Photo courtesy: John O'Neil via Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 tech startups making noise in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Large, sprawling, and friendly, Melbourne nurtures an interesting set of startups

Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne sprawls across 3,800 square miles full of more than 4.6 million Melburnians and includes the capital of Victoria.

While the city was officially started in 1835, natives occupied the area starting close to 40,000 years ago. The Yarra River, plus the port on the Pacific, made for a great location for Europeans, and Queen Victoria officially declared it a city in 1847, just in time for the gold rush of 1851.

Starting a boom in the mid-1990s, Melbourne has grown and developed. Seven public universities (like the University of Melbourne) help support startups, as do the many financial services companies. The MAP, Melbourne Accelerator Program, is a famous startup incubator. These reasons and millions of people make for some noisy startups.

Aconex Limited

Photo courtesy: Aconex

Construction projects need trucks, workers, materials, and lots of software. Aconex Limited became one of the global leaders in construction software thanks to their cloud-based suite of construction software tools.

Starting back in 2000 before the cloud really got going, Aconex was early but persevered. In September 2008 they received a private equity placement from Francisco Partners for $85 million.


Photo courtesy: RedBubble

Art can be life-changing but getting a chance to look at artists products can be tough unless you’re in a big city. Or you go online to Redbubble, and see a world’s worth of artists collected and collated by these ecommerce art experts.

Founded in 2006, Redbubble self-funded until May 2015 when venture funding of $15.5 made an artistic entrance. Less than a year later, Blackbird Ventures of Australia appeared with another $12.5 million. Their IPO in August 2016 with $40 million in post IPO equity shows artists can make money. In fact, this online artistic community has piled up $58 million.

Culture Amp

Photo courtesy: Culture Amp

Small company managers can monitor the workforce by walking around. Bigger companies need help, such as Culture Amp, to provide an analytics platform that surveys and engages employees. And track their successes, their milestones, and many other HR type details.

Learning first-hand how poor most companies are at employee management, Culture Amp started in 2011 with a quartet of founders. By March 2015 Series A funding of $6.3 million arrived, followed a year later by $10 million in Series B money. June 2017 arrived with $20 million in Series C cash for a total of $36.3 million.


Photo courtesy: Moula

What do small businesses need most? Customers, of course, but to find and service those customers they need money. Moula uses their online presence to provide working capital to small and medium businesses with a 10 minute application process.

Opening their cloud-based doors in 2013, the company received $1 million in seed money from an undisclosed source in November 2014. In June 2015, Liberty Financial Companies and NCN Investments partnered to provide $30 million in Series A funding. Adds up to $31 million.


Photo courtesy: Marketplacer

People love buying products and services online, but companies hate building marketplace software from scratch. Over 100,000 ecommerce sites decided to do things faster and easier by using Marketplacer as a foundation for their customized online presence.

Founded in 2007, Marketplacer created their own marketplace and found their own customers. In July 2015 two investors teamed up to provide $10 million in venture funds. Almost a year later, another investor plopped down $11 million in venture money. The shopping cart now holds $21 million.


Photo courtesy: Whispir

Communications makes the world go ’round, and the expert in knowing what to say and how to say it and who to say it to for the most bang for your company’s communications buck is Whispir.

Started in 2002, way before the smartphone and early in the days of texting, Whispir worked hard and eventually migrated to the cloud when that appeared. An undisclosed amount of venture funding arrived in December 2012. In September 2016, Series A funding from four investors put $11.75 million on the table. So the total is likely way above $12 million.


Photo courtesy: GreenSync

The electrical grid, originally designed a century ago, needs a serious upgrade. One company creating a better electrical distribution future is GreenSync, with the firm’s dynamic grids tailored to the needs of cities and individual businesses.

Founded in 2010 by Phil Blythe, GreenSync made headlines for taking on the electrical giants in 2014 when the Melbourne Angels provided an undisclosed amount of venture funds for expansion. New Energy Jobs Fund added $500k in a grant in August 2016. A pair of investors arrived in January 2017 with $11.5 million in Series B bucks, for a total of $12 million to date.


Photo courtesy: Nura

Love music but hate your lousy headphones? Nura may change your mind. The highest-funded Australian startup even on Kickstarter, Nura uses an in-the-ear bud along with over the ear cups to measure your ears and tailor the sound just for you. Shipping soon.

Starting in January 2016 with $100k seed money, by that summer the company had pulled in nearly $944k in equity crowdfunding. February 2017 says both $4.6 million in seed money from a group led by Blackbird Ventures, and another $1.8 million in equity crowdfunding. Total sounds like over $7.2 million.


Photo courtesy: Xplor

What do parents worry about most? Their children, especially when they are separated. Xplor uses technology to support parents, educators, and administrators with multiple monitoring and report options to mobile devices and tools to increase teaching time.

Mark Woodland founded the company in 2015, and by August 2016 AirTree Ventures appeared with Series A funding totaling $6 million.


Photo courtesy: ActivePipe

Real estate and mortgage origination businesses seem like they went high tech long ago, but that’s only partially true. Enhancing real estate-focused CRM and sales automation tools, Active Pipe brings modern marketing to old fashioned real estate sales, prospecting, and customer service.

Kicking off in 2015 with $4.7 million in seed money, the company also received $1.8 million with a Convertible Note. Total funds: $5.5 million.

Photo courtesy: WikiMedia Commons


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Smiling young business woman in Seoul downtown, South Korea. Photo Credit: LeoPatrizi

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