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Draw Inspiration From These Successful Australian Startups

Updated on February 16, 2018

6 Min Read
Reading Time: 6 minutes

The Australian tech startup sector has the potential to contribute $109 billion or 4% of GDP to the Australian economy. Considering these stats, it is safe to say that the country is on track toward becoming the land of opportunities for startups.

Successful Australian Startups

Several cities in Australia are home to some of the most successful Australian startups. Some of these have become received international acclaim owing to their unique value. This gives us a small window into the limitless potential of the future of Australia’s startup sector.

For example, a survey finding puts Sydney on the spotlight for ranking 12th out of 20 cities in the Startup Genome Ecosystem Index.

In fact, cities such as Ultimo, Melbourne, and Sydney are quickly emerging as preferred startup hubs. A survey from Startupmuster shows that Ultimo has the highest number of startups with 52 per kilometer. Next is Melbourne with 16.5 startups/km, and Sydney CBD with 15.4.

With these facts in mind, it is only logical to highlight some of the most successful Australian startups that have taken the industry by storm.

It is important to note that I have included best Australian startups of all grades. There are many that have set the bar high in innovation and entrepreneurship. Some are pacing up for competition, while others are on the verge to become the next market leaders.

But all these startups have 2 things in common – detailed planning and timely execution. So let’s explore what makes these Australian startups stand out from the rest.

There are only a handful of startups every year that can grow their sales and customers in thousands within a matter of months. At the front pages of popular news sites, they glimmer with an anticipated multimillion-dollar market valuation.
Here are 3 startups from down under that have made it big on a global scale.



Canva needs no introduction. It is one of the leading graphic design platforms designers around the globe love and adores. So far, this successful startup has raised $42 million and used to be valued at $345 million. Today, as of January this year, it has grown to $1bn market valuation.

“Canva makes great designs more accessible” ~ Forbes

The Co-founder and CEO of Canva, Melanie Perkins, hails from Australia and stands among one of the most successful young CEOs in the world. She believes in empowering the modern workforce and is the reason why Canva currently has over 10 million users. This startup is a popular name in the Silicon Valley and is expected to grow further.



Founded in 2008 by Matt Mickiewicz, 99designs is the world’s largest marketplace for graphic designers. Mr. Mickiewicz is best known for being the Co-founder of SitePoint and Flippa. His startup, 99designs connects over 22,000 graphic designers with businesses from more than 190 countries.

“99Designs is American Idol for your creative needs”~ Forbes

The startup originated in Melbourne and is currently headquartered in Oakland,California with a total equity funding of $45 million.

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor

A Sydney-based startup of 2004, Campaign Monitor made headlines with a seed funding of over $250 million in 2014. It took a decade of persistent effort and hardwork to make this email marketing company a massive success. Founded by Ben Richardson and Dave Greiner, the startup now has over 250 employees with offices in Sydney, London and San Francisco.

“Campaign Monitor achieves 98% customer satisfaction with 2 million customers” ~Forbes

The company focuses on small-to-medium sized businesses. This is despite being the priority of web giants such as Buzzfeed and Rolling stones.

Best Promising Australian Startups

While there are successful startups that have helped establish Australia as the Silicon Valley for startups, there are others that are poised to become market leaders.
Here’s our list of Australian startups that are anticipated to join the startup leadership race for three main reasons. These include reputation, performance metrics, and a culture grounded in problem-solving.



Founded in Sydney by William On and Rob Hango-Zada in 2014, Shippit is a cloud-based startup. It powers delivery services for up to 300 merchants and businesses. With a total equity funding of $1.63 million, the startup is a modern-day shipping solutions for carriers and consumers.

“The innovative new shipping service with ideas”~ Shortpress

The startup’s business is continuously on the incline. ShippIt has now partnered with Bigwigs of the shipping industry, such as Australia Post, TNT, Mail Call Courier, etc.



Launched in 2014, Afterpay is one of the successful Australian startups that has revolutionized the Australian way of making payments. Founded by Nick Molnar, Afterpay is an easy-to-use payment method that enables anyone to pay in 4 equal fortnightly installments.

“FineTech Organisation of the year award”~ The Finnies

Promoting a better and convenient way of making payments, this startup has partnered with Australia’s leading stores. Some of these are Marcs, TopShop, Glue, Hype DC, etc.



Founded by a popular radio and TV host, Jules Lund, Tribe is a marketplace for content creators that connects them with brands around the globe. It was launched in 2015 and, since then, it has been creating waves in the industry with 2,600 brand campaigns.

“A focus on tech has Aussie social media marketing platform Tribe primed for a global takeover.”~

With a seed funding of $5.35 million and over 13,000 influencers on board, Tribe is climbing up the ladder of success every passing day.



Ecommerce is a huge box of business these days and when we talk about TheIconic, it is Australia’s most popular fashion retailer. Founded by Adam Jacobs and Cameron Votan, the startup gathered a seed funding of $26 million backed by the tech giant Rocket Internet.

“The Iconic named Australia’s ‘best mobile retailer’”~ Internetretailing

The startup is popular due to 3-hour delivery policy in Sydney and Melbourne. Another big plus is its 100 days return policy, and it also offers free shipping on orders that are upto $47.

Lesser Known Startups

Some successful Australian startups are gaining popularity in their homeland as well as in the US. Here are some of the lesser known Australian startups that are most expected to not require any introduction in near future.



Tablo is an online book publishing platform that is set to take the ebook market to the next stage. Founded in 2013 and developed by Ash Davies, a 21-year old millennial, the startup has managed to rake in funds of $400,000 to make a name for itself and enter the category of successful startups. Because of its revolutionizing idea, it was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

“Founder of publishing start-up Tablo wants to change the way books are created”~ The Sydney Morning Herald

The aim is to make it big like Amazon Books. Tablo’s cloud-based platform already has over 10,000 authors on board from over 100 countries. The platform’s user-friendly interface is what sets it apart from its competitors.



Online freelancing businesses are not new. But the startup Speedlancer offers a unique value to the industry. Founded by Adam Stone, Speedlancer is one of the few successful startups based in Sydney that are making a name for themselves. It provides a marketplace of over 450 freelancers with a unique value: all tasks get delivered within four hours.

“Australian freelancing platform Speedlancer is finding success in four hours”~ Startupdaily

With a total equity funding of $75,000, the startup’s team is spread across US, Australia, and Brazil. It hopes to turn its local venture into a global freelancing powerhouse.



CliniCloud is an Australian startup founded by Dr. Andrew Lin and Dr. Hon Weng Chong. It is a revolutionary startup that offers cloud-based medical products. Its founders aim to fuse healthcare with technology.

“The Australian startup bringing the doctor’s office into American homes”~ Mashable

The startup’s product StethoCloud has received coverage from reputable publications. Some of these include Techcrunch, Bloomberg, and Wired. With a seed funding of over $5million, this startup is on its way to disrupt Australia’s healthcare sector.


Australia has all the signs of a thriving startup economy. Cities such as Ultimo, Melbourne, and Sydney have sprung to become a melting pot of ideas and tech innovation. This has spawned several Australian startups to become established global brands.

With the above list of Australian startups, there is plenty of inspiration to go around for every entrepreneur. So which startup has inspired you the most? Let us know in the comments below.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Arsalan Sajid

Arsalan is a business graduate and digital marketer by profession. He works as a Startup Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves to create value for the Startup community. He is a big fan of cricket and does Netflix and chill in his free time.

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