Here Are 11 Australian Start-Ups That Had A Cracking 2013

Last year saw some great local startups thrive in Australian marketplace, with many entrepreneurs reaping the rewards of developing a successful business.’s billion-dollar ASX listing was the sector’s headline of the year, but there were plenty of other businesses that met impressive capital raising and growth targets.

Here are some of the flourishing startups that Business Insider has been in contact with and what they achieved in 2013:


Bigcommerce this year raised $US40 million in a Series C funding round, led by Revolution Growth.

This brings the company's total funding to date to $US75 million -- one of the biggest US venture capital investments in an Australian start-up for some time.

Bigcommerce, an e-commerce platform, has already helped over 40,000 companies create online stores, market their businesses and build brands. For just $25 a month, Bigcommerce can build, manage, and grow e-commerce websites enabling users to have their first sale within 48 hours.


DesignCrowd, an online marketplace that specialises in helping businesses get graphic designs from a community of over 150,000 designers worldwide, this year increased its total funding to $6.3 million.

The start-up raised $300,000 in 2009 in seed funding from angel investors, another $3 million from Starfish Ventures in 2011, and a further $3 million from Starfish Ventures in 2013.

DesignCrowd supports the best designers in the world - regardless of their location, their resume or their education, helping them participate in thousands of design contests launched on the company's platform each year.


Pocketbook is a online resource to help people manage their personal spending with ease.
The service aggregates your bank accounts, credit cards, loans and bills. It provides a single view of your spending and automatically syncs all of your bank transactions into a single easy-to-read page.

Pocketbook is available on the web, iOS and Android, with CNET calling it 'the best app of its kind (they) have ever seen'.

Founded by Alvin Singh and Bosco Tan in 2012, Pocketbook last year raised $500,000 from investors including Tank Stream Ventures, David Koch, former chairman and chief executive of Investec Bank Geoff Levy, Dimension Data Australian founder David Shein and SydStart head Peter Cooper.

Pocketbook currently helps over 40,000 users track over $7 billion in transactions.


One of Australia’s largest online wine retailers and winner of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia 2013, Vinomofo have had a massive year.

After selling the business to The Catch Group in 2012, the founders bought back the company in June, with the help of a consortium of private investors, and have since have seen a business growth 30% month-on-month.

Vinomofo posted an impressive 1,723% revenue growth from 2011 to 2013. It also ranked 13th in Deloitte's Fast 500 Asia Pacific listing.


OneShift founder - Genevieve George

OneShift, an online recruitment matchmaking service and vying competitor of SEEK, this year received $5 million in funding from Programmed - a staffing and facility management company.

Since launching in June 2012, OneShift has attracted more than 20,000 Aussie businesses, and nearly 250,000 jobseekers. This year it also launched its new iOS app and has grown to over 35 staff.


InStitchu, founded by entrepreneurs Robin McGowan and James Wakefield in 2012, enables customers to design made-to-measure suits, shirts, and accessories using a simple online customisation and measuring tool.

In 2013, the online tailor secured venture capital funding from Disruptive Capital, the technology focussed arm of Aura Capital Group.

The minority stake valued the Sydney-based startup at $2.5 million. Shortly after the funding, it announced that it had acquired the online custom men’s dress shoes site Mantorii.


This year Tapestry, a social media platform connecting seniors and their families, saw its total funding increased to $1 million after it secured $400,000 in funding from Commercialisation Australia.

The business saw multiple changes including the launch of its iOS app and a new pricing scheme. A new update which includes an enterprise package was established and will enable aged care facilities to better manage communities of seniors using additional administration controls and communication capabilities.

Tapestry also selected from over 1000 applicants to join its Aging 2.0 GENerator founders program, which aims to help technology founders focussed on the 50+ demographic to accelerate innovation in aging.

Oneflare, founded by Marcus Lim and Adam Dong, is a marketplace that helps connect individuals with local service businesses that best suit their needs.

This year Oneflare secured $500,000 seed funding from local investors, Les Szekely from Grand Prix Capital, Garry Visontay, Principal Sydney Seed Fund and Dr. Jeffrey Tobias, Director The Strategy Group.

The funds was raised after the business experienced a 1,300% increase in total traffic in the last 12 months, seeing it list in the top 2000 visited website in Australia.

2013 saw over 38,000 businesses registered on Oneflare in over 250 service categories and had $25 millions in jobs requested.


Nimble was launched in November 2005 by Greg Ellis and Sean Teahan frustrated with the lack of consumer-friendly short-term borrowing options in Australia.

The business is an online loans service which offers quick loans of up to $1,200 in a matter of minutes. With a fast application process and the latest smart technology Nimble has already written 418,000 loans and rejects 4 out of 5 people that apply.

Last year it raised $9.8 million - $1.5 million in January and $8.3 million in August - and double growth.

Shoes Of Prey

Named Australian Online Retailer of Year in 2013, Shoes of Prey lets women design every kind of shoe imaginable from ballet flats, to stilettos and sandals, to ankle boots.

Started in 2009 by Michael Fox, Jodie Fox and Michael Knapp the business has already attracted big investors, including the co-founder of software company Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes, Silicon Valley investor and blogger Mike Arrington (he co-founded venture capital firm CrunchFund), and US start-up investor Bill Tai of Charles River Ventures.

After raising $3 million in funding from investors the company is now looking for an additional $20 million to employ more staff in its Sydney-based office as well as boost marketing efforts.

Beat the Q

Beat the Q is a venture-backed Australian tech startup allowing people to order and pay en-route to their cafe or take-away joint using an iPhone or Android app, saving precious time for both the customer and the business. Customers just key in what they want, then swing past and pick up their order - no cash and no queuing required.

In November 2013, Beat the Q processed its 500,000 coffee order and is being used in well-known cafes all over Australia including George Gregan (GG) Espresso, Circa Espresso, Campos Coffee, Tobys Estate, and Sonoma.

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