8 rising Australian startups that you should know about
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Australia's flag waves just outside the new Peter Mac cancer research center in Melbourne. Photo credit: Gedalyah Reback / Geektime

Australia's flag waves just outside the new Peter Mac cancer research center in Melbourne. Photo credit: Gedalyah Reback / Geektime

Do you want to know which early stage startups you should have on your radar from the land down under? Then look no further

A bundle of initiatives are sprouting up from the Australian tech community.

You have TechSydney aiming to make Sydney a top-ten technology ecosystem. The Australian Government’s Innovation Program providing government grants to startups and investors – to events like StartCon, Australia’s largest tech conference.

In 2015, I wrote about 8 Aussie Startups That You Should Know About. Now, I felt it was appropriate to write a follow-on piece for this year.

1. SolarCloud

Photo credit: SolarCloud video

Photo credit: SolarCloud video

Traditionally when you buy solar power, you would put the panels on your roof. Not with SolarCloud. They have taken a truly innovative approach that is more cost effective and easy-to-manage.

SolarCloud sets up solar panels in the some of the sunniest locations in Australia to maximize the generation of electricity. Think of it like multiple small solar farms, with your solar panels located on top of large commercial buildings.

And rather than putting it on your own roof (if you have one) and exporting power to the grid for the miserly price paid by the power company during the day whilst you are hard at work, SolarCloud will sell it for you at better retail-like prices. It generates you a much better return. And the coolest thing is that when you move house, you can effectively take the benefits of your panels with you.

SolarCloud has spent several years getting the technology platform and legalities right.  It’s the only solar company in the world that we know of where you can buy, monitor and control your solar all online.

2. WealthNation

Photo credit: WealthNation

Photo credit: WealthNation

Jason Kaye co-founded WealthNation with the simple aim of making it really easy for people to get into the life changing habit of saving money. Every time you use your credit or debit card, WealthNation rounds the purchase amount off to the nearest dollar and sweeps it into a separate savings account with a partner bank. You will also be able to top up savings whenever you choose and access your savings at anytime – no questions, no restrictions.

Unlike ‘Robo’ Advisors, WealthNation does not place your savings in ‘sophisticated’ portfolios of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or any other type of investment product. It is a straight out savings play: a digital piggy bank if you like. So you don’t need to worry about the value of your investment being hurt by circumstances completely outside your control. Just start and watch your savings grow.

Kaye, with 11 years experience in the banking and VC sector, teamed up with ex-Expensify CTO (and CFO) Tony Zakula. They have raised $250,000 in seed capital from sophisticated investors to develop WealthNation.

According to Kaye, “WealthNation was created to help you obtain the means to living an awesome life – whatever that may mean to you. We want WealthNation to be more than just your digital piggy bank. It’s more like a personal friend helping you save so you can do more of the things in life that make you happy. For us, it really is as simple as that.”

3. CapitalPitch

Photo credit: CapitalPitch

Photo credit: CapitalPitch

Emlyn Scott, co-founder of OpenMarkets and former CEO of the National Stock Exchange, and Jeremy Liddle, President of The G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Australia and representative to the United Nations on youth, employment & entrepreneurship, co-founded this intriguing startup.

CapitalPitch believes that raising startup capital shouldn’t be so hard! It’s madness that according to the startup, 97.3% of startups fail at fundraising. Founders shouldn’t have to feel confused and frustrated when they try to raise capital and investors shouldn’t have to waste time and money finding great startups.

Today, like many revolutions before, CapitalPitch is using technology and experts to create a movement and platform to accelerate startup investing. CapitalPitch Ventures is also a new venture capital fund leading each investment round. Since launching in January 2015, they have recruited over 1,900 startup members, with nine having successfully raised over $13 million.

4. Joey Crowd


Joey Crowd is the world’s first social media-orientated crowdfunding platform. It is a smart way to drive campaign traffic, using a combination of software and features.

Instead of racing from Facebook to LinkedIn to Instagram, access it all at once from their dashboard and automate your campaign posts powered by Knackmap.

According to co-founder of Joey Crowd Nick Boniciolli, “We provide opportunity for entrepreneurs to move beyond their direct network, manage your communities, pre-schedule campaign posts and rally bloggers to spread the word on your project.” Even after a campaign has been successfully funded, the creator can continue to sell their products right from Joey Crowd on to their Future Store.

5. Betswaps

Photo credit: Betswaps video

Photo credit: Betswaps video

Betswaps.com is a marketplace for sports and racing enthusiasts to exchange betting advice with each other in a completely transparent manner.  Through the use of innovative technology, Betswaps has been able to provide a fully transparent end-to-end solution that allows punters to connect with each other on a peer-to-peer level.

