26 Brisbane Startups to Watch in 2018

Written by Stephanie O'Brien

August 8, 2017

In the last few months, we have been exploring hot startups in the major Australian cities. We took a look at 40 Melbourne Startups to Watch and 50 Sydney Startups to Watch.

Now it is time for Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city, to get some cred. The startup scene in Brisbane is growing. Of course, the market is smaller than in Sydney and Melbourne but that does not mean this city is failing to innovate.

Boasting many global successes and world firsts, here are 26 Brisbane startups paving the way in Australia.

Storyboard Social

Storyboard lets you create engaging and rich stories from your photos & videos. Storyboard’s main feature is its extremely accurate mapping function. In a world where we follow the movements and recommendations of those online, Storyboard allows individuals and influencers to share a visual story, a map of their recent trip or an insight. Founder Darren Tonkin ideated his platform while retelling stories to his family about his travels; he wanted to be able to not only share images but also visually map out where he had been. One year on, the bootstrapped business has a small team of three and won numerous awards including QUT Creative Enterprise Australia’s Creative3 Pitch, Tropical North Queensland Innovation Inspiration Award. At Creative Business Cup in Denmark Storyboard competed with the best startups across 65 countries, to take out 13th place. Storyboard is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Travelshoot

Travelshoot is a service that helps you book with a local photographer while travelling. The platform provides a way to connect travellers with local and professional photographers. People that know their city like no one else, whom you can book to get personal, unique travel photos, without breaking the budget. The idea came to founder Sarah Pearce when on holidays with her husband and having the fortune of experiencing a professional shoot in NYC. Their break came when they won the “My Shark Tank Australia competition” which announced Travelshoot as Australia’s favourite new business concept in 2015. Since then the enquiries have been flooding in. The team have raised $500,000 from Steve Baxter and Creative Enterprise Australia to continue their growth.

BenchOn 

BenchOn is an online Supplier Sourcing Platform that matches idle employees to short-term contracts from reputable companies. Witnessing the employee under-utilisation issue in businesses across Australia, founder Tim Walmsley set out to fix this problem. BenchOn is his solution. Their B2B Supplier Sourcing Platform allows businesses to put their workforce to work by matching their idle employees to short-term contracts from reputable companies. Their matching methodology captures employee availability across multiple industries by Qualification, Skill Sets and Experience to provide commercial and government organisations efficient access to the hidden talent inside Australia’s best companies. Since launching in 2016, BenchOn has signed over 200 companies, hosted $20 million worth of contracts and received Seed investment of $130,000 from investors including Blue Chilli Investment.

Advvy

Advvy is a media technology company leading the digital transformation of workflow in the media and advertising industry. The Advvy platform transforms inefficient manual campaign planning processes into a workflow solution to allow enterprise Media Agency employees to work smarter while giving management real-time visibility into their campaign activity and performance. Founders, Chris Macaulay and Tristan Ozinga, both from the Media, saw a need to move away from the manual, clunky systems and processes. The Advvy platform was built alongside some of the largest multi-national media agencies in the world. They have raised over $1M to date from VC fund, FutureNow Ventures and are currently raising a $2 million pre-series A round.

Megaport

Created and headquartered in Brisbane, Megaport is a start-up turned ASX-listed company that has evolved into a powerhouse within the tech industry. Megaport makes connectivity easy and enables digital transformation and cloud adoption for enterprises. The Company is now the global leader in Software Defined Networking and provides flexible, direct, on-demand connectivity. Rapid growth since inception has resulted in over 730 customers, and 165 enabled data centres in 37 cities across 19 countries. Megaport is partnered with the top five global Cloud Service Providers: Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle, Microsoft, and Google. Established in 2013, founded by Bevan Slattery, and led by Vincent English, Megaport is making huge waves with its innovative services.

Process PA

Process PA is cloud-based software that automates association procedures and paperwork, saving committee members from administration time. Founder Matthew Rowan created the platform while learning himself how poorly these processes work for secretaries and committee members across organisations across the country. Matthew and co-founder, Mick Gerrard, joined forces when discovering they both had a keen interest in process driven technology solutions and a very similar approach to working. Process PA relieves the pressure by automating the duties of the secretary. The learning curve is dramatically taken away and lets you know the state of the association with continuity across volunteers. It will save time month-to-month and give peace-of-mind that your legal requirements are taken care. So far the team have raised $94,000 from investors muru-D and RCL Accelerator.

