How it started; How it’s going 2022

17 December, 2022
How it started; How it’s going 2022 | News | Pause Awards
Ignition Lane Wrap monthly
Gavin Appel & Rebecca Eastwood
17 December, 2022

Welcome to Ignition Lane’s Wrap, where they cut through the noise to bring you their favourite insights from the technology and startup world. 

What a roller coaster of a year!

How things can change in a short space of time. We looked back through the archives to our first Wrap of 2022 to compare then and now:

Growth rounds & virtual/hybrid collaboration

Then: Multi-billion dollar valuations and US$400m+ capital raisings by virtual collaboration tech companies – Miro, Airtable and Clickup.

Now: Growth rounds are out; ‘fit’ startups are in. Almost overnight, VC advice went from “grow at all costs” to “ensure you have a two year cash runway.”

The war for talent

Then: ‘The Great Reshuffle’ and the need for companies to have flexibility and work-life balance in order to win in the war for talent.

Now: The tables have turned, with thousands of people in tech being made redundant around the world.

Big international VC investment in Australia + grocery delivery hullabaloo

Then: Grocery delivery startups were flavour of the month with big backing from international VCs. Sydney-based Milkrun raised $75m led by Tiger Global and Voly raised $18m led by Sequoia.

Now: Voly has shut up shop. Milkrun is rumoured to have been (unsuccessfully) shopping around for deals with Uber, Coles and now defunct Deliveroo Australia.

Sadly one of the OGs of grocery delivery, Your Grocer, which aimed to help independent grocers announced on Friday that it is also shutting down.

Over in Europe, Getir bought Gorillas this week for US$1.2bn, valuing the two combined at US$10bn vs $15bn last year. Gorillas was reportedly burning $1.50 per dollar of revenue.

In VC land, the most active US VC firms made just seven investments in Australia during the second half of 2022, compared to 28 and 39 in the two halves prior, according to Cut Through Venture.


Then: Zero mentions of Elon Musk in the Wrap.

Now: We can’t get away from the guy after his Twitter purchase blew up the internet.

What’s remained constant: new VC funds, early-early-stage investing, M&A deals, choppy public markets and Wordle.

The big Aussie VCs raised record funds. Sydney VC AirTree kicked off the year with a $700m raise. Blackbird and Square Peg ended the year with A$1bn and US$550m raises respectively.

VCs ploughed capital into early-stage companies throughout the year, with 80%+ of the big 3 Aussie VCs’ (named above) investments into new companies being seed or pre-seed deals. Square Peg even wrote a whole post reminding people that they invest early.

Local M&A deals continue. Uber acquired Carnextdoor in January. Now, that Aussie-grown product is being roll out around the world as Uber Carshare. This month saw Relay Commerce acquire SmartrMail. Last mile delivery business Drive Yello and café ordering app Hey You also merged.

Wordle took the world by storm. This week Google confirmed it was the most searched term of 2022.

Still relevant:

Local newsings

Winning a market. Australians spent a total of $7.3bn with Uber last year, generating $2bn in revenue and $1bn gross profit. Deliveroo, on the other hand, was losing around $3m a month on its Australian operations before it shutdown last month.

In other closing down news, online furniture retailer Brosa has gone into administration.

FTX ripples. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in The Bahamas. Meanwhile, Australian crypto exchanges are battling to stay amid the FTX fallout. Digital Surge went into voluntary administration due to its exposure to FTX. Swyftx has announced it will lay off 40% of its workforce (around 90 people) and CoinJar has cut around 20% of its staff.

Winner winner chicken dinner. 

Women and purpose-led businesses took out the most wins at Pause Awards ‘22. Two standouts, winning three awards each were Great Wrap (compostable Stretch Wrap made from potatoes) and Verve (ethical super fund for women). In the Deloitte Tech Fast 50, Montu (medical cannabis telehealth and training) was announced as the overall winner, followed by FrankieOne (fraud and money laundering risk management) and me&u (restaurant table ordering platform).

