Founded in 2012, Square Peg has grown from four co-founders, based in Melbourne and Sydney, into a global investment firm of around 30 people with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Tel Aviv, and Singapore.

Square Peg invests in emerging technologies across the internet economy in early-stage companies that have the potential to grow into multi-billion-dollar enterprises such as Canva, Airwallex and Rokt, and has many more innovative businesses in the investment pipeline.

The ESVCLP regime has been a key contributor to Square Peg’s growth and success with three ESVCLP funds included in funds raised by the firm over four vintages.

Investors consider many aspects when allocating capital. In addition to capital efficient vehicles, this includes the quality of the founders and team, traits that are equally important for Square Peg’s success as a long-term venture fund.

As the venture capital investment cycle is a ten-year journey, the firm takes a long-term and holistic view of talent recruitment and development aiming to find, attract, and retain the best staff. Each time a new fund is raised, the firm assesses its resources and invests in new talent.

In Australia, Square Peg has hired specialist talent in investments, investor relations, operations, finance, law, and community. As the firm has evolved, it actively hires roles in new disciplines, searching for expertise and knowledge that will benefit its portfolio companies, and in turn grow the venture ecosystem. For example, in September 2021, a Head of Talent was hired in Australia to consult with Square Peg’s portfolio start-ups to build scalable talent foundations and to enhance the firm’s internal talent acquisition strategy.

As Square Peg’s profile has grown and it has continued to evolve from its historic focus on market places and fintech, the firm’s ability to attract top quality talent has increased in ever expanding and changing areas of innovation. Piruze Sabuncu, Stripe's Southeast Asian Head, was recently hired to complement and enhance Square Peg’s expertise in fintech as well as other industries and in new and emerging technologies. Yonatan Sela, a crypto founder, with incredible blockchain and crypto expertise and passion was also recently hired.

All team members are empowered to share their expertise with portfolio founder teams and Square Peg alike, expanding and challenging knowledge of what is known and what will change.

Square Peg's policies are designed to create a working environment that cultivates development with a focus on learning and curiosity. The firm has embraced flexible, progressive policies that support diverse teams and strive to achieve staff longevity with initiatives such as an industry-leading parental leave policy, an individual personal and professional development budget, a regular, structured goal setting and performance management process, international team offsites and monthly culture-building activities. The firm also encourages participation in the community, which may manifest in many forms, such as directorships, advisory or mentorship roles.

The existence and expansion of programs such as the ESVCLP regime are vital and should not be underestimated. These programs encourage greater investment into venture capital, which in turn allows firms such as Square Peg to invest in talent, and invest in Australian start-ups. There is an incredible amount of innovation being developed by Australian founders who have massive vision and huge drive and ambition.

The venture industry supported by great government policy and programs like the ESVCLP is key, providing the back bone and necessary structure for continued growth.

In September, the Australian Investment Council lodged a very important submission with the Federal Department of the Treasury in response to the Venture Capital Tax Concessions Review which was announced as part of the Government’s Digital Economy Strategy in the 2021–22 Federal Budget. The review has been focused on how effective VCLPs, ESVCLPs and AFOFs have been in attracting domestic and foreign capital, developing innovation, and expanding venture capital management skills and experience in the domestic market. Read the submission here.

Published February, 2022