2014 saw some great local startups thrive in the Australian marketplace, with many entrepreneurs reaping the rewards of developing a successful business.
While Campaign Monitor’s $US250 million funding from a group of US venture capital firms was the sector’s headline of the year, 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 the year of the horse.
Document productivity company Nitro, was founded in Melbourne in 2005.
Since then it has established a customer base of more than 490,000 people in nearly 200 countries, including 50% of the Fortune 500.
This year Nitro added 75 new Nitronauts to its global team, and launched new offices in Dublin and St. Petersburg.
It secured a $15 million funding round from US firm Battery Ventures, and has raised more than $21.6 million.
This female fashion online retailers launched in 2010 and has since grown to 12 employees.
According to The Australian Startup Awards 2014, which awarded Showpo the Startup Daily Startup of the Year award, the company's revenue grew by 288% last year to $10 million, and profit was up by 381% on its results from 2013.
Last year Showpo also celebrated their first million dollar month in May.
The business also grew its social media - Instagram and Facebook - following from 550,000 to 875,000.
Stackla is a social content marketing platform, allowing brands to discover and curate content from the social web.
Founded in 2012, Stackla last year established new offices in San Francisco and London, adding to its Sydney office.
Last year the company made $2 million in a capital raise round and grew its revenue by 300%.
Its staff numbers also grew from eight in December 2013 to 33 in December 2014 and it now has over 300 organisations as customers.
Since starting Lekker Bikes in 2009, 35-year-old Meindert Wolfraad has doubled the business' revenue year on year, hitting $2 million in 2014.
Last year the business extended its distribution from Australia and New Zealand, with a soft launch overseas through 40 premium Lekker dealers in countries such as Netherlands, UK, Belgium and Germany, USA, NZ and Singapore.
Lekker also increased its staff from two to five members and tripled its network of sales partners following the overseas launch.
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte also asked Meindert to present his journey as a Dutch Entrepreneur in Australia.
Since its launch in October 2012 Stylerunner, an activewear e-retailer based in Sydney, has had 600% growth year-on-year, with an expected turnover reportedly in excess of $2 million in 2014.
Last year the startup also grew 500% from the previous year and extended its shipping reach to more than 65 countries.
Stylerunner has also attracted the attention of some of the biggest names in the industry, last year becoming global activewear brand lululemon's first ever digital partner.
Stylerunner was a finalists in Australian Start Up Awards for Start Up of the Year and Entrepreneurs of the Year.
Design crowdsourcing website DesignCrowd last financial year experienced revenue growth of 87% in FY14 and now are aiming to grow revenues to over $20m in 2015.
Its designer community also grew 178% to 400,000 designers, and with it its payments to designers increased by 66 per cent to $22.5 million.
Last year the startup was named #22 in Deloitte’s TechFast50 in Australia and it opened offices in San Francisco and the Philippines.
A community marketplace for people and businesses to outsource tasks, find local services or hire flexible staff, Airtasker has attracted over 200,000 customers since it launched in 2011.
In 2014 the startup increased its monthly transaction (task/job) volume seven-fold to an annual run rate of more than $10 million.
It also created more than $7.85 million worth of jobs and has more than $928,000 worth of jobs available on its platform per month.
Last year the site achieved a service provider Net Promoter Score of over 92%.
Townsville based app developer SafetyCulture was founded in 2004 but it wasn’t until 2012, when its iAuditor app was released, that business started to boom.
In 2014 the startup secured a $2 million investment from Atlassian co-founder, Scott Farquhar, adding to the $4 million invested by Commercialisation Australia and Blackbird Ventures it gained in 2013.
iAuditor has since been used to conduct over 10 million safety inspections in 58 countries.
Last year the business opened a Sydney office and expanded its engineering team, appointing Anton Mazkovoi, Atlassian's former head of engineering, as VP of engineering.
