2021 was a year like no other. Year two of the coronavirus pandemic was filled with vaccines and variants.
After a slow start, Australia came from behind in its vaccine roll-out and surged past countries such as the US and UK. However, just as optimism starting to return new coronavirus variants ripped through the Australian population.
Year two of the pandemic brought serious challenges for everyone, including founders of SME businesses, but it also brought reunions with loved ones and a new sense of community.
2021 was a big year for me personally as well as professionally.
On the personal front
Whilst many people have struggled with the never-ending working from home, back-to-back Zoom meetings and lack of face-to-face social interactions. I feel blessed that I have been able to spend quality time with my growing family.
2021 saw the birth of my second son, Nathaniel. My wife and I now have two under two years of age, which certainly keeps us busy and always entertained. I feel exceptionally privileged to have been able to spend quality time with them almost everyday during this period.
On the Pemba front
2021 was a surprisingly good year at Pemba. That the achievements throughout the year came with few setbacks in spite of the many challenges of COVID are a reflection, not just of the commitment of our team, but of the talented people that we partner and work with: the founders and management teams that work so hard to achieve strong growth, and the advisors who help us deliver the exits, new platforms and bolt on partnerships.
Some highlights from the year include:
- New additions to the Pemba team
- A number of internal promotions
- Helping our founders and management teams “summit” (i.e. achieve great exits) for Ampion, Open Office and Mcgirr Technologies
- The new platform investments of RxMx, Arteva and Vets Central
- Bolt on acquisitions to help accelerate the growth of partner companies: ONCALL, Readytech, Bepoz and Vets Central
- A number of high quality hires into the management teams of our partner companies to strengthen the talent base and help drive the accelerated growth initiatives
- Raising our new fund
- An amazing team strategy offsite to Queensland
- Moving to new offices at Gateway.
As I look back, I am extremely grateful for the year that has been and give thanks to all who have gone above and beyond in 2021. I also look forward to better times for everyone around the world.
Pemba starts 2022 with access to fresh capital to assist ambitious founders across our defensive growth sectors, and a strong pipeline of Technology, Healthcare, Business Services, Financial Services and Education & Training partnership opportunities.