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2018 In Review – Transition Level

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to come up for air and reflect on the year that was. The past year has been momentous on many fronts.

Here’s a few of the highlights from the past 12 months.

Transition Level Expands!

This year the Transition Level team grew significantly with a number of new hires who have each brought valuable skills to the team and our portfolio companies.

  • Stew Glynn was promoted to Partner to continue the growth and execution of our investment strategy.
  • An Vo (Investment Associate) and Lachlan Duffy (Investment Analyst) joined the investments team. With added skillset and capacity, we’ve been able to connect with a wider network of founders and investors and close out more deals this year than ever before.
  • Julie Humphreys officially joined the team as Lead Counsel and has played a key role in supporting RCL Accelerator startups and assisting with a number of transactions throughout the year.
  • Sarah Barnes came on board as Marketing & Community Manager.  Sarah’s leading the Transition Level marketing strategy to help grow our network of investors, founders and advisors.


         Stew at Startup Invest                                     An and Julie join the team

Wins From The Portfolio.

It’s been a great year for companies within our portfolio.  We’re proud to be on the journey with these amazing founders.

DoseMe Acquired – Transition Level’s first exit.

DoseMe, a Brisbane based precision dosing company has entered into an agreement to be acquired by NASDAQ listed healthcare company, Tabula Rasa. This acquisition is the first significant exit for Transition Level and a wonderful result for founder Rob McLeay and CEO Charles Cornish. Release and further info here.

DoseMe management team and investors.

Arkose Labs – Going strong in the US.

Arkose Labs (formerly FunCaptcha) successfully closed US $12m worth of investment led by US Venture Partners and PayPal. In the last 12 months, they’ve secured some major clients (Singapore Airlines, EA, roblox, and Kik) and have prevented over US$100 million of fraudulent activity. Now based in San Francisco, Arkose Labs was born at a Startup Weekend in Brisbane.

Arkose Labs

Arkose Labs founders, Kevin Gosschalk and Matthew Ford

Go1 – Strategic partnership with Seek.

Go1 – The online training marketplace continues its rapid international expansion and announced a $10m investment from Seek and OIF.

Go1 founding team.

Go1 founding team.

ClipChamp – Hits 5 million Users.

ClipChamp launched their Create platform, allowing full scale editing of video and have recently surpassed 5m users. Recent press here.

Car Next Door – Partner with Hyundai.

In 2018, Car Next Door received its 200,000th booking. With 80,000 members and 1400 cars on their books, Car Next Door has had a year of aggressive growth. This is set to continue next year with strategic investment from Hyundai.

Atomo Diagnostics – HIV self test kit goes global.

Through a number of strategic partnerships, Atomo Diagnostics rapid HIV self test kit will be available for sale in more than 100 countries.  Atomo has also been granted approval from the TGA in Australia for the at home HIV testing kit.

Maxwell Plus – Pioneering AI for early stage diagnostics.

Medical artificial intelligence startup has secured $1.1 million in funding through the federal government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRCP) grant scheme, to develop and commercialise technology for identifying early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

New Investments

Throughout 2018, we’ve received and reviewed over 500 pitches.  We’ve finished off 2018 with three exciting seed investments in these sectors:

  • Voice AI
  • Shipping and logistics
  • Text analytics

…. all to be formally announced in the new year.

Additionally we’ve also welcomed these teams to our portfolio.

Arkose Labs (formerly FunCaptcha)

What do they do: Arkose Labs solve multimillion-dollar fraud problems for the world’s most targeted businesses

Investment thesis: Online fraud and automated abuse is a major problem for corporates. Mitigation-focused strategies that use threat scoring and behavioural analysis are not enough to overcome fraud and automated abuse. Arkose Labs is the first company we’ve seen that uses a bilateral approach that combines global telemetry with a unique enforcement challenge to solve this problem.

ClipChamp (mix of 2017/18)

What do they do: ClipChamp provides a powerful browser based video editor, compressor, converter and webcam recorder.

Investment thesis: Video content, creation and consumption has exploded in popularity as a medium for engaging, informing and educating consumers.  ClipChamp have achieved impressive traction in a relatively short time.  They’ve created a band of product advocates around the world.

ISR Training

What do they do: ISR provide award winning sales and training negotiation training in person and online.

Investment thesis:  Co-founders, Jack Corbett and Ryan Tuckwood got Steve’s attention when they appeared on Shark Tank Australia.  Companies that can’t sell are dead. ISR have developed some of the most effective and ethical sales training content we’ve seen and have the potential to be the industry standard.

Jack Corbett and Ryan Tuckwood


What do they do: Provide the most popular payments platform for university students, societies and store owners looking to engage millennials in Australia.

Investment Thesis: QPay are another investment to come out of Shark Tank this year.  We invested alongside Naomi Simson in QPay.  QPay knows more about millennials than any other bank, payment provider or financial institution. We think there’s huge potential in capturing and nurturing this demographic from the time they start university to when they graduate, buy their first car and beyond.

QPay on Shark Tank

QPay on Shark Tank

US additions to the portfolio.

We also spread our investment wings into the US with a handful of small strategic investments including:

  • Steezy – Online dance lessons with the world’s best instructors.
  • Cafe X – Robotic coffee shops.
  • Trade Hounds – The best blue collar entertainment and job website in America.
  • StarCity – Co-living, live with great people in the city that you love.


Venture Yard

With our friends at Black Sheep Capital, we hosted our inaugural Venture Yard event, at the conclusion of Myriad 2018. It was a night of fun, drinks and networking which brought together Australia’s most promising startups, investors and supporters in Fortitude Valley.

Founders Conference

In October, we took founders from the portfolio off the grid for a couple of days to Lake Cooby, Toowoomba.    It was a privilege to spend time with the group and share an amazing line up of speakers with them. WATCH THE VIDEO RECAP –>

RCL Accelerator

The fourth cohort has recently completed the RCL Accelerator (in partnership with muru-D),  Transition Level has historically managed the investment process and funds for all the RCL Accelerator cohorts.

RCL Accelerator - Cohort 4

RCL Accelerator – Cohort 4

Sale of River City Labs

River City Labs, founded by Steve Baxter in 2012 was purchased this year by Australian Computer Society.  This is a great opportunity for one of Australia’s largest IT talent networks (45,000 members) to collaborate and work with startups and scale-ups.

And that’s a wrap…

We are rounding out the year with a startup ecosystem that is in great shape.   We’re surrounded by ambitious founders solving big problems on a global scale and we’re backing them 100%.  The acquisition of DoseMe, agreed to this year, is a major achievement for everyone involved and it proves the model works.

Next year we’re aiming push what’s now a well oiled investment machine even further.  We will be introducing new initiatives to give investors access to even more promising startups.

Finally, we wish all our founders, their staff and everyone we have connected with throughout the year a very happy Christmas.  Enjoy the break.  Recharge and get ready for 2019!