Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Q-CTRL gets support of Sequoia

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Sequoia Capital funded Google, Instagram and PayPal and is now backing an Australian quantum computing startup.


The Q-CTRL Scientists 


 The University of Sydney based Q-Ctrl was developed by Professor Michael Biercuk (paywall) to make quantum computers a reality. 

Q-CTRL was originally backed last year  by CSIRO’s Main Sequence Ventures last year alongside three other “deep tech” companies.

Most of the seed capital will be used to hire more scientists and software engineers to join the team. 

Q-Ctrl, which was founded in 2017, now has a staff of 16 young scientists, software engineers and machine-learning experts, but is looking to expand that number to 50 during the next two years.

Q-CTRL

Q-CTRL founder Michael Biercuk. Source: Supplied..

What is it 

Q-CTRL is part  of a global network of companies and organisations, which are given access to IBM’s quantum computing systems and collaborate together on building the technology together with tech a network of researchers and tech companies, such as JP Morgan, Samsung, and Oxford University.

Quantum computers are designed from tiny pieces of matter too small to be seen by the naked eye, and Biercuk and team will try to harness and control these quantum bits or "qubits”

Q-CTRL essentially improve the overall performance of the quantum algorithm” according to the founder. It does this by offering a cloud-based software solution designed to work with any quantum computer, which extracts more performance from quantum devices and combats decoherence.

Decoherence occurs where transferred quantum information gets lost or degraded when the quantum system is not perfectly isolated, leading to lost “quantum behaviour”.

Q-CTRLs technology is hardware agnostic and "can work with nearly every company working to bring quantum hardware to market". 

Why they Invested 

James Hardiman, a partner at DCVC in San Francisco, told The Australian Financial Review his fund backed Q-Ctrl because Professor Biercuk is "a force of nature" and the team of scientists and software developers he has assembled at Q-Ctrl is "as impressive as they come".

"Any time you have foreign cash inflows from organisations that are extremely competitive like Sequoia China or like DCVC or Horizons, that's an indication that we are doing something right," says founder Michael Biercuk

He said Q-Ctrl can itself become one of the word's biggest technology companies just by selling the control software – which will be turned into quantum computer "firmware" in later versions by embedding it into quantum computer controller chips – to all of the world's quantum computer makers.


Atrium and Justin Kan - how does he attract such an amazing investor base ?



The Atrium Team 

A year ago , Justin Kan raised $10.5m in Atrium from blue chip investors,  ended up being one of the biggest “party rounds” ever....

 would be interesting to see what’s happened since?

 Atrium LTS — the “LTS” stands for “Legal Technology Services” 

As a “power user” of legal services over a decade in the startup industry, through the foundation and fundraising of startups like Justin.tv as well as the work he’s done as an investor and advisor to companies through Y Combinator, Kan says he was frustrated by how little technology was being used in the process of interacting with various law firms.

“Why don’t law firms use project management software to track where they are in the process of completing a deal and let customers see that?” Kan asked. But more important than the way in which law firms interact with customers, Kan saw an opportunity to streamline the work that is done in-house to make it more manageable for lawyers and those who work at law firms.

“If you think about corporate legal work that’s done today, some part of it is art and then some of it is repeatable processes,” Kan told me. It’s those repeatable processes that the Atrium team believes it can innovate on to make things more efficient.

Now onto the funding… As we reported, the round was led by General Catalyst, but what we didn’t know at that time is that the financing includes nearly 100 institutional and angel investors who came along for the ride.

Other participating firms include: 500 Startups, Arena Ventures, Balance Ventures, BeeNext, Binary Capital, Box Group, Brainchild, Caffeinated Capital, Early Impact Ventures, First Round Capital, Founders Fund, GGV Capital, Green Oaks, Greylock, Initialized Capital, Jackson Square Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, NEA, Oriza Ventures, Palapa Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, Shasta Ventures, Signia, Slow Ventures, Soma Capital, Struck Capital, SV Angel, Tekton Ventures and Thrive Capital Partners.

