Up to $100 million could be immediately injected into ailing startups and emerging companies by reopening stalled applications under the Significant Investor Visa program.
Around 40-50 SIV applications in final stages of approval have been left in limbo since travel restrictions were introduced in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Executive Chairman of Atlas Advisors Australia, Guy Hedley urged the Australian Government to unlock capital flows under the SIV program to provide urgently needed financial support to startups and emerging companies.
“Fast-tracking approval for the applications could release up to $100 million in desperately needed funds for these innovative tax and employment generating companies,” Mr Hedley said.
“Without it many will be forced to close their doors leaving a gaping hole in Australia’s future economy.”
University-backed investment fund Uniseed and venture capital fund Follow[the]Seed have united with Atlas Advisors Australia, a top SIV fund manager, to call for measures to help startups.
SIV applications have stalled since travel restrictions were introduced on 19 March 2020, impeding investors’ ability to execute their complying investment obligations under the program.
This dilemma could be rectified by permitting applicants to undertake their investment commitments while delaying travel to Australia until travel restrictions are eased, Mr Hedley said
“The original intent of the SIV program was to provide additional capital to help navigate the Australian economy through thinly traded capital markets,” he said.
The COVID-19 crisis follows a serious drop in early stage venture capital investment in recent years.
“Research by Atlas Advisors Australia shows that ineffective policy settings contributed to a 50 per cent drop in the volume of seed stage investments over the past two years, from 320 in 2017 to 138 in 2019,” Mr Hedley said.
About Atlas Advisors Australia
Atlas Advisors Australia is a leading funds manager and investment advisory business, operating between China and Australia offering a wide range of financial services and wealth management solutions. With operations in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Shanghai in China, we are able to support investors in all China and Australia locations.