New local funds

Melt Ventures launched Australia’s first dedicated Advanced Manufacturing Venture Fund (e.g. clean technologies, automation and robotics, agriculture, transport and space), targeting a $20m raise by the end of March 2023.

Accelerator, Startmate is aiming to raise $30m by early 2023, including for a new Continuity Fund that will let Startmate continue backing its successful alumni as they mature.

Community Capital launched a new credit fund that will donate a portion of its management fees to charities. The fund aims to give multi-year grants of between $100,000 and $500,000 a year to 10 and 15 early-stage social purpose organisations.

In the US of A

Grow big or go home. US VC a16z launched a Guide to Growth Metrics benchmark tool for VC-backed B2B companies.

Everyone is leaving Salesforce. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is leaving in early January. This comes less than a week after it was announced that Salesforce’s vice-chair and co-CEO Bret Taylor will be stepping down and Tableau CEO Mark Nelson is also moving on (Butterfield says the departures aren’t related).

Open iPhone. After ferociously fighting to keep iOS as a closed ecosystem, Apple is preparing to allow alternative app stores and side-loading on iOS in response to looming EU requirements. It is also exploring opening up its camera and NFC stack to developers.

Terrible UX. Hertz will pay $168m to settle 364 claims related to the company falsely reporting rental cars as stolen. Thanks to a few bugs in Hertz’s back-end systems, its innocent customers were stopped at gun point, arrested and even imprisoned.

Jail, cont’d. Theranos Exec Sunny Balwani was sentenced to 13 years in prison for defrauding patients and investors – that’s 2 more years than CEO Elizabeth Holmes.

Chinwag. Over 2 million people have signed up to use OpenAI’s conversational text-generation model, ChatGPT. Massive hype and an equal amount of criticism:

“It often looks like an undergraduate confidently answering a question for which it didn’t attend any lectures. It looks like a confident bullsh*tter.” – Benedict Evans

Here’s VC Turner Novak giving ChatGPT a whirl:

This wrap was not written by ChatGPT (yet). 

That’s a wrap! Thanks for joining us this year. See you in 2023.

Bex, Gavin and the team at Ignition Lane

Gavin and Bex make it their business to know everything going on in technology, startups and venture capital.

Gavin is the Founder and CEO of Ignition Lane. He has 25 years of experience in the technology industry across startups, corporates and venture capital. Gavin was a founding Partner at venture capital firm Square Peg, an SVP of Product and Technology at Experian, and was one of the first employees and CTO at Hitwise – a venture-backed startup that was acquired for US$240m in 2007.

Bex is a founding Partner at Ignition Lane. Driven by curiosity, her career is the epitome of unconventional – spanning technology commercialisation and operations, corporate law, IT delivery and more. Applying this unique mix of skills and experience, she now works with CEOs and their teams to solve problems, drive growth and move beyond the status quo.

Congrats to all winners at Pause Awards '22!
Pause Awards - Standard Trophy
2022 Hall of Fame winner – Prof. Fiona Wood
Pause Awards '23 entries open on 17 May
Pause Awards Trophy

Big shout to all Pause Awards '22 winners!


Category tracks

Creating a safe and open space in which everyone thrives and the collaboration flows through all levels and titles with the power of the one team. The entries should demonstrate how the transformation has been achieved across core business functions, that have delivered a positive impact and growth for business, staff, stakeholders and customers. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Celebrating commercial effectiveness through success in the marketplace by leaving a dent in the universe, no matter what the size of the company. The entries should demonstrate the highest levels of expertise, leadership and vision in the application of their business strategies. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Standing up for your purpose and going beyond together as a team aligned on the single mission to positively impact the environment, people and community. The entries should demonstrate ideas intended to change the world; work which sets out to positively impact ingrained gender inequality, social imbalance or injustice. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Only awarded to a single entry in each category track, Grand Prix is the highest accolade in Pause Awards. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in class.

