AirTree Ventures

Press Release: Australian startups will now save thousands in legal fees as Australia’s leading VC funds make a pledge to open source their legal documents


Startups can now download industry-wide standardised fund raising documents that can be executed in less than an hour saving them thousands of dollars in legal fees. Angel and early stage investors can now also rest assured that more of their investment dollars will actually go to startups instead of startup lawyers.

This has been made possible by Australia’s leading venture capital funds and angel groups coming together and making a pledge to open source the legal documents used in their fund raising processes. The early stage financing process will now have transparency, efficiency and terms that are friendly to both startups and investors and consistent with most angel rounds in the US.

The documents will allow startups to approach investors with greater confidence and knowledge in the legal process behind early stage financing ($250k-$1M in size) and generate a universal starting point for later financing rounds. Using these standardised documents as a starting point, companies have been able to complete equity financings for legal costs in the $5-10k range on a regular basis.


Dan Atkin of Sparke Helmore, Paul Bennetts of AirTree Ventures and Niki Scevak of Blackbird Ventures have been working together since the beginning of the year to make this pledge a reality.

“Startups raising money in Australia should spend less money and time on the legal and financing process. Open sourcing these documents will remove friction and bring more transparency to our local ecosystem,” said Paul Bennetts from AirTree Ventures.


Dan Atkin, partner at Sparke Helmore said, “They’re aimed at removing the heavy lifting from the financing process. Think of them as a great starting point that will save startups time and money.”


The Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL) will host the documents, which is the national association that represents the private equity and venture capital industries.


About Sparke Helmore:


Sparke Helmore Lawyers ( is a firm of 600 people working from nine offices across Australia, serving the needs of the insurance, government, financial services, technology, mining, construction and property sectors. Our expertise spans corporate and commercial to construction, workplace to insurance, IP to IPOs, mining to manufacturing, and property to procurement.
About AirTree Ventures:


AirTree Ventures ( is a $60m venture capital fund focused on seed through to growth stage investments in businesses that are disrupting traditional markets. Daniel Petre and Craig Blair, co-founders of AirTree, have demonstrated a successful venture capital investment track record spanning over fifteen years.


About Blackbird Ventures:


Blackbird Ventures ( is a venture capital firm that brings the capital and expertise of Australia’s great technology founders to the next generation of startups.


Blackbird was formed in 2012 and has raised $30m from the founders of Atlassian, Campaign Monitor, Aconex, Retailmenot and many more. The firm is designed to help founders succeed on a global stage and to build our next generation of iconic startups.