Goanna Capital’s Rob Hilmer on Growth Stage Investing and His Unique Approach to Secondaries

Host Samir Vig and Goanna Capital’s Rob Hilmer Discuss Growth Stage Investing, Methodology and A New Solution Goanna Capital Provides for Companies and Investors.

In this episode of The BARE Ventures Podcast, Samir Vig welcomes Rob Hilmer, Founder and General Partner at Goanna Capital. Rob and Samir discuss how Goanna utilizes secondaries and gets access to great primary fundraising rounds as a key differentiator to its success.

Goanna Capital: The Mission and Background  

Goanna Capital is an investment firm focused on private companies in the global internet, software, consumer, and financial technology industries. Founded by Robert Hilmer, an Australian-born fund manager now based in the US, it would go on to raise its first fund in 2020. 

Prior to founding Goanna Capital, Hilmer was a part of well-respected, leading companies, with one being Coatue Management – A $40 Billion US technology focused hedge fund. Before joining Coatue, Hilmer was on the founding team of Forge Global, a multi-billion valued US technology company where he led global business development.

Now, Hilmer’s focus is on Goanna Capital and the distinct strategies the firm has to offer. 

“One aspect of our model that’s particularly unique in the ecosystem is our focus on not just primary or secondary, but combining best of both worlds,” says Hilmer.

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Key Differentiators, Methods & Process

Vig applauds Hilmer for his solutions to cover gaps in the current processes, and for bringing Goanna Capital to existence. The first key differentiator is the focus on a combination of both primary rounds and secondary markets. 

“The second big difference is the co-investment program,” Hilmer explains. “It gives investors more discretion of their capital across different companies, sectors, etc.”

Goanna Capital’s Solutions 

Hilmer points out a key problem that influenced him to start Goanna Capital to begin with. At some point, large, mature companies will have stock-holding investors and employees seeking liquidity. From then, they’ll go out into the open market, brokers, or whomever they can find to do deals with, leaving companies with no regulation. Hilmer advises these companies to “get ahead” and Goanna Capital provides a simple solution. 

“You don’t know who is selling, when, how much, at what price, and who to,” he says. “Let’s get ahead of that, and just allow me (Goanna Capital) to go out and buy the stock.”

After agreed upon transaction documents, price, timeline, process, etc., the firm essentially cleans up the market of transactions for the companies. 

Primary Rounds vs. Secondary Market

According to Hilmer’s comments on the two, primary rounds are the “simple story” that we read about in the press, and secondaries are “not a well understood market” in general. Elaborating on its definition in simple terms, secondary is where an individual buys shares from existing stockholders.

Overall Vision

It is safe to say that Goanna Capital serves as a “one stop shop” for clients, which will only broaden from here. Vig wraps up the episode by inviting Hilmer to share his vision for the firm.

 “Longer term, Goanna will be a multi-strategy investment management firm focused on private markets taking advantage of persistent inefficiencies, driven by fragmented, opaque market structures,” says Hilmer. 

 One can agree that Hilmer indeed bridges the gaps within the process, and as he stated in the episode, the key goal was to solve a problem both companies and investors come across. With the methods, process, and extensive experience, Goanna Capital is doing just that. 


Bringing together founder, operator and investor experience, BARE Ventures as a firm strives for a well-balanced approach to fund management. With an institutional investment background, BARE Ventures focuses on proven traditional methodologies combined with emerging learnings in the ever-changing venture capital landscape.

Learn more at https://www.barevc.com/.