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Growing, going or gone? Growth of 1,700 start-ups to be tracked by Guy King’s Start Chart

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Australian entrepreneur-turned-investor Guy King is tracking the growth metrics of more than 1,700 Australian start-ups via his new platform Start Chart, which he created as a side project.

 

King is the founder of a bevy of start-ups including RetailMeNot.com, BugMeNot.com, Stateless Systems, TheWall, LIFX, CushyCMS.com and Trendsmap.com.  

 

He is also associated with the likes of Adventure Capital, AngelCube and Pollenizer, and has invested in start-ups including rome2rio and Goodfil.ms.

 

King’s latest project, Start Chart, reveals the growth metrics for 1,734 Australian start-ups, which are ranked according to “fast growth” and big growth”.

 

“I do a bit of angel investing and sort of, I guess, came to the conclusion I wished there was a more quantifiable way of assessing start-ups and how they’re performing,” he told StartupSmart.

 

“I thought it would be a good thing for the start-up scene in general to expose who’s out there and highlight who’s doing well.

 

“Basically, I’m collecting any data on any publicly available metrics for start-ups… [This includes] Delicious bookmarks, Facebook likes, Twitter mentions, Google+ shares.”

 

King says there are two ways the list is sorted.

 

“With ‘big growth’, all I’m doing is I add up all those metrics and I look at what those metrics were 30 days ago. Whatever the difference, that’s the score,” he says.

 

“‘Fast growth’ is a bit more complicated because it’s using an algorithm.

 

“What that is doing is basically saying, if you grow from 1,000 to 2,000, that’s worth more than if you grow from 100 to 200… [‘Fast growth’] is the sum of all the metrics.”

 

With regard to the start-ups in the Start Chart, King says he collated the list from “a bunch of different sources”, namely CrunchBase and AngelList.

 

“I’m adding more as I see them. Anyone can submit more,” he says.

 

King says the Start Chart aims to eliminate some of the hype that surrounds start-ups.

 

“Initially it started off as a tool I wanted to use for myself as an angel investor as a way of getting some insight into how these guys are performing from an unbiased source,” he says.

 

“But I thought, this is [an opportunity] for more people than just me. One of the things that annoys me at times is often the start-up scene can be based on hype versus actual performance.”

 

At the bottom of the Start Chart, there is a link titled “start-up zeitgeist”, which is a collection of the top tweeted start-up links in the last 24 hours.

 

While King believes the Start Chart platform could be expanded to other countries, he has no real intention to monetise it.

 

“In the end, the social benefit outweighs the commercial aspects of it for me,” he says.