Here's why Australian tech startups need to list on the ASX if they want to thrive

Campaign Monitor founders Ben Richardson and David Greiner. Image: Supplied.

Australian tech startups listing on the ASX are making room for more growth than businesses that don’t according to research by StartupAUS.

In the lead up to StartupAUS’ annual Crossroads 2015 report, which charts Australia’s most valuable tech start-ups since the 1990s, three out the five “unicorns” – startups worth more than $1 billion – are listed on the ASX.

According to StartupAUS, top businesses reaping the rewards of an ASX-listing include Seek and REA Group, which have a market capitalisation of $6.3 billion, followed by Carsales on $2.5 billion.

Atlassian, which has market valuation of $3.5 billion, and Campaign Monitor, worth $1 billion after a $US250 million investment from US-based Insight Venture Partners,the largest ever VC investment in an Australian tech company, are the next most successful, but unlisted.

StartupAUS board member Bill Bartee says “success breeds success” when it comes to listing on the ASX, and fellow board member Stephen Baxter says that the ASX, which is the world’s eighth largest stock exchange, is “invaluable” for business looking to scale quickly.

“The ASX has a long tradition of supporting early-stage mining and resource ventures, and an increasing appetite for ‘high-risk’ ventures in other sectors such as technology. It also provides a mechanism for follow-on fund raising – invaluable for companies wanting to continue their rapid expansion,” Baxter said in a recent LinkedIn post.

Baxter says far too few Australian entrepreneurs understand the benefits of going public.

“A listing on the ASX not only gives a well-governed company access to future capital raisings but the added benefit of access to the announcement platform (a way to communicate your message in an otherwise noisy world of competing press releases), reassurance to customers and suppliers that you are governed well (can your competitors say that?) and the distinct brand recognition that comes with the ASX stock code.”

Here’s StartupAUS’s list of Australia’s most valuable tech startups.

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