Dr Michelle Deaker
Founding Partner & Managing Director
| BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD | Location: Sydney, AU
Dr Michelle Deaker is a Founding Partner & Managing Director of OneVentures and has been primarily responsible for the foundation of OneVentures firm and capital raisings of OneVentures Funds. The firm now has over $700M in funds under management. Michelle serves on the investment committee of OneVentures three main Funds, leads the technology practice within the firm and is responsible for investor relations managing the supervisory boards of OneVentures funds.
Michelle has over 20 years experience in the development of high growth technology companies in Australia and the US, has served on the boards of large and small listed and unlisted companies and has a strong background in Australian R&D and expertise in global business expansion. She has negotiated technology transfer contracts with research institutions; established financing syndicates with Australian, Asian and US investors; chaired the boards of several high growth companies; supported early breakthrough commercial contracts; leveraged her extensive networks for the benefit of OneVentures companies; and negotiated both financing and exit transactions.
Michelle established OneVentures in late 2006, coming into the venture capital industry as a successful IT industry business owner, entrepreneur and subsequently angel investor. The Company she founded in 1999, E Com Industries (www.giftvouchers.com), became the leading prepaid card and electronic voucher provider in Australia, servicing over 100 major retail brands including Coles Myer and Woolworths, managing $700M in Australian retail liability and eventually expanding operations into the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand. E Com was acquired by UK publicly listed company, Retail Decisions, in 2005, in a transaction returning to investors 4.6x capital and an average IRR of 70%. Notably, E Com industries was one of only a handful of Australian companies that successfully migrated the dotcom boom and crash through to a successful outcome for investors. Prior to E Com Industries, Michelle established IT enterprise business, Networks Beyond 2000.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours 1st class), Master of Science and a PhD (Applied Science). She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chief Executive Women (CEW).
Portfolio Board Roles
In the news
Michelle’s previous board appointments include NICTA (now CSIRO’s Data61) and Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) along with OneVentures portfolio companies Smart Sparrow (Chair, acquired by Pearson), Hatchtech (Alt, Asset sale Dr Reddys (Nasdaq: DRL)), Vaxxas (Obs) and My Mobile Data / Sourse.AI.
Notable portfolio exits include part-sale of Employment Hero at 10x money. She has also served in advisory board roles with NSW Government’s Taskforce for the Digital Economy, Heads over Heels (supporting women entrepreneurs) and Australian Investment Council Venture Capital Working Group. She regularly provides lectures and working groups to finance and MBA students on venture capital including for the AIC, mentors new VC fund managers with a focus on female-led organisations and is a founding member of WinVC (Women-in-VC).
Dr Paul Kelly
Founding Partner & Director
| MBBS(Hons), MD, FRACP | Location: Sydney, AU
Dr Paul Kelly is Founding Partner & Director at OneVentures. Starting with his background as an Australian Physician, Paul has a long history of biotechnology entrepreneurship and healthcare investing, from developing innovation to commercialising at scale and realising substantial returns for investors.
Having returned to Australia in 2010 (after 15 years in the UK and US), he is dedicated to improving healthcare and treatment options for populations across the world. He lives and invests guided by his vision for a better future: through innovation, collaboration, and patient determination.
Paul is an avid reader and can regularly be found immersed in medical journals as well as fiction and non-fiction literature, which he believes “provides perspectives and insights that you would never get from management or business books”.
When he’s not mentoring and encouraging medical professionals to be entrepreneurial, he also looks after the health of our native environment: being highly active in bush regeneration and preservation.
Paul serves on the investment committees of OneVentures’ four main Funds, chairing the Fund III Investment Committee, and leading the healthcare and biotechnology practice across the firm.
Paul is a highly experienced executive and has multiple board responsibilities as either Chair or as a Non-Executive Director within numerous OneVentures portfolio companies. Independently of OneVentures, he is also a Non-Executive Director Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Paul has over 30 years’ experience in developing and commercialising biomedical innovations in the United States, Europe, United Kingdom and Australia. While in the UK and US he led early-stage and mid-stage companies, public and private, delivering strong returns for shareholders and investors as a founder and CEO.
