Top 20 Tech Companies and Startups in Australia
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In Australia, the tech sector contributes hugely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to emerge as the country’s third-highest contributor ahead of banking, mining, construction, healthcare, and retail.
To sector comprises smart entrepreneurs who used small business ideas to grow their businesses and contribute to the sector.
To drive home the point a little further, the tech industry has so far contributed $167 billion to the Australian economy between 2020 and 2021.
Back in 2016 and 2017, the figure was $41 – $53 billion but has since increased by 79% outpacing the average growth of many other industries by four times. (Source: Consultancy)
For Australia to take the 7th position in the ranking of startups in the world shows that it has an enabling environment for startups to thrive.
It’s true that the quality ranking calls for some improvement, but then, Australia ranked higher than China, Japan, and other notable startup-encouraging countries. (Source: Startup News)
Australia boasts a lot of successful startups, but today, we shall be focusing on the 20 Top Tech Companies and Startups in Australia that are leading the charts.
p.s: Before you jump into the list, you can also check the list of Famous IT and Tech Companies based out of Melbourne, Australia.
Name of Company: Canva
Founder(s): Cliff Obrecht, Melanie Perkins, and Cameron Adams
Year of Establishment: 2013
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $40 USD billion valuation
Sector: Graphics and Design Industry
Canva is not just one of the fastest-growing tech and design-collaboration tools in Australia but in the world.
Launched in 2013 and co-founded by Cliff Obrecht, Melanie Perkins and Cameron Adams.
Today, Canva is used in at least 190 countries. (Source: Bloomberg)
Ever since it declared a $458 million funding round in 2016, the company has not ceased to grow in valuation.
The company has achieved staggering growth while still operating in the private realm with the announcement of its latest funding that saw it catapult to a $US40 billion valuation. (Source: Financial Review)
Even on paper, Canva is valued more than popular locally-listed luminaries like Telstra, Woolworths, Transurban, Goodman Group, and even Afterpay (that was recently acquired). Its annual revenue stands at $700 million.
While many other tech companies in Australia are breaking out of their remote geography confines, Canva sets the pace with its growth rate.
“Canva has not only grown but has exceeded and still exceeding the expectations placed on it. It doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. We believe this company deserves all the accolades it receives”
Founder(s): David Hornery, Chris Bayliss, Joseph Healy, Alex Twigg, Tim Alexander, and Kate Keenan
Year of Establishment: 2016
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $1.8 billion
Judo Bank is one bank in Australia that is revolutionizing the way normal banking is done for small and medium business enterprises.
Their lending solutions can start from as much as $250,000 to help build, support, and grow businesses. (Source: Judo Bank)
The bank was set up in 2016 first by an initial seed investment but was formally founded by David Hornery, Chris Bayliss, Joseph Healy, Alex Twigg, Tim Alexander, and Kate Keenan. (Source: Wikipedia)
In 2020, Judo Bank won Mozo Experts Choice Awards after undergoing comparison with 68 term deposit accounts and for having the best interest rates for all sorts of investments. (Source: Mozo)
It reached a valuation of $1.6 billion and joined the highly coveted position in the “Unicorn Club” in 2020. (Source: Daily Telegraph)
Judo Bank altogether has raised $1.8 billion in funding by 14 investors and in about 9 rounds. The recent investors are Magnetar Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures. (Source: Crunchbase)
“Judo Bank was the only bank in Australia to make it to WhiteSight’s top 20 neo-banks of 2020.”
Founder(s): Matt Barrie
Year of Establishment: 2009
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $1 billion
Sector: Freelancing and Crowdsourcing
When it comes to the world’s largest crowdsourcing and freelancing marketplace, the first name that comes to mind is Freelancer.com.
At 55,946,346 freelancers and employers, it has the highest number of users globally.
The company has room for virtually all types of freelancing work such as sales and marketing, software development, copywriting and editing, and data entry to mention a few. (Source: Freelancer.com)
Founded by Matt Barrie in 2009, Freelancer.com has its headquarters at Sydney, Australia with offices in London, Vancouver, Manila, Jakarta, and Buenos Aires.
