Reopening SIVs could provide $100 million lifeline for start-ups

Venture capital and startup concept. Vector of a businessman climbing up the stairs made of hands holding money.

About $100 million could provide a lifeline for start-ups and emerging companies crippled by the coronavirus if applications under the Significant Investor (SIV) program were reopened.

Leading SIV funds manager Atlas Advisors Australia has called on the federal government to reopen approvals and give priority to fast -track urgent applications.

Atlas Advisors executive chairman Guy Hedley said applicants should be able to execute investments while delaying physical stay in Australia until travel restrictions are lifted.

“Reopening approvals under the SIV program would fulfill the program’s original intent to support thin capital markets,” Hedley said.

“Atlas Advisors Australia has allocated more than $40 million to early stage venture capital investors from SIV investors.”

The company has partnered with university-backed fund Uniseed and venture capital fund FollowTheSeed to call for measures to support start-ups.

“The Australian Government should harness the opportunity now to support local startups starved of growth capital because of the devastating impact of COVID-19,” Hedley said.

No visa approvals allowing investors to fulfill their complying obligations have been granted since travel restrictions came into effect.