Victoria’s startup ecosystem is thriving despite national declines

Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

Victoria’s startup ecosystem is demonstrating significant momentum, despite the state’s lower density of startups and scaleups compared to other cities.

Since 2010, the number of firms operating in Victoria has been growing at a rate of 23% annum, outpacing the average among comparably sized ecosystems.

The annual 2018 Victorian Ecosystem Mapping Report by LaunchVic has revealed there are currently 2,770 startups and scale-ups operating in the state, but suggest that number is even higher in reality.


“Based on the rate Victoria’s ecosystem is growing, we estimate there could be as many as 2,900 to 3,200 firms,” it says.

This is a different tune to that of the national outlook for startups.

According to the annual Startup Muster report, released on Sunday, 12.5% fewer startups were active in 2018 than in 2017 — meaning the number of early-stage startups in Australia has fallen for the first time in five years.

The report suggests the maturity of the ecosystem is to thank for its continued success.

“Victoria’s firms are distributed across a range of stages of development,” it says.

“Victoria has a significant number of early stage startups with future growth potential, as well as a large body of pre and post-exit scale-ups that are tackling large international markets.”

Key sectors driving Victoria’s rapid growth as a startup ecosystem include Education, Professional Services and Social Enterprise. Health has the largest representation at 13%.

It’s also home to six unicorns with a combined market capitalisation of over $32 billion and has a track record of big exits.


In the last year alone, three acquisitions were completed valued at over $100m each – including the $1.6 billion sale of Aconex to Oracle. These acquisitions build on a growing number of recent $100m+ exits including Kogan, RedBubble, TouchCorp and Spinifex Pharma.

Read the report in full here >>

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