Although the actual value of Freelancer is undisclosed, as of 2013, this company had turned a profit of over $1 billion and doubled its share market debut. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)
Freelancer isn’t operating only in the crowdsourcing and freelancing space but has also delved into the freight marketplace.
Freelancer acquired Channel 40, an Australian enterprise marketplace in 2018, and in 2021, it acquired Loadshift which is another business that connects carriers and shippers for heavy-duty shipping. (Source: Business News Australia)
“For a company that started very little, Freelancer.com has taken its place in the world of freelancing and crowdsourcing. It has become a name many freelancers can easily identify with.”
Name of Company: Airwallex
Founder(s): Jack Zhang, Xijing Dai, Max Li, and Lucy Liu
Year of Establishment: 2015
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $700 USD million
Second, on our list is Airwallex which is another startup that is setting the pace.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, and founded in the year 2015, Airwallex deals in the fintech market and basically enables businesses to seek and make payments from different parts of the world.
It is owned by Jack Zhang, Xijing Dai, Max Li, and Lucy Liu, and offers cross-border financing and revenue almost like what is attainable with TransferWise.
For instance, its customers can set up bank accounts overseas where their paying customers are located.
Airwallex allows them to move back the revenue with the help of inter-bank exchanges thereby saving them up to 90 percent hassle of trading with foreign currency as well as simplifying their businesses overseas (Source: Techcrunch)
4 years after it launched, the company became the latest tech company startup to join the billion-dollar unicorn club after its value hit more than $1 billion (Source: Airwallex)
In its 6 years of operation, this Australia based technology company has garnered €638 million of startup funding from just about 10 groups of investors and venture capital funding (Source: Dealroom)
As of September 2012, Airwallex has gotten over $700 USD million in equity funds and is now valued at $4 USD billion (Source: Finsmes)
“Airwallex has set itself apart and become the go-to-company for many people seeking for cross-border financing without the hassle of trading with foreign currency”
Founder(s): Hamish Edwards and Rod Drury
Year of Establishment: 2006
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $681.4 million
Another Australian startup that also happens to be one of the largest Newzealand companies making waves is Xero – a suite of accounting software that is perfect for accountants, small businesses, and bookkeepers. This online software enables users to not only track but also manage the process of cash flow, payments, invoicing, pay runs, and reporting.
It was founded in 2006 by Hamish Edwards and Rod Drury. It has 6 offices in Australia, and 3 offices in New Zealand, the UK, the US, and New York respectively. (Source: Wikipedia)
In 2020 recognized as a leader, especially in the area of cloud-enabled accounting applications and worldwide SaaS by IDC MarketScape.
Xero also offers a conducive environment for growth for its workers and made it to Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index in both 2020 and 2021. (Source: LinkedIn)
Xero has undergone 9 funding rounds by 7 investors and has raised $681.4 million in total. The last funding was done in September 2018. (Source: Crunchbase)
“Xero doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. It just announced in October 2021 its plans to reveal more design and tech updates in the course of 6 months for its bookkeepers and accountants to be able to unearth data and insights for more winnings.”
Founder(s): Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar
Year of Establishment: 2014
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $448.7 million
Anyone familiar with the “buy now, pay later” service will know the name Afterpay.
Just like their name, Afterpay is a Famous Melbourne based Company that is into financial technology.
Afterpay allows its users to buy products but pay for them later.
No interest is attached to the repayment, but if the user fails to pay within 2 weeks, then late fees will be accrued.
Afterpay was founded by Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar in 2014 and is operating not only in Australia but in the US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand. As of early 2020, this company has recorded 3.6 million users in the US, 3.1 million in New Zealand and Australia, and 600,000 users in the UK. (Source: Wikipedia).
