The Australian venture capital firm, AirTree Ventures has hired James Cameron, a senior investor at Silicon Valley’s giant Accel Partners to come to Sydney and hunt startups as a partner.
AirTree Ventures is an early and growth stage venture firm backing world-class Australian and New Zealand entrepreneurs, helping startups realize their vision of building an iconic company of tomorrow.
Cameron was the vice-president at Accel, an early investor in Facebook and Dropbox, as well as other successful Australian startups such as Atlassian, OzForex, 99designs, CampaignMonitor, and Invoice2go.
He has served as a board observer at several of its fintech, cybersecurity, and online marketplace portfolio companies. He will be relocating in February from the London office of Accel.
Cameron is the fourth partner at AirTree, formed in 2014 by veteran technology investors Craig Blair and Daniel Petre. AirTree’s third partner, John Henderson made a move from tech venture capitalist White Star Capital— also from London to Sydney— last year.
Partners at a venture capital firm are responsible for sourcing and deciding on deals and exits, and sitting on the boards of its portfolio companies.
A high proportion of their remuneration comes from “carried interest” on the profits generated by the firm for its investors – the “carry” is typically 20 percent of all profit – however, Blair said everybody at AirTree had some element of “carry” in their package as a performance incentive.
Cameron and Henderson are not the only tech investing talents that AirTree, one of the fastest-growing managers in the fast-growing Australian venture capital industry, has lured away from markets that have traditionally sucked Australians towards them.
AirTree has also hired its first “head of community” in Julia French, the founder of San Francisco-based marketing agency CoveredCo, whose clients included DropBox, WhatsApp, and Atlassian, for whom she organized the first US user group meetings.
French, who is also relocating to Australia in February, will organize events for AirTree’s portfolio companies to exchange ideas among themselves and their customers, as well as provide them general marketing support. Cameron, in a statement, said,
It’s clear to me that the Australian ecosystem has hit an inflection point. At Accel we’ve been fortunate enough to back some great Aussie and Kiwi founders who have been part of a new generation of world-class, globally-focused startups to emerge from the region.
The Turnbull government’s support for innovation was secondary to Cameron’s decision to move back to Australia, however, he urged Canberra to press ahead with its reforms. Cameron added,
Having three ministers for innovation in the past year shows the portfolio might not be getting the priority it deserves. But [new Innovation Minister] Arthur Sinodinos is a senior figure who should be able to press the agenda forward.