Commonwealth Bank’s venture-scaling business entity, x15ventures, recently revealed that it has appointed Laura Faulconer as its Portfolio Director. She will be responsible for growing and enhancing the x15 portfolio.
As noted in the update, Laura joins x15 from early-stage venture capital firm, Antler, where as Associate Partner she led the Portfolio function, and took care of HealthTech and DeepTech investments.
x15 was formed in 2020 in order to develop, acquire and invest in scaling the next generation of digital businesses.
As Portfolio Director, Laura will be tasked with identifying and scouting for promising ventures, offer support to assist with scaling ventures, and focus on building key relationships with VC firms.
x15 currently has a relationship with SquarePeg, with the two co-investing in rent-to-own startup and winner of x15’s Xccelerate20 program, OwnHome, earlier in 2022.
This followed an investment in property management firm, :Different, alongside AirTree Ventures and Antler (during 2021).
While working at Antler, Laura had reportedly scaled the portfolio support function as the portfolio size doubled, spearheading one of Australia’s “highest velocity” early-stage investment vehicles to achieve above average graduation rates, with more than 80% of Antler firm acquiring external funding within a year of initial investment.
Laura was previously Investment Manager at New Zealand’s Deeptech VC fund, WNT Ventures; cofounded The Actuator, Australia’s first national Medtech accelerator; and designed and launched The Generator, the entrepreneurship program at Melbourne’s Monash University, where she was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Science.
Laura holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina.
Laura Faulconer, Portfolio Director at x15ventures, stated:
“I’m a builder at heart. Over the years, I’ve built houses, companies, and I knew this would be an opportunity to not only help create some incredible, purposeful ventures, but also stand up the type of support structures that makes x15 the best strategic partner a venture could possibly have. We want x15 to be a source of advantage for startups, helping them to build toward solving real and important problems, scale quickly but safely, and ultimately access CBA’s customer base and distribution networks.”
Toby Norton-Smith, MD at x15ventures, remarked:
“As an experienced investor who has not only led investments and support for a diverse range of companies – including in regulated industries – but also established and scaled the systems for making and supporting these types of investments, Laura is uniquely equipped to take our portfolio to its next phase of growth. She has a proven track record of taking IP-rich technologies to market, and is already bringing that experience to bear in support of our ventures. We couldn’t be happier to have her join the x15 team.”
Laura is the latest addition to x15’s senior team, which includes MD, Toby Norton-Smith; Chief Product Officer, Supun King-Jayawardana; Chief Risk and Operations Officer, Kimbra Nielson; and CTO, Kelvin Lim.
Other recent hires to the x15 team and ventures reportedly include Cormac O’Mahony, the former CTO of 86 400, who joined as General Manager & Distinguished Engineer in January; Ram Bhat, former Head of Marketing for DSpark (Singtel), now Head of Marketing at Home-in; Bronwyn Galvin, former Integrated Group Strategy Director at Essence, now Chief Marketing Officer at Unloan; and Claire McIntyre, former Marketing Lead at IBM Research, now Chief Brand & Marketing Officer at Kit.