In 2021, Accenture in their research revealed that Afterpay accrued $4.5 billion net benefits to its merchants as well as incremental sales of $8.2 billion for SMB merchants and retailers. (Source: Cison PR Newswire)
As at its last funding round in 2020, Afterpay had raised $448.7 million in total. 3 investors are behind the funding with Tencent and Mitsubishi UFJ as the latest investors. (Source: Crunchbase)
Afterpay announced in August 2021 that it has concluded plans for Square Inc. to acquire it for the sum of $29 billion USD. This arrangement will take effect from March 2022. (Source: CNBC)
Founder(s): Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes
Year of Establishment: 2002
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $210 million
Sector: Computer Software / SAAS based Solution
Atlassian Corporation Plc is into the development of software that helps project managers and developers work more effectively and efficiently.
It is an Australian company that was founded in 2002 by Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes.
Atlassian has simplified business management for its users with its various services like collaboration tools, management software, project planning, and IT help-desk solutions.
Atlassian has 4 different segments – subscriptions, perpetual license, maintenance, and others.
The company has the backing of 4 investors and has raised $210 million in just 2 rounds of funding. And with its over 150,000 users, Atlassian must be doing something right. (Source: Crunchbase)
“Atlassian’s products cater to a lot of disciplines from space travel to medicine, to pizza deliveries and disaster response. They are empowering humanity through software development.”
Founder(s): Micheal Starkey and Nathan Walsh
Year of Establishment: 2019
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $161.5 million
Athena has a simple mission and that is to change the way people are made to pay for their home loans.
The Australia-based Tech company has become the first choice of Australians looking to pay off their home loans in the shortest possible time with even lesser interest rates.
Founded in 2017 but officially launched in 2019, Athena finds shut cuts to help its customers pay off their debt without the usual burden banks impose on home loan seekers.
Perhaps the many awards Athena has been awarded with in just 2021 go to show just how innovative the company is regarded.
Some of them are – Fintech Organization of the year, as well as Excellence in Consumer Lending, AFR BOSS 2021 Most Innovative Company amongst others. (Source: Athena)
Athena has excelled because of its ability to eliminate the complications and costs that big banks make customers go through before granting them a home loan.
And the best part is that it is all done to enable the customer to save even more on the home loan while having access to speedy service. (Source: LinkedIn)
Backed by 11 investors with over 5 funding rounds, Athena has raised the sum of $161.5 million with Square Peg Capital among its recent investors. (Source: Crunchbase)
“Athena has been shaking up big bank’s feathers and mortgage market with its unconventional attitude towards lending. No wonder they are the home loan providers of choice for many Aussies.”
Founder(s): Owen Wilson and Janelle Hopkins
Year of Establishment: 1995
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $149 million
REA Group is a top-notch leading digital business that specializes in property globally.
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, the company has spread its wings to two other continents – North America and Asia.
REA Group was founded in 1995 but got listed on ASX (Australian Securities Exchange) in 1999. It has Owen Wilson as its CEO and Janelle Hopkins as the CEO Financial Services.
It’s regarded as the No.1 commercial and residential property website in Asia and other international apps and sites for property. (Source: LinkedIn)
The company has only gone through one round of funding in 2020 backed by 4 investors who saw great potential in it. REA Group has made 5 acquisitions.
The most recent one is Elara Technologies which it acquired for $70 million. (Source: Crunchbase)
“Having started from a garage to become a global business, REA Group is an inspiration to anyone looking for some motivation.”
Gilmour Space Technologies
Name of Company: Gilmour Space Technologies
Founder(s): Adam Gilmour and James Gilmour
Year of Establishment: 2013
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $88 AUD million
Speaking about tech companies and startups in Australia, this list won’t be complete without adding the name Gilmour Space Technologies.
Based in Queensland, Australia, it is a venture-backed rocket company that powers new-launch vehicles with its low-cost hybrid propulsion technologies.
The company was founded in 2013 by two brothers, Adam Gilmour and James Gilmour, and has become one of the leading space companies in Australia.
