Nine Entertainment has invested $4 million into Australian online shoe retailer StyleTread, startupsmart reports. The company is only six months old.
We don’t normally report on individual investments at The Next Web, but this news is more evidence that we’re seeing the beginning of a large-scale tech boom in Australia, where some of the world’s great bootstrapped startups have based themselves for years — including Envato, task management giant Remember the Milk, SitePoint and DesignCrowd.
The boom is being driven by foreign investors, and to some extent local investors such as Nine Entertainment, who are beginning to plough money into an industry that has traditionally been wary of venture capitalists and all that funding entails.
The attitude among Australian web companies has long been known for its stark contrast to the Silicon Valley scene, with entrepreneurs traditionally preferring to bootstrap their web startups on the back of savings and perhaps a few small bank loans.
But that attitude is changing rapidly, and with it, US investors are showing more and more interest in what our tech scene has to offer. 99designs’ $35 million round, acquired well after they bootstrapped themselves to profitability, has been big news in Australian technology over the last month, and last night Alec Lynch of DesignCrowd told me that five or six venture capitalists had contacted him “out of the blue” — which, for our foreign readers, is essentially Australian for “unsolicited” — since then.
In the months preceding the 99designs investment, Accel Partners had invested $130 million between Atlassian and Ozforex, also Australian startups.
Given the high quality of the bootstrapped startups Australia has been producing over the last decade, I look forward to seeing what the next litter is capable of with strong backing.