Betswaps ranks and identifies the top sports bettors from around the world and allows them to connect through their simple and user-friendly platform.  Essentially an information exchange platform, Betswaps facilitates transactions between its users as well as acts as an auditor of historical betting performance.

When users submit their bets to the platform, Betswaps tracks the results and outcomes of every bet, and publicly displays the performance of every punter on the site. This provides a level of transparency for people looking to follow betting advice from experts.

Betswaps was featured on Season 2 of Shark Tank Australia. They were seeking $200,000 at a $2 million valuation. Four sharks showed interest in the company and Steve Baxter and Glen Richards eventually shook hands with a deal.

6. Coder Factory

Photo credit: Coder Factory

Photo credit: Coder Factory video

Coder Factory is a coding and technology school based in Sydney and has launched Australia’s first ever coding bootcamp (in fact, one of the only accredited coding bootcamps in the world) to help solve Australia’s large tech talent shortage. While there are (now, finally) many startup companies being funded, according to Tech Sydney data, 93% of Australian startups say the biggest problem that they face is technical talent.

The bootcamp is a 6-month intensive course where students learn everything they need to learn to become a full-stack web developer. Even though this model is not innovative and has been done before, due to its autodidactic nature and heavy industry support, this bootcamp’s curriculum and talent ensure that better equipped developers enter the market to support startups.

Dan Siepen, Co-founder and Product Manager, stated, “These tech companies and startups are desperate to hire or find people with skills but they realize there aren’t that many experienced people out there. The disparity between senior developers and people coming out of university in terms of quality, experience and actually not being taught what is required as a developer is huge. Hence, companies are now looking at recent graduates of bootcamps or even self-taught people, and will continue to train them in the way they like things done anyway. Why? They are more agile and have the right attitude to produce more quality work.”

Coder Factory works with over 100 companies, agencies and startups,  including US companies to help sure that the talent is being trained in the latest tech stacks and processes. Coder Factory is already working with very large worldwide organizations and will be expanding to international locations in Asia where big news is still yet to come.

7. Upspot.io

Photo credit: UpSpot

Photo credit: UpSpot

UpSpot is a marketplace connecting IT professionals to the best contract opportunities.

Having seen the challenges faced by contractors when trying to find the next contract and understanding the cost and effort involved in hiring the right talent, Co-founders Lee Jiang and Ricky Marcon knew that a solution had to be developed to help bridge the gap.

With the UpSpot marketplace, IT contractors can maximize their contract earning potential by building a profile showcasing their expertise in a quantified way, engage directly with companies for opportunities, and build a pipeline of work to so they no longer have to worry about downtime between contracts.

UpSpot also provides a “plug-n-play” solution to companies and empowers organizations to avoid the cost, effort and risk associated with hiring. UpSpot achieves this by empowering the decision makers to identify and hire the right talent quickly through standardized and quantified profiles. They also decrease the risk of the hiring process by managing all the overhead and liabilities associated with recruitment.

8. Ento

Photo credit: Ento video

Photo credit: Ento video

Ento aims to make workplaces more efficient and modern. It gives businesses a seamless way to roster staff, clock-in and clock-out, and distributes shifts via SMS and/or email.

According to Ento Founder Aulay Macaulay, “Ento is the one-stop place for companies to manage staff, daily budgets, saving companies time with the ability to build rosters quickly.”

Ento has grown to support over 3,000 businesses including Channel 9 TV, the University of Newcastle and Telstra.

The views expressed are of the author.

Geektime invites global tech and startup professionals to share their opinions and expertise with our readers. If you would like to share your point of view, please contact us at [email protected]

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Luke Fitzpatrick

About Luke Fitzpatrick

Luke is a Sydney-based entrepreneur specializing in early stage marketing. Currently, he is the founder of Ghacklabs, a new online tech community. Feel free to get in touch with him at: [email protected]

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  • Caroline Guillemain-Brunne

    Great article. Good to see that there are a lot of really interesting startups coming out of Australia. And nice to see a startup like WealthNation working on solving a pretty fundamental problem for a lot of people – saving money. Simple, effective, life-changing. Exactly what we need.

    • Thanks Caroline. I think WealthNation is doing something really interesting and could alter the financial habits of the next generation by teaching them a simple principle of ‘saving.’

    • JK

      Hey Caroline, Thanks heaps for the kind words. We really appreciate it. Hopefully by keeping things really simple we can get millions more people in a position to do more of the things in life that make them happy. Life’s too short to live it any other way.