And here’s a list of all the angels investing in the round: Aarjav Trivedi, Adrian Aoun, Amitt Mahajan, Andrew Chen, Ari Kardasis, Armaan Ali, Arram Sabeti, Avichal Garg, Bennett Rogers, Brent Goldman, Brian Goodman, Brian Shin, Josh Buckley, Charles Forman, Charlie Songhurst, Chris Fanini, David Cheng, David Schellhase, Desmond Lim, Dharmesh Shah, Emmett Shear, Eric Glyman, Erik Torenberg, Eusden Shing, Matt Brezina, Gil Penchina, Greg Chang, Immad Akhund, Jack Newton, Jason Tan, Jenny Haeg, John Doerr, John Hering, Jon Dahl, Josh Reeves, Karim Atiyeh, Kevin Lin, Kyle Vogt, Lee Linden, Loren Vittetoe, Manish Shah, Matt Gamache-Asselin, Maxim Zasov, Michal Borkowski, Mike Ghaffary, Mikhail Seregine, Osuke Honda, Paul McKellar, Ranidu Lankage, Rene Reinsburg, Robin Chan, Ruchi Sanghvi, Sam Altman, Saurabh Gupta, Scott James, Steve Jang, Sujay & Sheel Tyle, Tikhon Bernstam, Travis VanderZanden, Wayne Chang, and Wei Guo.

Whew.

You get all that?

Ok, so the question is, why would Atrium LTS bother raising money from so many different stakeholders? Why not just get a few large checks from a few notable investors, instead of lots of small checks from a bunch of VCs and angels?

How to write a white paper for an ICO

The Bob Pritchard Column 

I know many people who are planning ICO’s, Initial Coin Offerings and the first place to start is with a White Paper.   There are several necessary components to a successful token sale or ICO, but for the most part, they all follow the same basic narratives.
 
 
It is often easier to point out what ICO’s do wrong, than what they do right. For example, most projects fail to describe why the reader should care about their existence. When you’re writing anything intended to be persuasive, it’s imperative to answer the following questions as soon as possible:
  • Who are you?  Introduction/Team
  • What are you creating?  Solution/ Product/Tokenomics
  • Why should I care?   Problem/ Industry Overview/Market Inefficiencies /Technical Overview
  • How are you going to deliver what you’ve promised? Roadmap / Tokenomics /Token Utility/MVP/Use Case.
       
Most projects do pretty well at the first two points, they falter when explaining why the reader should care, and how they plan on delivering. These questions are pivotal because they lend themselves to several different sections of a white paper.
 
It’s extremely important that you spend time thinking about these questions. It’s painfully obvious how thought out a token is when you talk to founders about writing their white paper. How serious they are about the business can often be shown by how quickly they’re able to answer the questions.
 
The “Team” section of the white paper is usually near the end, however, I’d suggest displaying it prominently on your website. So that when someone downloads your white paper, they see the team first. This way they’ll be able to see how qualified your team is before reading up on the problem you’re aiming to tackle.
 
The “Introduction” is not about who you are as a person, it is about what you seek to do?  Why do you want to do it?  How will the world or your industry be different once you’ve completed it?  Explain your greater vision in your “Introduction”, and in “Team”, show them you have what it takes to execute on that vision.
 
How is your company creating a solution? What does this solution look and feel like? Have you thought out the Tokenomics? Will any coins be burned? Why not use BTC or ETH instead of creating your own coin? 
 
Focus on benefits, not functionalities. You have talked about all the amazing functionalities your ICO is going to deliver. Now, it’s time to explain why anyone should give a flying f**k. What do all those functionalities mean to me as a user? How is the proprietary algorithm” you bragged about in prior sections going to benefit me as an individual?
 
So, how are you going to deliver what you promised?  Explain why the team can execute on the milestones you’ve outlined in the roadmap? Does anyone on their team have any relevant past experience?  If you are building a marketplace, has anyone on the development team built a marketplace before?  If you’re a B2B project, do members of the team have relationships they can rely on to generate leads?
 
The killer ICO’s and Token Sales of 2018 will be the companies that have found a way to utilize blockchain technology to fix something that is impossible to fix with anything other than blockchain.  It takes a true understanding of blockchain to create solutions that genuinely need the technology to improve, unfortunately, these necessary solutions are the minority in ICO’s.
 
There will always be need of trusted voices in the investment community, but what the ICO markets are showing is that the world has incredible demand for future-looking projects!
 

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Immigration easing for startups



Are you trying to recruit more talent outside Australia for your startup but don’t want to wait 6 months for the visa to be accepted? 

Well, this is your lucky day.