Tappr

Tappr is a FinTech company developing the next generation payment system technology for sme’s. Founded in a living room by Brett Hales and Kerry Esson, Tappr brings a wealth of tools that online businesses take for granted, in-store. The solution’s main focuses including being payment agnostic, terminal agnostic, data-rich and seamlessly integrates with the Tappr app or other POS providers. Their vision is to enable merchants to accept any form of payment their customers prefer. Whether that’s cards, bitcoins, digital wallets, transportation cards or coupons. To date, the team has secured over $5m in funding.

Haystack

Haystack is the long overdue solution disrupting the business card. The team have developed a stylish & smart digital business card solution geared for small, medium and enterprise clients. Haystack cards can be sent to anyone on any device and utilize a learning algorithm to intelligently update contact information over time. The company was founded in 2014 by Ran Heimann, Matan Heimann and Nir Heimann. Unlike their competitors, they acknowledge paper cards and have designed within their platform a bridge to simply transfer physical to digital, simply by taking a photo of the paper card. Haystack cards are currently being used in more than 100,000 companies around the world, including a number of Fortune 500 companies. So far the team has raised $1.34 million in investment.

MOVUS

MOVUS is a provider of Industrial Internet of Things solutions. They enable industry to reduce waste, increase efficiency and empower people through the improvement of asset utilisation. MOVUS was founded in 2015 by Brad Parsons and Michel Lamarre, to help businesses find ways to optimise the resources they currently manage, by bringing new thinking and innovation. Through improved management, businesses can save money, create greater employee satisfaction, generate less waste, and have a positive impact on the planet. The team have built the FitMachine a full-stack sensor solution designed to capture machine failures in advance using AI. They have received $900,000 in seed investment and $350,000 in State and Federal Grants.

Wanderlust Tribe

Wanderlust aims to use smartphone technology to connect people from around the world by creating a user-friendly app that allows people to easily find and connect with other travellers. Keen traveller and founder Shane Williams is creating the app to help facilitate amazing travel experiences. You can meet travellers & locals before you leave for your next trip or find out who’s in the area when you arrive at your destination. Making meeting like-minded people while you travel as easy as pulling out your smartphone.

Gruntify

Gruntify is an innovative tasking and data management platform taking mobile, cloud and geospatial technologies by storm. It allows organisations to manage workflows, assign tasks, analyse, map and report collated information through a snap and tap application that reports real-time image and location data. Their cutting edge technology is so versatile that it is being used in the Peruvian Amazon to capture information on jaguar sightings, signs and habitat, while simultaneously saving Queensland-based customers thousands of hours in labour by cutting out paper-based data capture forms. Created by GIS People, Gruntify was developed in 2014 as a solution for Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. Today it is utilised by the likes of Microsoft and government entities worldwide. They plan to expand into North Africa and the United States this year.

Pixc

Pixc helps online stores increase their sales with better product content. Founder Holly Cardew knew that professional photos help to highlight products and make e-commerce businesses stand out from competitors, resulting in more ‘add to cart’ actions. Pixc is a platform for all your photo editing needs, Pixc professionally edits your product photos for any eCommerce platform or marketplace you are selling on. They provide a quick, efficient and easy way for their clients to have retail-ready photos within 24 hours. They’ve helped thousands of e-commerce store owners to sell more products and have users in over 30 countries.

Folktale

Folktale is a mobile app that puts the power of a film director in the palm of your hand. The platform provides a marketplace that connects brands with a community of contributors by providing a fun and engaging platform for the curation and co-creation of video content. Marketers post call-outs to the community of creators, who in-turn follow guided story structures to create awesome user generated stories. Folktale was founded by Sarah Mak, a Canadian behaviourist and David Lloyd-Lewis, an Australian filmmaker, who shared an obsession with storytelling and impact. The team has received pre-seed funding through the Blue Chilli & CCIQ’s Collaborate program as well as a grant from the University of Waterloo in Canada. Their MVP creation tool is available for download in the app store.

