Startup Fund announces first investment: TrademarkVision

Creative Enterprise Australia, the creative industries incubator owned by Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane has announced its first investment by the CEA Startup Fund. The fund has invested alongside other early stage investors in See-Out (now TrademarkVision), an online trademark search company that enables trademark and branding professionals to improve their searching and brand monitoring using a simple online image-based search tool.

See-Out Pty Ltd, a visual search technology company, led by Sandra Mau, has raised seed capital from Scale Angels, the female focused angel network as a co-investment with the CEA Startup Fund.

“See-Out Pty Ltd is a great fit for CEA’s Creative Enterprise Fund as the team are developing a search platform that will benefit trademark and design professionals around the world.” – Anna Rooke

A trademark-monitoring product using See-Out’s proprietary search engine technology is currently in development. The products target legal and brand professionals, design firms and national patent and trademark offices.

Anna Rooke, CEO of CEA said “The creative industries are worth more than $30bn to Australia’s GDP, yet still there is misconception that it’s a predominantly lifestyle sector. We are delighted to be able to make our first investment through our Creative Enterprise Fund in See-Out Pty Ltd who like us, are capitalising on a significant market opportunity. See-Out Pty Ltd is a great fit for CEA’s Creative Enterprise Fund as the team are developing a search platform that will benefit trademark and design professionals around the world, and are using the inherent scalability of the internet to deliver their service to a global market.”

Sandra Mau said “With the large number of logos and other brand images being generated daily, text search is not sufficient to secure a brand. This backing from our investors will enable See-Out to grow its Australian image search tech innovation into a global standard.” Proceeds of this round will be used to recruit development staff to enhance product features, and begin to build a marketing and sales team.

See-Out is a NICTA start-up company. Hugh Durrant-Whyte, CEO, NICTA, said “See-Out demonstrates NICTA’s commitment to ICT innovation, creating world-class research and providing a platform for commercial outcomes, building new technology companies, and contributing to national wealth.”

Scale Angel Lauren Melton led the deal, and has been appointed to the See-Out board. She said “Sandra Mau is an extraordinary combination of technologist and entrepreneur. She has a bright future and will inspire many young women to pursue careers in science and technology along the way. Scale investors are excited to facilitate and share that journey with her.”

Scale CEO, Laura McKenzie said “we believe that investing in female entrepreneurs is an untapped economic opportunity. We’re not the only ones. Earlier this month Goldman Sachs and the IFC announced a $600m fund which will invest in 100,000 female led businesses in emerging economies; and two of the most prominent US based female venture capitalists – Jen Fonsted and Theresa Gouw announced a female fund, initially investing $25m of their own money.”

Find out more about CEA’s Startup Fund.

Photo Credit: Erika Fish, QUT

From left to right: Colin Kinner, Investment Fund Manager, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia; Anna Rooke, CEO, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia; Lauren Melton, Scale Angel; Sandra Mau, Founder & CEO, See-Out Pty Ltd; James DeVries, Developer, See-Out Pty Ltd.

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