The Australian Tech Startup is also poised to offer more reliable, affordable, and dedicated launches into LEO (Low Earth Orbits) from 2022 with the help of its Eris orbital rocket. (Source: Gilmour Space)
After securing $5 AUD million during its Series A round in 2017, the company secured $19 AUD million in 2018 Series B to be used in scaling up and launching its first hybrid rocket to space. (Source: Gilmour Space)
Then during its Series C round in June 2021, it secured $61 AUD million which it will use in taking Eris, its small launch vehicle to space in 2022. (Source: Techcrunch)
In total, Gilmour Space Technologies has raised $88 AUD million with just 7 investors since inception. (Source: Crunchbase)
And just in September 2021, the company spearheaded a $150 million space industry project bid to set up 3 new premises in the same Queensland. (Source: Business News Australia)
“With the pace Gilmour Space Technologies is going, we see it taking over the rocket space market in real time.”
Name of Company: SocietyOne
Founder(s): Mark Jones
Year of Establishment: 2012
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $70.2 AUD million
Sector: Fintech Industry
Based in Sydney, Australia, is SocietyOne which is another fintech startup that operates as a Peer-to-Peer lending platform that allows credible business people in need of money to easily connect with investors.
It was founded in 2012 and is headed by Mark Jones, the Chief Executive Officer, and has been able to raise up to $70.2 million in startup funding by 9 investors. (Source: Crunchbase)
Since its inception, the company has provided funds for more than 35,000 customers through its investors’ funds and surpassed the $1 billion lending milestone in January 2021. (Source: AustralianBroker)
“SocietyOne has great potential and is poised to remain in business for the longer run. And having surpassed $1 billion in lending, what’s there not to trust about this company?”
Name of Company: Baraja
Founder(s): Cibby Pulikkaseril and Federico Collarte
Year of Establishment: 2016
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $63.9 AUD million
Sector: Banking & Financial
Baraja is a startup in Australia that provides leading automotive companies with its revolutionary LiDAR technology Spectrum-Scan to help them set a new benchmark in reliability and precision.
Founded in 2016 by Cibby Pulikkaseril and Federico Collarte, these two brought their vast knowledge in photonics together to solve the challenges encountered with LiDAR for self-driving vehicles.
In 2019, Baraja announced a Series A investment that saw it receive a total of $32 million fund from various investors to help it scale up on production, hire talents and maintain its vision of creating an enabling environment for safer autonomous driving. (Source: Baraja)
And in March of 2021, the company raised a funding B round to the tune of $31 million to help it develop its ingenious and unique imaging system. (Source: TechCrunch)
In September 2021, Baraja raised a new funding round of $40 million to further raise the bar on its Spectrum-Scan LiDAR breakthrough technology. (Source: Oil & Gas Technology)
Baraja has attracted not less than $63.9 million funding from 8 investors since its inception. (Source: Crunchbase)
“Quite an impressive move from Baraja. Besides, the combination of the two great minds behind the company has it breaking new ground.”
Founder(s): Cameron McIntyre
Year of Establishment: 1997
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $61.8 million
Carsales is Australia’s number 1 online website for automotive classifieds with a growing global presence in Latin America and Asia.
The company provides a smooth platform for sellers and buyers of cars. (Source: Crunchbase)
It was founded in 1997 by Wal Pisciotta and Greg Roebuck. It was floated into
The Australian Stock Exchange in 2009, and in 2017, Greg Roebuck stepped down as the CEO for Cameron Mclntyre to take over. (Source: Wikipedia)
Although we couldn’t lay hands on its recent net worth, Carsales has recorded $61.8 million from dealer contributions. In 2010 alone, it generated $12.4 million. (Source: GoAuto)
The company has through its marketing, product development, and communications gave its customers a high level of confidence when it comes to car trading.
Carsales was named as one of the most innovative growth businesses in 2017 by Forbes. (Source: Forbes)
“Carsales has been expanding its portfolio locally and internationally. It has become a global leader with more than 1300 staff across its offices in Australia, China, US, Brazil and many other countries.”
Secure Code Warrior
Name of Company: Secure Code Warrior
Founder(s): Pieter Danhieux Fatemah Beydoun, Matias Madou, Colin Wong, Nathan Desmet, and Jaap Karen Singh
Year of Establishment: 2015
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $51.5 million
Sector: Cyber Security
Secure Code Warrior is another top tech startup company in Australia that focuses on providing cybersecurity that helps developers with intrinsic secure coding.
