Secured Venture capital is an Australian based VC company led by the former Australian pace spearhead. It recently secured Indian ODI and T20 International skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its new global brand ambassador.
Secured Venture Capital focuses on opportunities originating in Australia that can be expanded into established global markets. It invests in diverse and balanced portfolios of venture capital opportunities. It is also able to facilitate the process for investment by non-residents wishing to access concessions available under various government programs such as Significant Investor Visas program (SIV) and a Premium Investor Visa program (PIV).
Thanks for talking with us Craig. Firstly, what brought into the world of venture capital and investment? Can you tell us about Secured Venture Capital and the formation of the fund?
Thanks, the fund has now been running for approximately 14 months. The reason I decided to become involved in venture capital is really simple. During my career I have always been involved in mentoring and coaching people and essentially, that is a large part of what venture capital is about. One of the most rewarding aspects of my cricket career was being involved with outstanding people in my team. This is also reflected in my approach to venture capital – giving outstanding people a chance to perform, bringing strong players into the arena and working hard to bring on victory.
What markets does Secured Venture Capital focus on? How are your team scouting for and assessing opportunities to add to your portfolio?
We have a particular interest in both technology and environmentally sustainable innovations and receive daily introductions from many types of people introducing many types of products. Even though we have particular areas of interest, we are open to solid business opportunities across a range of industries.
While we have a particular interest in technology stocks and environmentally sustainable pursuits, we are also inolved in many other start ups that are not categorised in that area. The wonderful thing about venture capital is that it is focused on putting together the right people in the right space.
Through what channels is Secured Venture Capital engaging with the investor market?
In the past we have successfully introduced both high net worth individuals to the fund and also those qualifying for relevant immigration options.
The Australian government has introduced legislation that enables potential migrants to invest in Australia. A key piece of legislation involves the issuing of subclass 132 Business Talent Visas. This is where either high caliber business immigrants with significant business history or venture capital entrepreneurs intending to develop valuable business can secure permanent residence in Australia.
This program has amazing benefits to Australia and migrants alike. It’s a win win situation. This legislation enables firms like ours to stimulate venture capital activity while also giving migrants solid opportunities to invest in Australia and become part of the Australian way of life.
The fund has backing by major international operators and some big names in the world of sports like Mahendra Singh Dhoni. How has this helped in the growth of the fund, especially when engaging with the Indian market?
We have launched the fund on an international level as I have always worked in this space. We have been fortunate to have the backing of some spectacular people like MS Dhoni. The people we have connected with in our fund have very similar beliefs and goals to us, which is essentially to help as many people as possible.
Having quality people on the team has enabled us to expand our fund in both a conservative way, but with a very good rate of expansion. As our name suggests we are always looking at securing returns for our investors, even in the sometimes turbulent world of venture capital investment.
You and your team have regularly been running roadshows in India and China. How do you think the Australian market is perceived by overseas investors?
Australia has a very good reputation overseas, and with the international contacts that I have we have been able to open more doors more quickly than some other firms.
We do see a need generally for firms venturing into the Chinese markets to become more educated on the ”Chinese way”. There are some very interesting intricacies in how to relate and socialise with Chinese business people.
You’ve also pioneered the development and growth of the Craig McDermott Cricket Academy (CMIC), which Mahendra Singh Dhoni is now also the face of. How has the academy been growing? Where do you see CMIC in a year from now?
With a large part of my life being spent in the cricket arena, both as a player and coach i believe I have a lot still to offer the sport. All of my years involved with cricket were rewarding for me and I want to give back to the sport.
We have increased the academy this year and have already received signups for our new classes that are being run in conjunction with the QLD TAFE & Chisholm TAFE and Australian Catholic University. We have some really good programs on offer to help potential sportspeople achieve their highest level of success.
You’ve leveraged your significant international network and collaborative partners to help establish Secured Venture Capital. How important has cricket been in building the international presence of the fund?
Cricket and sport generally have had a great influence on our fund, with all of the people involved in Secured Venture Capital becoming part of our team. The values in sport are what my life has been based on and it is very important that these are brought into any business that I am involved in.
What are the next steps in the development of Secured Venture Capital? What are your goals for the fund?
We are currently working on giving more people the opportunity to invest in our projects. This involves opening our road shows and increasing exposure to both the Indian and Chinese communities with the view of bringing international investment to Australia.
Specifically one of our goals is to have $ 100 million under management by the close of 2017.
Thanks for your time Craig
See the Secured Venture Capital full business profile here
About Secured Venture Capital
Secured Venture Capital
) funds seed and late stage technology entrepreneurs. It has investments in various companies across a broad range of industries including pharmaceuticals, financial investment platforms, bio-technical hardware, real estate, direct investments, environmentally sustainable innovations and Dairy fund.
Secured Venture Capital is able to fully facilitate the process for investment by non-residents wishing to access the concessions available under the various government programs. Changes to the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and the introduction of a Premium Investor Visa (PIV) have now commenced. The new Complying Investment Framework for the SIV and introduction of the PIV are aimed at attracting applicants with business and entrepreneurial skills and capital to enhance investment into innovative Australian businesses and the commercialisation of Australian ideas, research and development.
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What is the Significant Investor Visa scheme?
In Australia, Commonwealth Significant Investor Visa (SIV) was made effective from 1 July 2015, aims to attract high net worth investors to Australia under a temporary visa arrangement who invest a minimum of $5 million across a mandated range of SIV complying investments.
The Australian Government’s Significant Investor Visa (SIV) scheme offers an opportunity for high net worth migrant investors to apply for permanent residence. The visa conditions require a minimum investment of AUD 5 million for four years split across a mandated set of SIV complying investments, which includes emerging companies securities.
For more information about the SIV scheme, please visit www.border.gov.au.