Reekoh

Reekoh is the leading open enterprise integration platform, purpose-built for the IoT. By using an integration model, Reekoh reduces the complexity of combining best-of-breed IoT solution components. Reekoh delivers this capability through their Plugin Marketplace and data workflow design tools, providing modules for users to integrate IoT device data with over 100 cloud platforms, tools and services. Hardware makers, application and service developers can utilise plugins in the marketplace to also reach customers who are building IoT solutions on the Reekoh platform. This unique platform for IoT was founded in 2015 by Dale Rankine (pictured) and Benj Sicam. Just recently they were named by Gartner in their 2017 Cool Vendors Report for the Internet of Things.

Crowd Delivery

Crowd delivery is an on demand delivery network powered by “Heroes”. Customers can enter their shopping list from multiple stores at the same time, such as Coles, Woolies, the local butcher and green grocer. Then one of these Heroes zips around, picks up your items and deliver them in around 30 mins. Due to customer demand, they have also branched into the restaurant market. So now you can get your groceries and your Thai food delivered at the same time. The idea is the brain child of, the founder and CEO, Warwick Cox‘s daughter in 2015 at the age of 4yrs old! The team is expanding very fast and says they have the “secret sauce” to profitable unit economics. They have plans to expand across Australia in the next 6 months and scale dramatically. You can get Crowd Delivery on the App Store or Google Play.

GO1

GO1 is software that allows clients to train their staff and customers. You can quickly create your own courses or use one of the 100,000 existing courses in their marketplace. GO1 was founded by Andrew Barnes, Vu Tran, Chris Eigeland and Chris Hood as a way to make it easier for companies to find, book, and complete corporate training. They have seen great success including being accepted in the Y Combinator Summer Program and in 2015 received early investment of more than US$1 million. In December 2016 the group secured a further $4 million in funding allowing them to continue their global expansion. They now operate out of Sydney, Brisbane, KL, Vietnam and San Francisco. In May 2017 they secured a partnership deal with New Zealand-based business, Totara, which it expects to lead to a significant revenue jump.

ClipChamp

Clipchamp offers a unique suite of video tools that runs entirely in the browser, giving users a fast and simple way to collect, record, edit, upload and share videos. Their technology makes compressing and converting videos up to 20 times faster than traditional methods, without impacting visible quality. Founded by Alexander Dreiling, Soeren Balko, Tobias Raub and David Hewitt in 2013, Clipchamp has published 3 products that are all gaining international traction. Their areas of expertise are in digital video processing and using web technologies in unique ways, which lets users do things on clipchamp.com and their own websites that were not previously possible.

Maxwell MRI

Maxwell MRI is an AI and MRI powered diagnostic test for prostate cancer. They give clinicians, researchers and companies the tools they need to accelerate the design, development, delivery of clinical diagnostics built upon medical imaging, pathology and other data. Maxwell MRI was founded in 2016 by Elliot Smith and Matthew Brown with the goal to reduce unnecessary, invasive and costly follow-on tests and improve the patient experience. By combining deep learning with modern medical imaging Maxwell MRI is set on developing a method of prostate cancer diagnosis that is faster, more accurate and more affordable, without the side effects of current methods.

 Outfit.io 

Outfit is a brand automation and marketing production platform that is transforming how businesses and agencies large and small create, collaborate, localise and distribute brand assets. More than 1,200 clients from across 40 countries use Outfit to reduce production costs, streamline workflow, allow for better team collaboration and accelerate campaign launches while guaranteeing brand consistency. Founded in 2013 by Bruce Stronge, the entrepreneur behind NetEngine and Trigger, Outfit has raised $1 million in investment and is expanding to the UK and US. Outfit has been featured in the AFR and Marketing Magazine Australia, and is shortlisted as a finalist in Anthill Magazine’s #Smart100 Startups for 2017.