This company was founded in 2015 and has Pieter Danhieux as the CEO and co-founder, as well as Fatemah Beydoun, Matias Madou, Colin Wong, Nathan Desmet, and Jaap Karen Singh as co-founders.
They offer contextual training, unrivaled depth of content so that developers can learn and develop strategies that ensure they always end up with secure coding.
According to Dealroom, Secure Code Warrior is estimated to be valued between €182 – 274m as of December 2019. (Source: Dealroom)
The company has had two acquisitions – Sensei Security in 2017 and Adversary in 2020 and has raised $51.5 million in funding from 7 investors (Source: Crunchbase)
Among many achievements, Secure Code Warrior has an average ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) growth of not less than 127% every year. (Source: New South Wales Government)
“With the menace of cyber scammers and hackers, there is no better time to embrace intrinsic secure coding than now. Secure Code Warrior provides developers with the right tool to combat this.”
Name of Company: Moula
Founder(s): Piers Moller, Aris Allegos, and Andrew Watt
Year of Establishment: 2013
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $50.9 million
Next on our list is Moula and is another startup owned by Piers Moller, Aris Allegos, and Andrew Watt, and operates in the fintech industry.
The company was established in 2013 and has its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia.
The company focuses on helping hard-working business owners access loans up to $340,000 faster through quick data processing.
Moula makes use of its technology to analyze the performance history and real-time sales data of an applicant to determine if such a business can pay back.
No need for paperwork since such businesses can apply the same day and receive the fund the same day.
2 years after its inception, Moula closed out a $30 million investment round which was led by Liberty Financial, NCN Investments, and other private investors to help Moula manage the high demand from its clients. (Source: Startupdaily)
In December 2019, Moula secured a $20 AUD million funding led by Escala Partners and Acorn Capital during its series D round to be able to provide more financial services to its clients. (Source: Global Corporate Venturing)
Moula has reached a total funding of $50.9 million with 5 investors since it started operations. (Source: Crunchbase)
“Moula has eliminated the long process involved in accessing loans. With them, getting a loan can be as quick as within 24 hours.”
Founder(s): Max Harbottle and Matt Michkiewicz
Year of Establishment: 2008
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $45 million
Sector: Freelancing and Crowdsourcing
99designs is another freelancing platform that connects clients with graphic designers. The company started operation in 2008 is based in Melbourne, Australia with an office in Oakland, California.
Founded by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz, the company first started as a spin-off of Sitepoint which is a forum for designers and web developers.
In what was first a contest of fictional client briefs, the founders started charging fees for real projects, which was what gave birth to 99designs. (Source: Wikipedia)
99designs has gone through 2 rounds of funding from 5 investors and raised a total of $45 million. The last one was held in 2015. (Source: Crunchbase)
However, in October 2020, Cimpress acquired 99designs to become part of its Vistaprint section, but 99 designs will still operate as a separate brand with its leaders still at the helm of affairs. (Source: TechCrunch)
“This acquisition will see 99designs have access to Vistaprint’s 20 million small businesses. This can only mean more exploration and business for both parties involved.”
Founder(s): Erica Berchtold
Year of Establishment: 2011
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $44 million
Sector: Fashion / Ecommerce
THE ICONIC is not a new name to fashion lovers.
Based in Sydney, Australia, the company deals in fashion and sportswear and has positioned itself as one of the largest fashion destinations in Australia with over 60,000 items and more than 1000 brands under its belt. (Source: Power Retail)
Launched in 2011 by 3 founders and led by Erica Berchtold as the CEO, THE ICONIC belongs to the Global Fashion Group.
Iconic was formally spearheaded by Christoph Barchewitz and Patrick Schmidt before Erica took over from them in 2019. (Source: Wikipedia)
The company has won several awards as the best online retail social commerce category for many years.
In 2020, it won Power Retails’ All-Star Bash Awards for “Best Online-Only Retailer Wins” and the “Best Fashion Retailer.” (Power Retail)
THE ICONIC has been able to raise $44 million from 2 rounds of funding. The last one was held in 2019 with Verlinvest and Summit Partners as the latest investors. (Source: Crunchbase)
“THE ICONIC is no doubt the last destination for footwear and online fashion lovers in Australia. Its world class service and premium shopping experience sets it apart from the pack.”
