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, this often described as a culture or mentality of innovating existing ideas or creating new ideas to solve critical issues. Hence, 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 U.S. American ridesharing company Uber, the Chinese ridesharing company Didi Chuxing and the Chinese electronics company Xiaomi.

In Australia, similar developments as in the global startup landscape can be observed. In less than 10 years Australia’s technology startup sector has developed from a neglected branch with very little activity to a blast 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 fintech industry with the majority located in Australia’s largest city Sydney. Nonetheless, also the education sector, internet of things and artificial intelligence are among the booming areas Australian startups are involved in. In particular Australia’s physical infrastructure, internal market dynamics and commercial and legal infrastructure in particular are evaluated positively in the start-up environment. Moreover, the entrepreneurial climate in Australia is rather opportunity-driven, meaning that most of entrepreneurs in Australia started their business out of an opportunity. The majority of Australian’s 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 almost increased sevenfold. Above this, the market size of the alternative finance market in Australia surged from little less than 27 million U.S. dollars in 2013 to over 600 million U.S. dollars in 2016. Also the involvement of universities and other companies to accelerate startups in their early stage increased drastically within the last years. Universities lately started investing a lot of money in entrepreneurship and launched new programs or expanded their already existing schemes. Despite the increased governmental or private support and a lot of angel and venture capital investment deals, Australia is also facing some problems such as a risk-averse culture with a strong sense of national humility or the lack of exit routes.

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

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