Virgin Mobile


Introducing our Best Startup finalists for the 2014 StartupSmart Awards

3:48PM | Thursday, 27 March

With so many excellent and diverse startups out there, picking only five startups to celebrate as candidates for the big title this year was never going to be easy.   The following were picked based on the strength of the idea and how well the company has performed on their early goals.   The winner will be announced at the StartupSmart awards night. You can follow the awards night with the hashtag #susawards.   b2cloud   Mobile app development is a booming industry, with this startup well placed to make the most of it, already working with major brands such as Virgin Mobile and the official Sydney New Year’s apps for Telstra.   Founded by Luke Smorgon and Josh Guest, b2Cloud brought in over almost $100,000 last year. The team are keen to stay ahead of the crowd and are already experimenting with apps for wearable technology such as Google Glass and Galaxy Gear.   Tommy Swiss   Online furniture retailer Tommy Swiss launched with a new way of buying furniture.   Founder Jimmy Du says there appeared to be only three options: aggregators and drop shippers; local focused offerings; and importer focused stores. All had their pros and cons, especially around delivery.   Du’s hybird model, where 50% is exclusive to his brand, is working for him: the company brought in over $2 million in revenue last year.   Paws for Life   Pet supplies may not sound like a rich opportunity for startups at first, but when you consider the prevalence of pets and how much their owners are willing to spend on them, it becomes a very attractive industry quickly.   For the Paws of Life cofounders Mike Frizell and James Edwards, it was too good an opportunity to miss, as they saw the millions of venture capital dollars being poured into similar online offerings in the US.   The company made $5 million in revenue last year and is growing rapidly.   The founders spoke to StartupSmart about their $1.5 million raise and growth plans last year.   Bugcrowd   Online security is a multibillion-dollar industry set to keep growing for years to come. Crowdsourcing is also a burgeoning phenomenon. This startup is right in the sweet spot to ride both waves. Founded by Casey Ellis and Chris Raethke, BugCrowd runs competitions, known as bug bounties, with professional hackers and testers for big clients who want to make sure their websites are as safe as possible.   Built on a marketplace model, the company made over $250,000 in revenue last year.   Ellis spoke to StartupSmart about their $1.6 million fundraising round, moving to the US and learning to speak American in September last year.   Wine Cru (Vinomofo)   After a couple of years trying to find the right business model to monetise their passion, wine deals site founders Andre Eikmeier, Justin Dry and Leigh Morgan have settled on one that brought in over $10 million in revenue last year.   Taking on the two biggest grocery sellers in the country, Vinomofo connects wine consumers to deals and a wider range of winemakers.   In the past six months, the user base has almost doubled, and their e-commerce rates have skyrocketed.   Eikmeier spoke to StartupSmart about the struggle to find the right business model and the risks they took to make it work in November last year.

Four Australian start-ups make the top 20 in Deloitte’s Fast 500 Asia-Pacific list

12:59AM | Monday, 16 December

Australian tech companies are well represented in Deloitte’s 2013 list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the Asia-Pacific region, with 66 companies making the list.   Four companies made it into the top 20: planning company PlanB Logistics coming in at fifth, venture tech accelerator BlueChilli Technology coming seventh, wine deals company Vinomofo coming 13th and app developer b2cloud coming 14th.   The top 500 companies had an average revenue growth of 356%.   In a statement, the leader of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Program, Joshua Tanchel, described the listing of the four companies as an outstanding achievement for Australia.   “It is further evidence of the fact that the local start-up ecosystem is maturing and entrepreneurs are fast becoming Australia’s greatest natural asset,” Tanchel says.   “In the traditional business world Australian company growth may have been constrained by the size of the domestic market. However, in the high growth digital economy that is no longer an issue. By utilising the internet and mobile technology, Australian tech companies are building businesses that compete and win globally.”   Launched in 2009, b2cloud co-founder and director Luke Smorgon told StartupSmart their revenue had grown by 1680% over the past three years mostly thanks to their people-first approach.   “We’ve been recognised as the fastest growing app developers in Asia-Pacific, and have gone from working with small start-ups to some of Australia’s largest corporate customers,” Smorgon says.   The b2cloud team of 15 has worked on projects with Telstra, Virgin Mobile and law firm Minter Ellison.   “We’ve really focused on investing a lot of time and effort into the team. We want to always be sure they’re the knowledge leaders in this industry,” Smorgon says, adding they send team members to international conferences, seminars and events often.   “This has helped us become the leaders in the space, but another main reason for our growth is we forge really strong partnerships with our clients.”

Like a Virgin – or a Unilever: Is one brand ever enough?

3:39AM | Thursday, 14 March

When you’re planning a business, it’s natural to spend a lot of time thinking about how you’re going to brand your first product. But what about your second product?

Tapit Media looks to global stage after raising $2.3 million

3:45PM | Sunday, 10 March

Sydney-based tech start-up Tapit Media plans to take its near field communications technology (NFC) to the global stage, after completing a $2.3 million Series A round led by MPC Ventures.

Perth company MOKO.Mobi acquires US networking site

7:16AM | Wednesday, 27 July

Perth-based mobile social networking company MOKO.Mobi has acquired US mobile site for up to $3 million in stock, as it attempts to make its mark in the US market.

THE NEWS WRAP: Virgin Mobile follows NAB's lead by asking customers to 'hang up' on rivals

2:03PM | Tuesday, 15 February

Virgin Mobile has followed the lead of NAB by urging rivals’ customers to ‘hang up’ on their current providers.