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Home > Press > Southern Cross Venture Partners Opens Silicon Valley Office

Abstract:


* Becomes Valley Connection for Australian/NZ Startups
* Expert Tech Investor Team Leads U.S. Operations

Southern Cross Venture Partners Opens Silicon Valley Office

PALO ALTO, CA and SYDNEY, Australia | Posted on January 29th, 2008

Southern Cross Venture Partners, a leading Australian venture capital firm, today announced the establishment of its Palo Alto office, marking its footprint in the heart of Silicon Valley. The Sydney-based firm, which closed its US$150 million (AUD$170m) fund in mid-2007, will work with top tier U.S. venture funds to help Australia and New Zealand's world-class startups access the U.S. and global markets for growth, follow-on funding and exit.

"Australia and New Zealand have a long history of world-class technology development capabilities stemming from their high-quality universities, world-class scientists and engineers, supportive government R&D grant programs and innovative entrepreneurial populations. But the region has been under-resourced when it has come to investment capital and commercial access to the U.S. and global markets," said Southern Cross Venture Partners co-founder and Managing Director John Scull. "We are excited to open our Palo Alto office to help connect the best early-stage Australian and New Zealand startups with Silicon Valley's vibrant ecosystem."

Southern Cross has already made investments in four Australia-originated companies: Xerocoat, a specialty coatings startup; Mantara, which creates electronic trading systems for hedge funds; M&MD, with sophisticated high-temperature super-conducting filters for the global wireless market; and UIactive, a mobile social messaging company. The firm's investment targets include startups in the areas of software and hardware, telecom, semiconductors, digital media and Internet applications, advanced materials, nanotechnology and clean tech.

Scull, who had a 20-year operational and entrepreneurial career with leading-edge technology companies in the Valley prior to becoming a venture capitalist seven years ago, leads the Southern Cross Venture Partners Silicon Valley operations. He co-founded the firm with Australia-based Managing Director Bob Christiansen. Previously, Christiansen was a managing partner of the Australian venture capital firm Allen & Buckeridge, where Scull served as its U.S.-based venture partner.

Newly joining the Palo Alto operations of Southern Cross Venture Partners as a managing director is veteran serial Australian entrepreneur Dr. Larry Marshall, who in a career spanning almost 20 years, has founded six successful companies in Australia and the U.S. and earned a reputation as a leading expert in the photonics field.

"In an increasingly global economy, venture capitalists are looking beyond their immediate regions to make investments. While China and India pose a booming opportunity, one cannot afford to ignore the vast pool of technological talent Down Under," added Southern Cross Managing Director Larry Marshall. "We at Southern Cross want to be considered the go-to firm for U.S. venture capitalists and companies when they are considering an Australia or New Zealand technology startup company for investment or partnership."

Joining Christiansen in the Sydney office are Managing Directors Bill Bartee and Gareth Dando. Bartee came to Southern Cross Venture Partners after helping launch several successful Australian startups and helping build and lead the early-stage investing for Macquarie Technology Ventures, an arm of The Macquarie Group — a diversified international provider of specialist investment, advisory, trading and financial services. Dando was previously the CEO of Uniseed, a top Australian seed fund dedicated to investment in technology from three of Australia's leading universities.

In addition, Australian Tristen Langley, a recent graduate of the Stanford Business School, has recently joined the firm as investment director. She will split her time between the Sydney and Silicon Valley offices. She previously worked as an analyst for Silicon Valley VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and served as the initial U.S. business development manager for VoIP company Skype, after having been involved in DFJ's investment in the company.

####

About Southern Cross Venture Partners
Southern Cross Venture Partners was launched in 2006 by veteran venture capitalists who have managed and operated companies themselves. Southern Cross assists early-stage technology companies that demonstrate the potential for exceptional growth and market leadership to build significant businesses. The founding principle of Southern Cross is partnership — we are passionately committed to doing everything we can to help our portfolio companies succeed. Our team has a strong record of utilizing their start-up and management experience, industry knowledge, network of business/customer relationships and recruiting skills to assist in building significant shareholder value. For more information go to www.sxvp.com.

About John Scull

John Scull is a founding managing director of Southern Cross Venture Partners and is based in Silicon Valley. Previously, he was a venture partner and member of the investment committee of the Australian venture capital firm Allen & Buckeridge for six years where he served as a board of director member on a number of A&B portfolio companies including Vintela, Vast Systems, Fultec Semiconductor, ekit and Aurema.

Prior to A&B, John had a successful 20-year operational and entrepreneurial career with leading edge technology companies primarily in Silicon Valley. He has been the CEO of two successful venture-backed software companies, Macromind, which merged to form Macromedia (MACR), and PF.Magic, which was successfully sold to The Learning Company. Previously, John served as a marketing executive at Apple Computer, where he helped launch the Macintosh personal computer and then started and grew the company's Desktop Publishing business to over $1 billion in revenues.

John Scull holds an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.

About Larry Marshall

Larry Marshall has been a serial entrepreneur in the United States and Australia. He founded six companies over the past 18 years in the photonics, semiconductor and biotechnology industries, several of which were acquired and one of which completed a NASDAQ IPO. Marshall holds 19 patents protecting numerous commercial products. He has been offered a prestigious Federation Fellowship, chaired Advanced Solid State Photonics, sits on the advisory board of Laser Focus World and holds board positions at Arasor, AOC Technologies Inc. and Kodeos Communications Inc.

Marshall previously served as chairman of Intersymbol Communications Inc., an Intel Capital company, which was acquired by Kodeos Communications Inc. and prior to that founded a number of successful optical development companies including Translucent Photonics Inc., Lightbit Corporation and Light Solutions. He also served as vice president of Iridex Corporation, which completed an IPO on NASDAQ in February 1996.

Marshall was born in Sydney, and received his BS Honors from Macquarie University (Sydney) and Ph.D. from the Commonwealth Centre of Excellence.

About Tristen Langley

Tristen is a recent Graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Previously, she worked as an analyst with Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) where she initiated the firm's investment in and led the due diligence for Skype Technologies (sold to eBay for $2.6 billion), a peer-to-peer communications firm. She went on to serve as a business development and marketing manager at Skype Technologies for North America.

While at DFJ, she was also involved with portfolio companies: Xfire (sold to Viacom for $100M), Visto (wireless email), Anagran (flow routing), abazab (video telephony), and Media Lario (lithography optics). Prior to moving to Silicon Valley, Tristen was a senior associate with the Australian technology venture capital firm, Allen & Buckeridge.

Tristen Langley holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She completed her graduate studies in software engineering at the Fraunhofer IESE, Germany. She earned a BS Honors from the University of NSW and was the recipient of the University Medal.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Krause Taylor Associates
for Southern Cross Venture Partners
Falguni Bhuta
408-918-9087 (direct)
or 408-918-9080 (main)

Copyright © Business Wire 2008

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