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Silicon Coast: the top 10 Australian startups

top Australian startup top Australian startup
Photo credit:

Hai Linh Truong 

Australia needs to catchup: its innovation ecosystem is lagging behind other developed nations but these 10 top Australian startups are bucking the trend.

Australia is one of the last areas of the developed world to see its startup ecosystem flourish, which some still find surprising.

The Australian government is partly to blame for cutting the Innovation Investment Fund and not tackling the tough fundraising conditions the country is experiencing.

It’s not all bad news though for startups and despite these setbacks, the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association saw 2014 as the highest level of VC activity in the past decade.

On that basis, here are the 10 top Australian startups, representing the Silicon Coast down-under and a market area that can only scale its influence worldwide.



top Australian startup

Oomph transforms your content and advertising into richer media.

They’re within the top Australian startups list because they are in a good position to take advantage of the massive growth in mobile and tablet advertising; their new product Adomatic is hinged upon tablet sales growth.

Furthermore, the software-as-a-service platform has the highest average score on the iMonitor rating system for rich media tablet apps.

Their client list includes Colonial First State, the GPT Group and Coles, whilst Pollenizer, the start-up accelerator, is backing the venture.



top Australian startup

Go1 builds smart digital products and training software for business.

The creator of the Aduro learning management platform garnered some early revenue and now has offices all over the world, with its HQ in Brisbane.

It’s e-learning system has won numerous awards and the top Australian startup is based upon its intelligent design, but the main point here is that as learning management systems are moving to the cloud, the proposition for business is less of a risk.



top Australian startup

Clipp is a mobile payments and rewards app for the hospitality industry and allows its customers to safely and securely pay for food and drinks within hundreds of bars and restaurants across Australia.

The mobile payment system allows customers to tally their rounds,instead of paying by card each time and interest has been generated by good reviews and has only just closed a funding round last month of over $4.5m.

The top Australian startup is now integrating to many Point-of-Sale providers (in hospitality) so merchants can accept mobile payments and then connect with consumers.


top Australian startup

The online marketplace for cheap advice, pro-forma documents and company registrations, LawPath is tapping into a trend to update a famously old-school industry.

The legal services industry have had to consider the inevitable trend of tech innovation and with that comes added issues: how to protect consumers and businesses legally whilst streamlining the entire process, which is something its near $1m funding round will help to consider.

That’s something that the market will have to think about as the space opens up but LawPath, as one of the top Australian startups, hopes its service will bring legal access to more people whilst also increasing work for the profession itself.



top Australian startup

Funcaptcha is an Australian firm that develops mini-games to replace website ‘captchas’.

For those not clued up, the term captcha refers to the random sequences of letters and numbers that you have to do to allow computers to distinguish between human and automated input – all for the fight against spam.

It’s a relatively simple approach that this top Australian startup is utilizing within a very niche part of the business and online markets, but the free plugin could become very useful as spam – and online abuse – rates reportedly rise.



top Australian startup

Pocketbook is essentially an online personal finance service which aggregates all of your personal finance statements, income, spending and budgeting.

This idea was actually started many times down under but convincing banks to grant access to their systems is a hard sell, especially when one would have to design a web application to pass all the banks security requirements.

Pocketbook however have done this, raised around $500 000 in funding and are quite prolific on iTunes’ finance app list.



top Australian startup

Airtasker is an online and mobile marketplace that connects people and businesses with local community members.

Originally it was pitched at individuals doing tasks for other individuals but has turned into a significant lead generation service for businesses .

They fill a gap in the employment market and with strong growth: they’re making around a $1 million in revenue a month.

The top Australian startup has also gained traction between both consumers and service providers – a double sided market – which generally end up with fewer competitors. $5m later in their funding round in May and Airtasker have so far encouraged investors such as Morning Crest Capital and Carthona Capital.



top Australian startup

Sydney-based design startup Canva’s goal is ambitious: it wants to “democratise design”.

This year it rolled out its design marketplace, which allows professional designers to contribute layouts and earn royalties every time their designs are purchased.

Perhaps most significantly, it also signed up Apple’s original Mac guru Guy Kawasaki, as its chief evangelist.

The top Australian startup hit a million users within 12 months of launching highlighting the need for an innovator in this industry.


Shoes of Prey

top Australian startup

The Sydney-based online retailer raised $6.5 million from US-based Khosla Ventures in December and those funds will be used to finance its bricks-and-mortar expansion in markets, including in the USA.

It’s an online custom shoe maker who lets you design your own shoes, before making them for you and shipping them. The top Australian startups concept has been received well and unlike other e-commerce companies that resell brand merchandise, Shoes of Prey is scaling at a comfortable rate.

Shoes of Prey have also signed a deal for further expansion in the USA through the department store Nordstrom.


Venture Crowd

top Australian startup

Australia’s first equity-based crowdfunding platform, VentureCrowd is attempting to open up a new way for startups to raise capital to create more opportunities for top Australian startups.

Transportation network and mobile payments startup ingogo used VentureCrowd to raise $1.2 million of a $9.1 million raise in September. It then helped fashion startup Fame and Partners raise $50,000 of a larger undisclosed funding round. With regulations that will open up equity crowdfunding to retail investors expected to arrive mid next year, this area of the market is in a good position for growth.