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Optus sinks funds into two Melbourne start-ups

The Optus-Innov8 seed program will provide funding, mentoring, networking opportunities and co-working spaces to the two start-up companies.

Optus’ start-up program has made its first investment in two Melbourne-based start-up companies – 121cast and Venuemob.

The Optus-Innov8 seed program will provide funding, mentoring, networking opportunities and co-working spaces to the two start-up companies.

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121cast was founded by Andrew Armstrong, Ed Hooper and Long Zheng. The trio launched 121cast in February 2012. The start-up has received $250,000 in funding from SingTel Innov8, with co-investment from Adventure Capital.

The company offers personalised digital audio feeds to provide information and entertainment, with the aim of being a ‘radio station’ for smartphone users.

Venuemob, which also launched this year, was founded by David Wei, James Giang and Ying Wang and provides users with a database of function locations in Melbourne.

The start-up has received $450,000 in funding, led by SingTel Innov8.

“The first round of the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program received a number of impressive entries that showcased remarkable ideas and concepts. This really validates our view that the start-up community in Australia is bursting with talent and we are proud to offer them the opportunity to take their concepts to the next level,” Austin Bryan, vice-president of Digital Communities and Ecosystems, SingTel Group Digital L!fe, said in a statement.

Innov8 will invest in up to eight start-ups. While the seed funding is limited to $250,000 per investment, it is possible that Innov8 could separately add to the funding.

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