Property Rights: The ability to accumulate private property and wealth is a central motivating force for workers and investors in a market economy, and well-functioning legal frameworks protect the rights of all citizens.
  3. Sound Money: Does earned money maintain its value, or is it lost to inflation? When inflation is high and volatile, individuals can’t plan for the future and use economic freedom (Read more...)

Online events platform Delegate Connect gets $10M AUD led by AirTree



Delegate Connect founders Jordan Walsh and Jacob Thomas

Delegate Connect founders Jordan Walsh and Jacob Thomas

Delegate Connect is the latest virtual/hybrid events platform to land funding. The Melbourne-based startup announced today it has raised $10 million AUD (about $7.3 million USD) in seed funding led by AirTree Ventures, which wrote Delegate Connect the biggest seed check in the fund’s history so far. Other participants included Skip Capital, TEN13 and Australian startup founders like LinkTree’s Alex Zaccaria and Go1’s Andrew Barnes.

The capital will be used to build Delegate Connect’s teams in Melbourne, London and Norway, which enable it to handle events around the world, increasing headcount from 45 to more than 100 by December. It also plans to open a United States-based office soon.

Founded in 2017 and bootstrapped until its seed round, Delegate Connect’s business grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, like many other virtual event platforms. Its clients have included the Edinburgh TV Festival, Sportsbet, the World Dental Congress and the World Library and Information Congress. Some of the sectors Delegate Connect focuses on include medical, pharmaceutical and industry associations.

Delegate Connect was created after co-founders Jordan Walsh and Jacob Thomas started a technical production and events business, and looked for a “technology platform that could do everything we needed at a large-scale event, including registration, live-streaming, hosting video-on-demand and integrate seamlessly with the venues.” They decided to build their own, initially as an internal tool. Then during a trip to India in 2019 to work on a symposium, the two realized that there was a (Read more...)

Mushroom-based meat alternative startup Fable Food raises $6.5M AUD, will launch in the US



Sydney, Australia-based Fable Food is the latest plant-based food startup to announce funding. The company, which uses mushrooms in its meat alternatives, has raised $6.5 million AUD (about $4.8 million USD) in a seed round led by Blackbird Ventures, the Australian venture capital firm whose portfolio also includes Canva, Culture Amp and SafetyCulture. Other participants included agriculture and food tech venture firm AgFunder, sustainability-focused Aera VC and Better Bite Ventures, along with Singapore-based produce importer Ban Choon Marketing and former Sequoia Capital partner Warren Hogarth.

Fable is preparing to launch in the United States by the end of this year. In Australia, its products are available at retailers like Woolworths, Coles and Harris Farm Markets, along with restaurants including Grill’d, which recently started serving its Meaty Mushroom Burger Pattie at 136 locations. Fable’s products are also available at restaurants in Singapore and the United Kingdom.

The startup was founded in 2019 by fine dining chef turned chemical engineer and mycologist (mushroom scientist) Jim Fuller, organic mushroom farmer Chris McLoghlin and Michael Fox, whose previous startup was Shoes of Prey.

Fox, Fable’s chief executive officer, told TechCrunch in an email that after being a vegetarian for six years, he recently became a vegan “for a mix of health, environmental and ethical reasons.”

“Talking to my friends and family, a lot of people want to reduce their meat consumption for the same reasons but they find it challenging because they love the taste and texture of meat and giving it up is (Read more...)

Employee engagement platform Culture Amp raises $100M at a $1.5B valuation



Culture Amp was founded in 2009 to let companies conduct anonymous employee surveys, but since then, its focus has expanded to helping employers turn the data they collect into action. The company announced today it has raised $100 million in Series F funding, led by returning investors Sequoia Capital India and TDM Growth Partners. The round bumps Culture Amp’s valuation to $1.5 billion, more than double what it was after the company’s Series D in 2019.

New investor Salesforce Ventures, along with existing backers Felicis Ventures, Blackbird Ventures, Index Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Skip Capital, Grok Ventures and Global Founders Capital also participated in the round.

Culture Amp is now used by more than 4,000 organizations with a total of 25 million employees. Its clients range in size from about 20 to 30 people to more than 150,000 employees, and include Salesforce, Unilever, PwC, KIND, SoulCycle and BigCommerce.

From its start as a survey platform, Culture Amp has grown to encompass analytics for managers, like turnover prediction and team goal tracking. It also has a sizable online community where users can connect and book workshops, including ones run by diversity, equity and inclusion experts. Culture Amp recently held a virtual version of Culture First, its annual event, with over 20,000 participants.

Founder and chief executive officer Didier Elzinga told TechCrunch that he sees Culture Amp’s Series F as a “validation of the HR space in general.”

“I think (Read more...)

Employment Hero gets $140M AUD Series E led by Insight Partners, grows valuation to $800M AUD



A photo of Employment Hero co-founders Ben Thompson and Dave Tong

Employment Hero co-founders Ben Thompson and Dave Tong

Four months after announcing its last round, Employment Hero has closed another $140 million AUD (about $103 million USD) in funding. The Series E was led by Insight Partners, the venture capital firm known for its ScaleUp program to help tech companies accelerate their growth.