In 2014, Oneflare, a digital marketplace connecting customers and service providers together for local services, raised a $1 million round of investment from Les Szekely of Equity Venture Partners, Garry Visontay of Sydney Seed Fund and Jeffrey Tobias of The Strategy Group.
The company's revenue also grew by 300% and its traffic increased by 260%.
It's usebase tripled to over 300,000, it grew its team to more than 30 staff members and it was ranked 19th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific awards.
Oneflare also acquired Renovate Forum — a home renovation advice forum, home to 40,000 members and receiving half a million visits each month.
OpenAgent is a free-to-use comparison service that gives people the opportunity to select the best real estate agent to sell their property, based on customer reviews and their track-record of securing sales.
In 2014 the company closed a $1 million funding round (their second funding round following an initial $400,000 investment in 2013) with prominent investors including Pete Flint, the co-founder of US online real estate behemoth Trulia.
Its revenue increased by 400% and its staff went from a team of six staff to more than twenty.
OpenAgent helped more than 3,500 vendors, an effort which has been valued at $1.8 billion worth of transactions.
Tiger Pistol is a social media marketing platform for SMEs, allowing them to leverage the power of Big Data and social networking sites to market their business.
Last year the startup raised $3.1 millon in capital led by Melbourne IT to fund its expansion to the US, where it has since setg up headquarters in LA, and its monthly recurring revenue growth grew by 500% year on year from Dec 13 to Dec 14.
Its headcount doubled in 2014 and set to triple in 2015, as the company plans to hire 40 more staff members in Los Angeles and a further 30 in Australia.
Tiger Pistol also announced a partnership with Facebook, becoming Facebook's first small business marketing partner.
Invoice2go, an invoicing app for small business owners, is a late stage start up secured a $US35 million in funding primarily from heavy weight venture capital firm Accel Partners, who has previously invested in enterprise software firm Atlassian and design service 99designs.
Last year the business, which is used by more than 100,000 companies globally opened a new office in Palo Alto and brought on former CEO-in-residence of Accel Partners and former CEO of eHarmony, Greg Waldorf as CEO of Invoice2go.
As of 2014 the startup accounts for more than US $10bn of invoicing volume annually.
The KX Group, a Victorian-based health and fitness business, last year generated over $2.9 million in revenue, and experienced a business growth of 117.5%.
Founded in 2010, the startup now has 14 employees, six company-owned studios and five franchised studios in Melbourne and one company owned studio in Sydney.
Last year it won the DMK Blue Service Business of the Year at The Australian Startup Awards, it was a finalist for Best Small Business in the 2014 My Business Awards and was in the Top 100 Coolest Companies 2014 as awarded by Anthill Online.
In 2014 Nimble, the fintech startup based on the Gold Coast, raised $10 million and appointed Sami Malia as its first CEO.
Last year the startup reached 700,000 short term loans, averaging at $500 to $600, and was named among the top 50 fintech innovators in the world.
It was also reported by the AFR that the company’s revenues in 2014 were believed to be about $30 million annually.
Wine discounter Vinomofo last year reached over 300,000 members and achieved a run rate of over $30 million.
The startup also saw over 100% growth in revenue and team and received some significant awards.
These include winner of the Deloitte Tech Fast 50, MYOB Online Business of the Year at the Australian Startup Awards, the Best Startup at the Startup Smart Awards and Best Website at the Wine Communicators of Australia Awards.
This software development startup, founded in 2009, specialises in custom mobile apps and last financial year it celebrated its fifth birthday by turning over just under $10 million.
As well as hitting 100 staff, this development company came 8th in Deloitte’s Fast 50 awards, 8th in BRW’s fast 100, 8th in Smart Company’s Smart 50 and won a contract with Google.
This pure-play Information Management Consultancy last year saw year on year growth of over 20% GP. Its service growth alone was 35% as of December.
InfoReady turnover $20 million in revenue for the 2014/2015 FY and its Managing Director Tristan Sternson was named a nominee in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, for the Southern Region.
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