Notably, Paul served as Co-Founder and CEO of Gemini Genomics (Nasdaq:GMNI), one of the world’s first clinical genomics companies, commercialising novel gene-based diagnostic and therapeutic targets. At Gemini, Paul led the company in one of the UK’s largest biotechnology IPOs of the time, completed strategic corporate acquisitions in Sweden and Canada, and negotiated collaborations with some of the world’s leading research institutions and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In 2001, Paul led the company’s successful merger with Sequenom (Nasdaq:SQNM), valuing Gemini at over US$250M.
Paul’s other notable achievements include co-founding Agamatrix, now a leading bio-sensing medical device company with operations across the US and South East Asia, and Atomera (Nasdaq ATMR). He then served as President and CEO of Orchid Cellmark (Nasdaq:ORCH) – during his tenure revenues grew by over 50% in 2 years to $60M per annum, and increased the company valuation 10 fold.
While in the US Paul also served as President and CEO of Medcenter Solutions, a US based online medical education and pharmaceutical marketing company.
Before becoming a biotechnology executive, Paul had a distinguished career as a researcher and physician specialising in endocrinology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia. While serving as a researcher at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, and in his postdoctoral work, Paul authored over 100 scientific publications, largely in genetic epidemiology of common metabolic disorders, which have been published in leading journals such as Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, British Medical Journal and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Paul has also served on a number of national governmental advisory bodies, as well as on the boards of public and private companies. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Medicine, Law and Ethics from 2005 to 2008. He also serves on the UNSW Medicine Dean’s Advisory Group and serves on the Board of Directors of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
Portfolio Board Roles
In the news
07 October 2021
Blade Therapeutics Announces Publication of Preclinical Evidence Supporting Neuroprotective Effects of Proprietary Calpain Inhibitor in a Rare Inherited Neurodegenerative Disease
02 June 2021
Preclinical studies from Vaxxas and Collaborators Reveal Potential of Vaxxas’ Novel High-Density Microarray Patch (HD-MAP) to Effectively Deliver SARS-CoV-2 Spike Vaccine
| BSc(Hons), AMCT | Location: Sydney, AU
Nick Gainsley is a Partner at OneVentures and leads the Growth Credit practice of the firm. Nick is committed to ensuring that companies in Australia can access alternative forms of capital by bringing his extensive global experience with debt and financing to the local market.
As one of the leading pioneers of Growth Credit in Australia, Nick is in high demand as a keynote speaker and conference panellist. He regularly appears in the media as an expert on Growth Credit and alternative debt financing. For media and speaking enquiries, please contact us.
Nick is a keen skier and loves to travel the world – with his young family in tow. Being a Brit he used to long haul and is looking forward to the direct Sydney-London flight in the coming years. He loves to ski steep off-piste terrain however he’s been forced to recalibrate to “family friendly” black runs.
Nick brings over 15 years of debt experience both in direct lending and advisory, in Europe and Australia. He has nearly 10 years of Growth Credit experience having led investments to over 100 high growth technology companies across 11 countries.
At OneVentures, he serves on the Investment Committee of the 1V Venture Credit Fund IV and the OneVentures Growth Fund V.
Prior to joining OneVentures in May 2019, Nick was based in the UK and was a Principal at Kreos Capital (now part of Blackrock), Europe’s largest growth debt fund. His experience there covered deal origination, execution and portfolio management for a significant number of transactions across European markets. He has wider sector experience across technology sub-sectors including FinTech, software, cyber security, hardware, e-commerce/DTC, AdTech and life science, investing in both private and public companies.
Prior to this Nick was a Manager at KPMG in London within its Debt Advisory team, where he was involved in managing and advising on a range of debt transactions from mid-market to large cap. Transaction experience covered leveraged finance, corporate refinancing, capital market issuance and strategic financing advice.
Nick is currently a mentor at Stone & Chalk and the AIC women mentorship programme.
Portfolio Board Roles
In the news
19 September 2022
Venture Credit in Australia — Our first report alongside the Tech Council of Australia
18 November 2021
E-bike subscription service Zoomo raises $60M Series B to disrupt last-mile delivery
| BAgrSc(Hons), M.P.S, GAICD | Location: Brisbane, AU
Sarah is responsible for sourcing life sciences companies and actively shaping their future. She applies her global executional experience and entrepreneurial passion to nurture their success. Her enterprise level leadership experience has been forged over 20 years in a wide spectrum of organisations, including start-up, private companies, ASX and NASDAQ-listed companies, a multi-national pharmaceutical company and university research organisations.