The Department of Home Affairs is introducing  a Global Talent Scheme (GTS). This scheme allows startups to apply for 5 high priority visas per year that are exempt from the skills shortage lists and that will be processed within 17 to 30 days. Those visas will last for 4 years and will lead to the possibility of the visa holder becoming a permanent resident.
 
This Australian first could be very valuable and could definitely solve the lack of talent availability that is said to be the biggest factor of growth limitation within the startup ecosystem.

For more information please visit StartupAus’ newsletter here:
https://mailchi.mp/startupaus/priority_visa_access_for_startups 

#startups  #innovation #immigration

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Appen riding the tailwind of Artificial Intelligence







The Appen share price has seen shareholders collect returns exceeding 200 per cent over the past year and 2000 percent since listing (200X return ) and is showing little sign of slowing!


Revenue is up 50 per cent to $166.6M for the financial year 2017, with an EBITDA of $28.1M.


Appen’s CEO, Marc Brayan,  (serial CEO of listed companies) says the sharemarket will reward you if you have strong financial performance and a clear value proposition that is easy to understand (a killer 30 second pitch)


How it started

As 50 something empty nesters, 20 years ago, Julie and Chris Vonwiller founded Australia’s fastest growing listed company on the ASX !


Julie (a renowned Linguist) set up a small consulting business called Appen, while her husband Chris helped out while working his day job as a senior executive at Telstra. 

 

Who knew that asking Apple's Siri virtual assistant to "call mum", or a teenage girl's obsession with finding out which outfit looks best by asking Amazon's assistant Alexa could help propel Appen to such great heights?


 So what does Appen do?


Appen’s mission is to be the world’s leading provider of search relevance services.


They develop human-annotated data sets for machine learning and artificial intelligence, providing nine of the top 10 global technology companies with the data necessary to develop machine learning algorithms and improve their search function.


It has a crowdsourced global model employing 30k to 40k team of contractors that train the companies machine learning capabilities. It provides their clients “data sets” that mimics a human function - speech sight or a complex decision. 


CEO, Mark Brayan,  has said there continues to be a massive appetite and demand for Appens  services - and there is an opportunity to ride the tailwind of the AI and machine learning opportunity.


Acquisition Trail

Appen have just invested $105.3m in 2 companies that develop advanced, machine learning-based toolsets to streamline and automate data collection. 


Leapforce Inc and Raterlabs Inc


These investments will add  “scale and scope” to Appen’s plans to have a bigger impact on the growing artificial intelligence market


About Leapforce

Leapforce specialises in search relevance with a highly automated, proprietary end-to-end technology platform and generated US$58 million in revenue and US$13.6 million in EBITDA in 2017. 


About Raterlabs 

Raterlabs Inc facilitate working from home services that seek to evaluate search engine results.   




Wednesday, June 27, 2018

PropertyGuru founder on the real reason he stepped down, hard lessons, and new adventures

From Tech In Asia

Image credit: Tech in Asia


Entrepreneurs often have a defining moment that leaves an indelible mark on them.

 For Steve Jobs of Apple, it was a trip to India in the 1970s, at the height of the hippie movement.

 For Howard Schultz of Starbucks, it was a trip to Milan where he tried the local coffee. 

For Steve Melhuish, co-founder and vice chairman of PropertyGuru, it was a six-month sojourn in Southeast Asia with his wife, Liz.

“We were living in London at the time, and I was running this telecom cable company,” says Melhuish. All his clients were in the telecoms, internet, and mobile content industries. “It was also the time of the post-dot-com bust. All my clients were going through downsizing, and I had to basically downsize my team every six months.”

Melhuish always preferred building things rather than dismantling them. “I took a six-month break and went traveling with my wife,” he recollects. The two went off the beaten track in Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, spending four to five weeks in each country.

“We saw extreme poverty, which was very humbling,” he adds, recalling his Laos visit. He also remembers that their guide “had 15 kids, but only two survived.” The others were lost to “malnourishment and unclean drinking water,” Melhuish says.

This experience left him with no doubt as to where he wanted to be next.

Singapore calling

Inspiration, they say, comes from the most mundane of sources.

For Melhuish, his eureka moment was when he tacked a Post-it on his bathroom in London.

 It read, 

“Digital media, Asia, Startups.”

“It really did drive everything that I did and saw me push closer to Asia.” He still has that note.

The initial plan was to head out to China with Liz’s job. But a chance reorganization at her company changed their plans – and their destiny. Liz’s company brought her to Singapore instead, and the couple decided to start here. “It’s easier to go from Singapore to China rather than London to China,” they thought.