​​Focusing on the productivity and elegance of execution to deliver impactful ideas to a market (or many) with the power to cut through the noise. Entries should demonstrate how the innovation and optimisation of the customer journey led to scaled consumer engagement and commercial success. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Elevating every voice in the ecosystem is not just important for its collective success, industry development but also for the future growth. The entries should demonstrate ingenuity which leads to the creation of new products and services, through leadership, by elevating the internal culture and communities they serve. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.


  • Diverse Co.

    For nurturing an inclusive environment. This award recognises a workplace that has successfully and intentionally encouraged innovation among diverse employees.

  • Large team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with over 1000+ employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.

  • Medium team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with 21-999 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.

  • Small team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with less than 20 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation

  • Work sweet work

    For a great workplace culture. This award recognises a company that has managed to improve or attain outstanding levels of employee engagement, retention and satisfaction.

  • Company of the Year

    For the best company. This award recognises a company leadership, success, ambition to excel against all odds with the solid future development plans.

  • Defiant ones

    For new tech breakthroughs. This award recognises a company that defines the future of the industry they play in.

  • Hall of fame

    For a lifetime achievement. This award recognises a game-changer who paved the way by breaking new grounds and inventing new categories.

  • Hammer

    For nailing it. This award recognises a company's success – on their own terms – in the market.

  • I wish I'd done that

    For sheer brilliance. This award recognises a company's simple and clever idea in a niche market.

  • Indi

    For new and First Peoples. This award recognises a successful company with its founders from indigenous or ethnic heritage that gained success in the market.

  • On the rise

    For early stage mavericks. This award recognises an early stage startup that has done well in its first three years.

  • Prodigy

    For being exceptional. This award recognises a young person with exceptional qualities or abilities.

  • Women in business

    For breaking the mould. This award recognises a successful female leader and entrepreneur who is paving the way forward for the future generations.

  • B-Good

    For a good business. This award recognises a company that has done well to change our economic system to positively impact all stakeholders through their commercial practice.

  • Circular Pioneer

    For making a difference. This award category recognises a company that is pioneering their circular efforts.

  • Going green

    For delivering impact at scale. This award recognises a company that is actively leading and delivering impact and scale through sustainable efforts in clean energy, climate change, healthy environment, social and economic justice etc.

  • You've got ethics

    For the leadership in environmental social governance. This award category recognises a company that is promoting accountability, good governance, leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility and solving societal problems.

  • Design first

    For design lead products. This award recognises a company that is using design to drive product innovation with the entire company onboard.

  • Inception

    For visionary thinkers. This award recognises a person that came up with the transformative idea that can change the world for better.

  • Out of the garage

    For scaling globally. This award recognises a company's global growth, expansion, and success.

  • Unexpected twist

    For a great pivot. This award recognises a company that has taken an unexpected pivot in their business or career.

  • Wildfire

    For conquering a marketplace. This award recognises a company that has made a significant impact on the marketplace in the shortest amount of time.

  • Backbone

    For backing the future idea. This award recognises a VC firm with a portfolio of companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the AU economy.

  • Brave Angel

    For early stage support. This award recognises an angel investor that has garnered a portfolio of companies and has a good track record of helping founders succeed.

  • C-Suite

    For the best leadership. This award recognises the highest-ranking executive that has impeccable leadership, management and interpersonal skills.

  • Do you know who I am

    For the silent achiever. This award recognises a person that has been responsible for the success of their company from the backstage.

  • Future builder

    For grit to start a new venture. This award recognises a founder at any level and life stage who has decided to start jumping the hoops of their own business.

  • Hottest hub

    For the best community. This award recognises a co-working space that provides boutique experience, world class facilities with community management.

  • Launch pad

    For activating the support systems. This award recognises an accelerator that has a good reputation in providing the best startup program with industry connections.

  • Super connector

    For being the community champ. This award recognises a person for a significant contribution to the success of their clients or the community.

Pause Awards '23 is launching on 17 May
00d : 00h : 00m : 00s
Get notified