Name of Company: AgriWebb
Founder(s): Justin Webb, Kevin Baum, and John Fargher
Year of Establishment: 2013
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $36.5 AUD million
AgriWebb is an Australian startup software company that provides a platform for farmers to gather and analyze their farm data.
With this software, farmers can check for their cattle health, check water levels, plot outlands, as well as monitor the movement of their cattle remotely. The platform also enables the listing and buying of stock for cattle.
It was founded in 2013 by Justin Webb and co-founders Kevin Baum, and John Fargher.
The company secured an investment of $14 million as well as an acquisition to gain a minority stake in the industry. (Source: SmartCompany)
In 2018, during its Series A round, AgriWebb raised $10.2 million. Then during its Series B in January 2021, it raised another $23.3 million bringing its valuation to $77 million. (Source: AFN)
AgriWebb has enjoyed a fair share of startup funding to the tune of $36.5 million from 11 investors. (Source: Crunchbase)
“AgriWebb has seen the future of agriculture and has bought a huge stake with its innovative and revolutionary platform.”
Car Next Door
Name of Company: Car Next Door
Founder(s): David Trumbull, Chloe Illife, and Will Davies
Year of Establishment: 2012
Funding/Estimated Wealth: $17.3 million
Car Next Door has a simple mission – to convert any car into a shareable car so as to save money, empower people, reduce waste, and create greener, cleaner and better neighborhoods.
With its headquarters located in Pyrmont, Australia, this company was founded in 2012 by David Trumbull, Chloe Illife, and Will Davies.
The company has been recording impressive results of 100% revenue growth each year that in 2019, Hyundai auto manufacturing company raised a total of $6.2 million for it to cater to its growing number of customers.
Not only that, Car Next Door in that same year bagged a total of $10 million in funding. (Source: SmartCompany)
Car Next Door has garnered a total of $17.3 million startup funding from 10 investors. (Source: Crunchbase)
“A cleaner and greener world is what we are all gunning for, and for Car Next Door, bringing it to the automobile world is a way to go!”
Name of Company: Half Dome
Founder(s): Joe Frazer, Tom Frazer, Will Harms
Year of Establishment: 2017
Funding/Estimated Wealth: (not specified)
Half Dome is a Victorian media buying company that combines technology and marketing to provide compelling solutions for businesses.
It has a massive focus on analytics and data to maximize its ability to measure paid media success as well as bridge the gap between business reporting and media reporting.
Owned by two brothers; Joe Frazer and Tom Frazer alongside Will Harms, the agency started operation in 2017.
And in 2020, in the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic, Half Dome made it the winner of Deloitte 2020 Technology Fast 50 Australia Awards with its 2390 percent revenue growth in just 3 years. (Source: AdNews )
According to Joe Frazer, the agency started with just the three of them in a small office space and later increased to 15 staff after 18 months.
A year after Half Dome not only increased to 25 staff but is making its way to 32 staff.
Not only has it grown its staff by 50 percent in 2021, but its clientele base has also been increased with top companies like 28 By Sam Wood, PointsBet, The Good Guys among many others joining the train.
To even increase its media dominance, Half Dome in August 2021, acquired Consumedia, a 13-year old marketing communications and integrated media agency that delivers on media, marketing, advertising, and activation for businesses. (Source: CampaignBrief)
“While many media companies are satisfied with the traditional way of doing things, Half Dome has changed the status quo and is leveraging it.”
Going by the figures, there is no doubt that Australia’s tech sector has been recording steady growth; however, there are still some barriers to its development and innovation.
For instance, in the US, the tech sector contributes 10.2% to its economy; in the UK, the number is 8.1% and in Australia, the figure is 3.8%. (Source: Consultancy)
This goes to show that Australia tech startups still have room to contribute more to the economic development of the country, at least, to try and catch up with the speed of its global peers.
But until then, the journey so far is applaudable.