As the family settled in, Steve dove straight into work and explored the startup scene. “I was bitterly disappointed because there was hardly anything. 

This was way back – almost thirteen and a half years ago. The digital space was defined by Yahoo and Microsoft competing with their messenger software.”

PropertyGuru

Steve started work with Singaporean startup ComiAsia, but he soon gave that up in 2007 when circumstances led him to launch PropertyGuru.

“My wife and I were renting a property in Emerald Hill. In 2007, the government opened its doors to immigration and the population exploded from 4.3 million to 5.5 million very quickly. So the doors opened, immigration happened, and it put an immense amount of pressure on housing and infrastructure. There was a definite crunch,” he recalls.

“The property was up for an en bloc sale. So we had to move out very fast. I went online to find a new place but there wasn’t anything,” he says.

This surprised Melhuish as he thought that Asians, in general, were obsessed with property. Many Asian families dream of owning their first property to live in or as an investment. But he couldn’t find an extensive online listing portal and had to rely on clunky classified ads.

An investor friend, however, made an auspicious introduction, connecting Melhuish with Jani Rautiainen, who was then “working in tech in India.”  As Melhuish explains, “We said, ‘If we are to do this right, we’ll need to focus our energies full-time on this.’ We thought, ‘How do we give more power to the consumer?’ We then put all the listings in five markets online to give people some transparency.”

PropertyGuru was officially born.

Tough lessons

As PropertyGuru took off, Melhuish and co- founder Rautiainen were learning some hard lessons.

1. Growing too fast 

“First, we decided to expand from one market to four markets in four months. I wouldn’t do that now. We took this Singapore team and asked them to make four different websites in four different markets with 12 new apps. Our product team was churning out this stuff, which was fantastic. But it suddenly ground to a halt as the team was stretched to literally the breaking point trying to do everything.”

For two or three years, Melhuish and Rautiainen were doing a lot by themselves. “Both my partner and I are very competitive people so when we decide to do something, we expect everyone else to do it too. Which is na├»ve and unreasonable. So, it was very unfair to people.”

2. Don’t compromise in your values 

The second lesson for Melhuish was to not compromise on values even if the business is in its early days. He cites an experience involving sales staff.

We were held to ransom by two sales guys

“We were in the middle of raising money, and these two guys – who between them controlled 80 percent of our revenue – said, ‘Either double our money or we’ll leave.’ I had sleepless nights around that, and I ended up compromising my values by saying, ‘We’ll do what you say, let one person stay and we’ll have to let one person go.’ We then spent six months trying to build a team around this person to dissolve the power that he held. And I really hated myself for doing that,” he shares.

The professional and the personal

As PropertyGuru expanded and raised funds through several rounds, Melhuish faced a personal struggle.

“Liz and I had our twins about five years after we started trying to have children. 2012 to 2014 was particularly challenging because I was living on a plane or somewhere else.”

There’s often a time in a person’s life when priorities that once seemed important will fade away. His children, Emily and Jake, were celebrating their second birthday when this dawned on him.

“I wanted to spend more time with the kids. I didn’t want to wake up when they turned 11 and they had no idea who I was.” He made a commitment to his wife that he would devote more attention to the kids by their fifth birthday.

Melhuish with his family / Image credit: Steve Melhuish


And so began the search for a new executive leadership team and a CEO to replace him. “We’ve built PropertyGuru into Southeast Asia’s leading online property group, used by 22 million people monthly. We scaled to market leadership in five markets. We grew fast and became profitable, so I feel very proud of what the team has achieved.”

But once his executive leadership team was in place, Melhuish consciously decided to take a low-key role within the business. Despite this being his own decision, he says he discovered a lot about himself during that period.

“All the people I spoke with who had exited their businesses experienced a period of mourning, a period of loss – a crisis if you can call it that. I realized I went through it as well,” says Melhuish.

He got through that phase by surrounding himself with the right people. His children were his biggest motivators. “Whenever I went through the dark times, they were what kept me focused,” he relates. His wife suggested he could go back to running the company if that was what he wanted, but he chose to spend more time with his family. “That really saw me through the process,” he adds.

He has now carved out a different role for himself, which he says he enjoys. “I’m much more involved in strategy and business development and spend a lot of time on speaking engagements. I also really enjoy spending time with startups.”