Prior to OneVentures, she was the Asian Business Development lead for Shire Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda), a global specialty pharmaceutical company. Sarah identified technologies and developed collaborations across Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan including playing a key role in sourcing the $300M Fibrotech deal announced in 2015.
Sarah has held senior management roles at Progen Pharmaceuticals, The University of Queensland’s QAAFI institute, Beef CRC and Pyxis Genomics. From 2011-2017 she led the development of the new UQ QAAFI research institute from 32 people to 450 people and a financially profitable position within 5 years. This included leading the negotiation of a complex $70+M staff transfer and research agreement for QAAFI between the University of Queensland and the Queensland Government. In 2012, Sarah spearheaded the IP asset assignment and company wind-up of 20 year $168M Beef Co-operative Research Centre, involving five universities across five state jurisdictions, MLA, CSIRO and Meat and Lamb NZ and pastoral companies. At Progen Pharmaceuticals, Sarah worked collaboratively with the CEO and CFO over several years to secure a total financing of ~$125M via five capital raisings for oncology drug development, and in 2008 led the $22M acquisition of an oncology drug discovery company.
Sarah has a strong understanding of the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare industries including key inflexion points, intellectual property, regulatory and reimbursement strategies, business development options and strategic product management. She combines this with the ability to understand scientific information quickly and build credibility with technical experts and industry players. She is passionate about commercialising new technologies, and has the strategic vision and positive energy to deliver under tight timeframes in a team environment.
Sarah is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and currently holds directorships with Kira Biotech, QAAFI Advisory Board and Life Sciences Queensland. She holds Bachelor level science qualifications from the University of Queensland and a Masters from Cornell University and has completed a postgraduate course at Harvard Business School focusing on negotiation and decision making.
| BEc (Hons), MBA | Location: Sydney, AU
Nigel Dews is an Operating Partner at OneVentures and leads the Technology team within the firm. Nigel is a digital revolutionary, having been an Executive Leader in the digital media, technology and telecommunications industries for 20+ years.
Nigel is renowned for his experience as both a strategic consultant and a proven entrepreneur. He has experience as a start-up CEO as well as a strong history within large multinationals: providing critical leadership to pivot into the digital landscape.
Nigel was born in NZ, grew up in Australia and has also lived across both the US and Europe. Wherever he is in the world though, he loves the outdoors – with a bias towards Central Otago. Whether he’s hiking, running or catching a wave with his family, Nigel rarely stops moving when he’s out of the office.
Nigel joined OneVentures to predominantly to work with our digital and technology-based portfolio businesses. He currently serves on the Investment Committee of the OneVentures Growth Fund V, advises the Fund IV team and works extensively with our portfolio companies.
Nigel is a highly experienced executive, consultant and has board responsibilities as a Director with OneVentures portfolio companies Lumary, Kepler Analytics, Flippa and SourseAI.
Nigel has been a leader in the digital media, technology and telecommunications industries as CEO of Vodafone Hutchison Australia, 3 Mobile, and the first Chief Executive of the Fairfax Media digital business. More recently, Nigel was CEO of Melbourne-based technology scale-up, Message Media, leading the strategy development and execution to rapidly grow via organic sales acceleration, acquisitions, new products and geographic expansion, attracting private equity and leading to an eventual trade sale.
Nigel initially worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia, spent five years in strategy consulting with McKinsey & Company before moving into leadership positions in the emerging category of digital media.
He built and led the start-up of Fairfax Digital for its first seven years, taking it through to break-even. He led the building of a diverse portfolio of organically grown, joint ventured and acquired digital businesses.
Nigel has held notable leadership roles including CEO of Hutchison Telecoms Australia (HTA) and 3 Mobile, leading the merger and integration of 3 with Vodafone, remaining as CEO of the merged entity for its first 3 years.
After starting-up European border mobile network enabler Hue in the UK, Nigel returned to Sydney and joined strategy consultants Port Jackson Partners as a Director and shareholder leading strategy projects across a range of industries in Australia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. This included work with CEOs of fast growing digital businesses, digital and technology strategies, media, infrastructure, agriculture and international growth initiatives.
Nigel joined Message Media in 2017 to scale-up and transform the business from a single region, single product, single shareholder business via a substantial investment in technology, people, new processes and platforms, and acquisitions, culminating in a significant private equity investment and founder exit. He is also a founding partner of GNG Partners, a boutique growth strategy consulting firm.