Confeti

Confeti is a wedding planning startup that shows users the wedding suppliers they should talk to based on the inspiration they like and dislike. Confeti was created by Paul Carr after starting a venue hire company called Zenue which helps people find cool and unusual venues for events. Pretty soon after launching Zenue, they realised the bulk of users were brides-to-be. He noticed that couples were spending 10+ hours a week to find wedding inspiration but then struggling to connect that with suppliers in their area. Confeti’s superpower is the machine learning tech that eliminates suppliers based on a user’s dislikes and prioritises suppliers based on their likes. Their mission is to make wedding planning enjoyable, meaning continuously refining their search function to help couples cut through all the junk.

Travello

Travello is a social network for travellers, currently being used in over 170 countries. The platform allows you to find and connect with travellers around you or in a new destination, match travel plans, interact on the Dynamic Travello News Feed and they even have a free WiFi finder. The creation of two avid travellers, Mark Cantoni and Ryan Hanly, Travello was the solution to their personal frustration that there was no efficient way for travellers to connect with other travellers. Travello’s aim is to simply make travelling easier and to help travellers connect. From humble beginnings in 2014, Travello has now raised $1.3 million investment and is continuously adding countries to their list. The app can be downloaded on the  App store or Google Play.

Flystein

Flystein is a personalized flight search service for individuals and small corporations. This self-funded startup was founded by Roman Kalyakin and Vlad Protasov who wanted to share their knowledge of flight hacking techniques to others around the world. Since their launch, they have leveraged a large team of travel hackers to satisfy over 1700 happy customers. Saving each customer an average of $250+ per trip. By leveraging years of experience in travel hacking, they apply creative and legitimate strategies to find the best prices and the optimal flight schedules for their customers. They have partnerships with Hacker Paradise, Terminal 3, Teleport and Embark.

Adepto

Adepto gives organisations the power to create and leverage their own marketplace. By now most of us will have heard of the rise in contingent workers and the on-demand economy. Through SaaS and consulting services, Adepto helps businesses to find, engage and directly manage their own contingent workforce. Founded by Chris Milligan and Michael Derwin, the Adepto team set out to help companies to do more with less; to shift their cost base from fixed to variable, and create true organisational agility. Adepto takes a view that all talent is ultimately contingent – so they focus on helping business manage their external talent as well as enabling internal mobility. They consider themselves a business solution, not just a HR tool.

FunCaptcha

FunCaptcha is the world’s only managed CAPTCHA service. It uses a patent-pending 3D model approach to create gamified puzzles that leverage gaps in machine vision. This approach generates every security image unique to the user, which makes it heavily resistant to all forms of automated abuse, machine learning, client decryption, brute forcing, and sweatshop techniques. They also have a team of dedicated data scientists who monitor FunCaptcha around-the-clock. Founded by Kevin Gosschalk and Matthew Ford, FunCaptcha determines if a user is human and stops automated abuse with image-based games that are easy to solve. Since their launch in 2013, FunCaptcha has raised $2.21 million and become an integral security solution for the likes of Electronic Arts, Kik, Distil Networks and many others.

PetCloud

PetCloud is a website which connects busy pet owners with local pet services across Australia. They are partnered with RSPCA across most States, and now with Greencross & Petbarn, making them one of Australia’s most trusted and convenient pet care service providers. Founded by Deb Morrison, PetCloud is an online community for pet parents to connect with pet sitters who have been screened and are ready to care for your pet. All reservations include insurance, 24/7 customer support, and daily photo updates of your pet enjoying their own vacation, letting you enjoy yours.

TrademarkVision

TrademarkVision is fast becoming the leader in image recognition. Their computer vision and machine learning technology is used by governments, law firms and corporates around the world with a strong focus on brand protection. After releasing the world’s first image search for trademarks in 2013, TrademarkVision has changed the Intellectual Property industry and secured significant partnerships with both the Australian and European Union IP Offices, with the United Kingdom and French governments also joining the revolution through TMView. Now based in Brisbane, Australia and well as San Francisco and Pittsburgh, USA, TrademarkVision has clients all around the world, from Facebook and Warner Bros to top law firms like King & Wood Mallesons. TrademarkVision is expanding their offering rapidly, with many new brand protection offerings in development.

Written by Stephanie O'Brien

August 8, 2017