Wavemaker Partners

But the work is far from over. For his latest adventure, he joined Wavemaker Partners part-time as a venture partner and says he’s looking forward to working with a team he admires.

“I’ve known [Wavemaker managing partner] Paul Santos for five years now and love what the team does. They’re very founder-friendly – more in a listening mode rather than telling mode. They’re one of the few VCs that have done five exits. And, they’re helping to build homegrown heroes in Southeast Asia, which historically has been in the shadows.”

Don’t get distracted by what the investors are saying.

He’s also devoting more time to social impact ventures, drawing from his experiences of traveling around Southeast Asia.

PropertyGuru has done “a lot of charity work with ‘Billion Bricks’, which is helping refugees and migrants. I want to do something in that space but haven’t quite figured it out.”

With all the ups and downs in Melhuish’s life, he has this advice for startup founders:

 “Be yourself, be authentic and don’t try and please everyone. Focus on the reason why you started the business, which is solving a big pain point. Don’t get distracted by any shiny bright lights or what the investors are saying.”

Crowdfunded Jayride provides investors an exit

VentureCrowd founder Steven Maarbani and Jayride CEO Rod Bishop believe crowd-sourced equity funding will become a ...
VentureCrowd founder Steven Maarbani and Jayride CEO Rod Bishop exit crowdfunded equity startup at a $37m valuation giving investors 107% return (Peter Braig).

The first crowd-sourced equity funding raise was priced at 24¢ per share and was one of three rounds the company raised in this manner, equating to about $700,000. 

Jayride listed earlier this year on the ASX at a 50c listing price raising $15m with “follow the seed”investing $8m 

Mr Bishop with the Jayride team at the company's Sydney headquarters.
Rod Bishop with the Jayride team at the company's Sydney headquarters.

Access to capital is a key part in the startup world - and crowd funding is a great source says Maarbani 

If funding is not found in Oz - they will go overseas .

The one that got away 

"ThreatMetrix is a case in point . Raising capital in the  USA and was sold for $US817 million and that growth story was lost to Australia," Mr Maarbani added.

So what is Jayride 

It is an airport travel comparison service covering  2000 ground transport operators and 500 airports and most recently it recorded 28 per cent quarter-on-quarter revenue growth to $633,000 for the third quarter.

A crowd funding investor 

Serial entrepreneur and Sydney Angel, Justin Butterworth, invested $50k into  Jayride's first crowdfunding round as one of a portfilio of  25 “high risk startups” including Instaclustr, taxi booking app Ingogo, photography start-up Snappr and property tech venture Snug.com. 

Mr Butterworth told AFRs Yolanda Redrup 

"Investing in early stage businesses is a high-risk activity and investing smaller parcels with a trusted platform with quality deal flow like VentureCrowd helps minimise the downside risk," 

"It also gives opportunity for diversification and, in my view, gives you a better chance of a reasonable return for this class of asset."

Justin  Butterworth founded home rentals business Rentahome, which was acquired by Fairfax Media for $29 million

Crowd funding and Venturecrowd

Since being founded  in 2014 , Venturecrowd has facilitated 45 deals (10 a year) raising about $25 million.

There are clearly a lot more backable deals out there - the question is how to find them, commercialise them and get them invested.

Crowd funding is a great way of funding - and will be part of the  "traditional capital stack" for start-ups when legislation is enacted later this year, enabling public companies to take part in public crowdfunding.

In the UK, 24 per cent of all venture capital invested done through either of the two leading crowd funding platforms, giving the mum and dad an opportunity to invest and have the same opportunities as Angel investors and venture capitalists.

Venture capital investment returns can be significantly higher than traditional asset classes but also present high risk. With risk diversification and access to information, this risk can be mitigated.

 If you get 10 per cent in superannuation you think your fund manager is a genius - here is an opportunity to invest in an asset class that can give you significant higher returns - albeit with higher risks - with the knowledge that you are supporting innovation and growth! 

The Australian Superannuation  is over $1 trillion - 1000 billion - 1pc invested in startups ($10b) would make Australia the world focal point of innovation .

Opportunities to watch 

An investment opportunity to watch in the future is Anwar Khalil’s “My Recruitment Plus” increasing its annuity by $100k quarter in quarter! - watch this space for more details! 



