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Startups in Australia - Statistics & Facts

The term start-up or startup has been frequently used in the last years. It describes an entrepreneurial venture, typically a newly emerged business, trying to solve a problem by developing a feasible new business model for a new product, service, process or platform. Likewise, it is often described as a culture or mentality of innovating existing ideas or creating new ideas to solve critical issues. In reality, there are no hard rules on defining the term start-up and so-called start-up companies differ drastically in terms of revenues, profits and employment numbers for instance. Among the most highly valued global start-ups are the Chinese internet technology company Toutiao (Bytedance), the Chinese ridesharing company Didi Chuxing and the U.S. electronic cigarette company JUUL Labs.

In Australia, similar developments as those in the global startup landscape can be observed. In less than 10 years, Australia’s technology startup sector has developed from an unremarkable branch with very little activity to a thriving hub of people and investment. The ecosystem in Australia is now one of the fastest-growing startup sectors globally. Most of the startups Down Under operate in the artificial intelligence and fintech industries with the majority located in Australia’s largest city Sydney. Nonetheless, the education sector, internet of things and marketing industies are among the booming areas that Australian startups are involved in. In particular, Australia’s physical infrastructure, internal market dynamics and commercial and legal infrastructure were evaluated positively in terms of start-up environment. Moreover, the entrepreneurial climate in Australia is rather opportunity-driven, meaning that most of the entrepreneurs in Australia started their business out of an opportunity. The majority of Australians who are involved in the early stage of entrepreneurship were in the wholesale and retail sector, followed by professional services and health, education, government, and social services.

The value of venture capital funds in Australia has increased almost sevenfold. Above this, the market size of the alternative finance market in Australia surged from a little less than 27 million U.S. dollars in 2013 to over 600 million U.S. dollars in 2016. The involvement of universities and other companies to accelerate startups in their early stage has increased drastically within the last years. Some universities have started investing a lot of money in entrepreneurship and have launched new programs or expanded their already existing schemes. Despite the increased governmental and private support, as well as a lot of angel and venture capital investment deals, Australia is also facing problems such as a risk-averse culture with a strong sense of national humility.

All in all, Australia is becoming a thriving startup economy. As an English-speaking country near South East Asia, it is a magnet for high quality talent from abroad. The metropolitan cities in particular, such as Sydney and Melbourne, have developed into a melting pot of ideas and innovation in Oceania.

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Startups in Australia

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