Employment Hero is an automated human resources, payroll and benefits platform for SMEs. Founded in Sydney in 2014, the company is now expanding into Southeast Asian and Western European markets. Its previous funding announcement was a $45 million AUD Series D announced in March, led by online job platform SEEK, at the company’s previous valuation of about $250 million AUD.

Now Employment Hero has bumped up its valuation $800 million in less than six months by reaching 133% year-on- recurring revenue growth. Co-founded by Ben Thompson, its chief executive officer, and chief technology officer Dave Tong, Employment Hero is used by 6,000 businesses, with a total of 250,000 employees. Over the past 12 months, the company says $14 billion in gross wages was processed through the platform.

“We always thought Insight Partners would be a great partner,” Thompson told TechCrunch. “We had been speaking with them for years, so when they asked if we would consider raising, we agreed it was definitely worth exploring. As it turned out all the stars were aligned, and we reached a deal that made sense and allowed us to (Read more...)

Dovetail, the venture studio that has worked with startups like Afterpay, is raising a new fund



A photo of Dovetail co-founders Ash Fogelberg and Nick Frandsen

Dovetail co-founders Ash Fogelberg and Nick Frandsen

Based in Sydney and Auckland, Dovetail is a full-service venture studio that works closely with founders who have a great idea, but may lack technical backgrounds. Dovetail helps them build companies from the ground up, preparing them for growth and more funding. Founded in 2014, Dovetail’s success stories include Afterpay, the Melbourne-headquartered unicorn that is one of the highest-profile players in the buy now, play later space, along with Klarna and Affirm.

“People can think of us as the technical co-founder, responsible for driving and executing product strategy, design and the development of scalable products,” Dovetail co-founder Nick Frandsen told TechCrunch.

Dovetail is currently raising a $10 million AUD (about $7.5 million USD) fund that will be used for seed, Series A and Series B rounds in 15 of the most promising companies that have gone through its venture studio program. As an investor, Dovetail has written check sizes ranging from $150,000 to $1 million AUD.

One of Dovetail’s goals is prepare startups to seek funding from other VCs; firms that have invested in Dovetail’s portfolio companies include Blackbird, Qantas and Wavemaker.

“By the time we need to make an investment decision, we would have worked collaboratively on a day-to-day basis with them for at least three months prior to a seed round and 12 months for a Series A. This means we’re essentially investing (Read more...)

E-commerce logistics startup Locad gets $4.5M seed round led by Sequoia Capital India



E-commerce is booming in Southeast Asia, but in many markets, the fragmented logistics industry is struggling to catch up. This means sellers run into roadblocks when shipping to buyers, especially outside of major metropolitan areas, and managing their supply chains. Locad, a startup that wants to help with what it describes as an “end-to-end solution” for cross-border e-commerce companies, announced today it has raised a $4.5 million seed round.

The funding was led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge (Locad is currently a part of the program’s fifth cohort), with participation from firms like Antler, Febe Ventures, Foxmont, GFC and Hustle Fund. It also included angel investors Alessandro Duri, Alexander Friedhoff, Christian Weiss, Henry Ko, Huey Lin, Markus Bruderer, Dr. Markus Erken, Max Moldenhauer, Oliver Mickler, Paulo Campos, Stefan Mader, Thibaud Lecuyer, Tim Marbach and Tim Seithe.

Locad was founded in Singapore and Manila by Constantin Robertz, former Zalora director of operations Jannis Dargel and Shrey Jain, previously Grab’s lead product manager of maps. It now also has offices in Australia, Hong Kong and India. The startup’s goal is to close the gap between first-mile and last-mile delivery services, enabling e-commerce companies to offer lower shipping rates and faster deliveries while freeing up more time for other parts of their operations, such as marketing and sales conversions.

Since its founding in October 2020, Locad has been used by more than 30 brands and processed almost 600,000 items. Its clients range from startups to international brands, and include Mango, Vans, Payless (Read more...)

Australian fintech Zeller lands $50M AUD led by Spark Capital at a $400M AUD valuation



Zeller, a Melbourne-based fintech founded by former Square executives to serve small- to mid-sized businesses, has raised $50 million AUD (about $37.5 million USD) led by Spark Capital, the investment firm whose portfolio also includes Twitter, Slack and Coinbase. Zeller’s valuation is now $400 million AUD (about $301 million USD).

The funding included participation from returning investors Square Peg, Apex Capital Partners and Addition, and brings Zeller’s total raised in under a year to $81 million AUD. This amount includes a pre-launch Series A led by Addition, the investment firm started by Lee Fixel, and seed funding.

Zeller was founded last year by Ben Pfisterer, Square’s former Asia Pacific and Australia head, and Dominic Yap, the fintech’s former strategy and growth lead. The company launched its first products for small businesses on May 4, including EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) terminals, business accounts and cards.

The company says more than 1,500 Australian businesses signed up in the month after its launch, and weekly payment volume has been growing 200%. About 80% of businesses who started using Zeller switched from Australia’s four biggest banks, citing their desire for lower fees and better customer support.

Zeller’s new funding will be used to grow its research and engineering hub, including filling 18 new engineering roles that will support Zeller’s plan to become a fully-regulated business bank.

In a press statement, Spark (Read more...)