Sunday, June 24, 2018

HealthMatch raises $1.3m - the global platform for clinical trials


CEO Manuri Gunawardena, who took leave from medical school to pursue HealthMatch, is now planning international expansion.
CEO Manuri Gunawardena, who took leave from medical school to pursue HealthMatch, is now planning international expansion.

http://www.afr.com/technology/healthmatch-raises-13m-as-it-seeks-to-become-the-global-platform-for-clinical-trials-20180615-h11fu4?et_cid=29132120&et_rid=1928623412&Channel=Email&EmailTypeCode=The%20Brief&LinkName=clinical%20trials%20of%20potential%20treatment&Email_name=The%20Brief-0618&Day_Sent=18062018

HealthMatch, an Australian start-up aiming to become the go-to platform linking sick patients with clinical trials of potential treatment, is targeting US expansion after a $1.3 million capital raising from Australian venture capital and US industry insiders.

The early stage start-up first rose to prominence late last year, when it won the inaugural Australian version of popular US pitching competition TechCrunch Startup Battlefield, and will now begin hiring more staff to capitalise on progress it has made in establishing its product.

The company has created an online platform which uses machine learning to sort through the thousands of clinical trials being run by contract research organisations (CROs) in Australia and matches relevant registered patients. Its co-founders Manuri Gunawardena and Arran Schlosberg needed funding to hire software engineers and some marketing and operations staff as the company starts to grow in earnest.

The Tempus Partners Team Andrew Larsen, Connie Lee, Conrad Yiu and Alister Coleman have led the HealthMatch funding round.
The Tempus Partners Team Andrew Larsen, Connie Lee, Conrad Yiu and Alister Coleman have led the HealthMatch funding round.

The funding round was led by Sydney-based venture capital fund Tempus Partners, which closed a $40 million fund to invest in local start-ups last year. The round also included backing from US-based investors including WhatsApp head of product Anton Borzov, and Google's director of intellectual property and litigation Catherine Lacavera.

​Managing partner of Affirmative Investment Management and former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, Stephen Fitzgerald and Australia and New Zealand and angel investor David Kenney has also chipped in money. 

US interest  

Ms Gunawardena told The Australian Financial Reviewthat HealthMatch had received a lot of interest from the US following its TechCrunch success, and said she had spent time in both San Francisco and New York meeting with potential investors. 

The market for clinical trials is much larger in the US than Australia, and HealthMatch intends to aggressively target the market once it has established itself as the platform of choice for patients in Australia.

"We ended up trying to pick the investors that could actually contribute to the company with more than just money," Ms Gunawardena said.

"Anton from WhatsApp offered to help us with product design and how to really optimise the way that we present this to patients, whereas aside from her legal expertise at Google, Catherine also used to work in pharma in New York, so that will be really helpful."

While she said HealthMatch was confident in the technology side of the business and her own background in medicine meant they understood the clinical trial sector, she had favoured Tempus Partners as a lead investor due to its ability to also provide strategic advice about how to scale up her start-up's operations.  

Worthy purpose

Tempus Partners managing partner Alister Coleman previously co-founded software-as-a-service company ShippingEasy, which was sold to NASDAQ-listed Stamps.com for $80 million in 2016.

Mr Coleman said he believed HealthMatch could be a game-changer in the healthcare sector and had a worthwhile mission in helping many people live longer and healthier lives. 

"Access to new and improved treatments is critical for patients and has the potential to be life-changing for patients and their families globally," Mr Coleman said.

"Access to new and improved treatments is critical for better healthcare outcomes globally, and HealthMatch delivers this using software and AI at the core to facilitate faster clinical testing outcomes."

Ms Gunawardena said the year ahead would now be focused on increasing the number of clinical trials listed on the platform and, as a result, the number of patients matched with suitable trials.

Future plans

Then it will target a larger Series A funding round to fund a US office, which is likely to be in New York, close to the global headquarters of big pharmaceutical firms and the US venture capital funds likely to invest.

"Because we are automating this, we are planning to get almost all of the clinical trials that are available in Australia on to our platform, so it becomes the go to place for patients within Australia ... I think that is quite achievable for us," Ms Gunawardena said.

"We are definitely using Australia as a way to test out our product, see where the inefficiencies are, improve them and improve our machine learning, before continuing to build out into the States.

"We will continue operations in Australia, and always look to keep our R&D and engineers in Australia, but in a way it is a test bed before we move into a larger market."