The top 50 Australian and New Zealand startups revealed


The top 50 Australian and New Zealand “leading-edge” tech companies have been revealed in a new report aiming to showcase the best local startups.

The list, put together by H2 Ventures and Investec Australia, features “leading innovators, disrupters, revolutionaries and game-changers” in the region and is based on the total capital raise, rate of capital raising, geographic and sector diversity, consumer and marketplace traction and ‘x-factor’.

The report says these 50 companies are “using technology to their best advantage and driving disruption within a variety of industries and sectors”.

Unsurprisingly, $8 billion tech giant Atlassian tops the list, followed by New Zealand success story Xero and Melbourne-based online marketplace Envato.

H2 Ventures founding partner Ben Heap says the purpose of the report is to shine a spotlight on Australia’s burgeoning startup scene beyond just the prominent names.

“There are a whole range of terrific businesses in this market,” Heap tells StartupSmart.

“Rather than talking about a very small number of success stories that many people know we’re trying to make sure the broader community are aware of the breadth and depth of tech as a sector in Australia.”

The fintech investment firm has been running a similar Fintech 100 list for a twp years, and decided to branch out to the wider local startup scene.

“Our focus is the Australian market and this is us stretching out our knowledge base,” Heap says.

“We think there are all sorts of interesting lessons coming from all sorts of interesting startups.

“We feel like the role of a venture capitalist is to seek to build out the ecosystem and to advocate for what’s going on.”

Over 500 companies were analysed as part of the report, and Heap says it was “terrifically difficult” to zero in on the final 50.

“The depth and breadth across industries is really impressive, as is the level of creativity and the range of new businesses doing really exciting new things,” he says.

“The level of job creation coming out of these startups is also a real positive. There is something in excess of 5000 jobs across these 50 companies. The level of growth in terms of job creation is in the double digits. These are businesses that create a lot of new and highly skilled jobs.”

The list is dominated by New South Wales, with seven of the top 10 companies residing in the harbour city, and more than half of the whole list.

Nine of the top 50 come from Victoria, while 12 are from New Zealand.

In terms of industries, 21 are marketplaces, 15 are SaaS and 11 are fintech startups.

The report includes an introduction from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“Each demonstrates the power of technology to disrupt the status quo and are helping position our region as a leading innovation hub,” Turnbull says.

“They also highlight the importance of early-stage capital for startups to be able to invest and grow.”

Heap says the tech pioneers list will become an annual report showcasing the startup sector and says he also hopes to expand the site into a “repository” for sector information.

“The real value in these reports is seeing the progress over time,” he says.

The Tech Pioneers 50

  1. Atlassian
  2. Xero
  3. Envato
  4. Campaign Monitor
  5. Canva
  6. OFX
  7. Freelancer
  8. Vend
  9. Invoice2go
  10. WiseTech Global
  11. 3P Learning
  12. 99designs
  13. Redbubble
  14. Aconex
  15. Harmoney
  16. Shoes of Prey
  17. Siteminder
  18. Tyro
  19. Prospa
  20. SocietyOne
  21. 8i
  22. Autopilot
  23. BuildingIQ
  24. Moula
  25. Nitro
  26. Rocket Lab
  27. Ingogo
  28. Unleashed Software
  29. Vinomofo
  30. IMage Brief
  31. Safety Culture
  32. Booktrack
  33. Smart Sparrow
  34. Snakk Media
  35. Catapult Sports
  36. Culture Amp
  37. OpenAgent
  38. Vigil Monitoring
  39. Expert360
  40. Airtasker
  41. Power by Proxi
  42. DesignCrowd
  43. Stockspot
  44. 90 Seconds
  45. Nano-Nouvelle
  46. Data Republic
  47. Hey You
  48. Martin Jetpack
  49. Equitise
  50. Jayride

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Denham Sadler is the editor of StartupSmart. He was previously a journalist at the publication and has worked as a freelancer for the Guardian, the Saturday Paper and the ABC. In his spare time he likes puns and jaffles.
  • alan jones

    At what point is NASDAQ-listed and UK-based Atlassian no longer an Aussie company? I don’t have the answer, sorry, I’m just asking the question. I couldn’t find any more recent reporting on how much tax Atlassian pays and where, but according to The Australian in 2014 it only paid USD159,000 tax in Australia, vs USD3.2M in the UK.

    Three others I might have expected to see in the list were SEEK, and Carsales. No longer very sexy these days but big tech businesses still based in Australia (I think).

    • Ben

      Are those really start ups though? I wouldn’t think so.

      • Trevor

        Agree. StartupUpSmart ran an article about Technology One the other day calling it a startup … a 15 year old company (that has done a great job btw)
        So startup=tech company? Simply not the case and along with this article shows lack of understanding of what a startup actually is.