The Australian economy is transitioning — as the mining investment boom comes to the end, the dollar weakens and technology brings down ever more barriers.
There are thousands of small businesses across the country, tackling innumerable industries, contributing significantly to future growth and employing a plurality of Australians.
This isn’t a definitive list of Australian startups, but for various reasons they are all ones to watch.
Spacer is a peer-to-peer marketplace for space -- allowing people to rent out extra space in their homes or yards. Launched in October last year by former Deals Direct CEO Michael Rosenbaum, Spacer has now struck a deal with similar companies in Europe, sharing expertise and allowing it to focus on expanding into Asia. The company expects to have 1,500 active listings by June.
Institchu founders James Wakefield and Robin McGown left their corporate jobs to launch Institchu, an online store for tailored suits. The company now has showrooms in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and are planning to enter the US next.
Logistics startup Shippit offers services to both sides of online transactions -- merchants can offer more flexibility and options for deliveries, consumers have more information about when and how their packages arrive. On top of thrilling at last year's SydStart, Shippit has recently partnered with big names like Australia Post, TNT, Mail Call Courier, as well as 300 merchants.
Australian mattress startup had an amazing start to the year -- announcing Australian cricket captain Steve Smith as an investor, and recording $1 million in sales in just 80 days. The company is now in the midst of a $5 million capital raising, as it looks to expand into China, America and Europe.
Just a few years after launching her e-commerce startup from her home, Stylerunner CEO Julie Stevanja is already gracing lists of top business leaders, and was named the Young Retail Entrepreneur of the Year at the World Retail Awards this year. The company was founded by Stevanja and her twin sister Sali Stevanja, and has grown steadily thanks to company culture and an emphasis on data.
Design crowdsourcing platform DesignCrowd saw $30 million in projects pass through its system in 2015, up from $20 million in the previous year. Since launching in 2008, the company has raised more than $12 million, using the money to expand its team, offerings and functionality -- like translation services. 50% of revenue now comes from the United States.
Legal services platform LawPath raised $1.3million last year, as it expands its offering of customisable legal forms and other legal services. The company claims to have grown revenue by 800% and users by 400% year-on-year.
Customisable shoe startup Shoes of Prey raised more than $20 million last year, as it grows its presence in the US, brings on more partners and moves into new verticals. The company is riding a wave of customisable fashion, which is increasingly drawing the attention of big business.
Starting as a joint venture between two Sydney developers, Proxima is a front runner in an incredibly lucrative market -- geolocation. Geolocation allows users to get location-based services, content or advertising. The potential of geolocation is immense - from finding local deals to treasure hunts, but it's also incredibly valuable to advertisers.
Husband and wife team Andrew and Charlotte Petris raised $500,000 late last year for Timelio, a peer-to-peer marketplace for invoice financing. A booming avenue for finance, the service allows companies to sell their accounts receivable - the money they are owed, in order to unlock cash to expand quickly. The platform had already seen $3.5 million in sales cross their platform by their first capital raising.
Invoice2go, a startup that allows users to create and send invoices from their mobiles, raised $15 million last year, bringing its total capital raised to $50 million. The company was founded in 2002, long before the smartphone era, but launched an app in 2010 and has slowly added more functions and integrations ever since.
WME, a digital marketing startup, this week announced it was creating 70 new jobs and opening a new Melbourne office. Founded in 2008, the company employs 400 people across seven countries and operates across numerous digital categories -- SEO, website design and social media.
Unlockd recently raised another $15 million, as it aims to take on the big telcos. The company offers consumers discounted phone plans in exchange for looking at ads. Its partnership with Lebara Mobile gives consumers an extra 2GB of data a month for looking at ads. The company launched in the US in January, and has its eyes set on Asia and Europe.
Taxi payments startup Ingogo is looking to take on Uber with an interesting service -- fixed-fares. Including tolls, distance and traffic conditions. Launching the app and entering your destination will give you the price of the trip, and regardless of how long it actually takes, the company says there won't be extra fees.
Founded by cousins Ross Fastuca and David Fastuca, Locomote is a travel and expenses platform aiming to simplify the booking and approval process for business travellers.
The company gained tranction in 2015, signing big customers like ANZ, Medibank, Allen & Overy and World Vision. It also announced a partnership with Regus, a major international workspace company.
Divvy is an online parking platform looking to upset commercial parking operators -- allowing companies and individuals to let out their under-utilised parking spaces. The company claims to offer commuters access to short and long term parking for up to 50% less than traditional car parks.
It closed a $2.5 million funding round last year, and has started to partner with big developers like DEXUS, GPT Group and Knight Frank.
eWay is part of the old guard of Australian startups, founded in 1998 with he aim of simplifying online payments. Increasingly coming under the fire of global behemoths like Square -- which launched in Australia this year, the company has had to constantly innovate and expand.
eWay was one of the first payment providers to offer Apple Pay in Australia, and processed almost $6 billion in payments last year. eWay now processes 1 in 4 of all payments made by Australians online.
As more of our lives are lived online, we are producing more and more data. Valuable data. It's this data that local social media monitoring startup LocalMeasure looks to capitalise on, analysing and collecting customer feedback and sentiment for major clients like Virgin, Qantas and Dubai Tourism.
The company was recently named by Instagram as one of its first Australian partners, and is poised to capitalise on the huge growth in demand for customer intelligence.
Online tradie marketplace Hipages recently got a big backer -- News Corp Australia spent $40 million on a 25% stake in the company.
The company claims over 80,000 new jobs were being posted every month by the end of 2015, leading to consumers being connected to a tradie every 37 seconds. The goal for this year is to keep building brand awareness.
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