Today we take a look at the “world’s most livable city” (for 7 years in a row).
Melbourne has had a tendency to get overlooked, with Alan Jones, a startup evangelist at start-up incubator BlueChilli recently stating “There is more capital in Sydney at the moment than there is in Melbourne and I think there always has been … Sydney is a bigger market than Melbourne, no question.”
And talk of our emerging eco-system weighing heavily in Sydney’s favour.
But are the tides turning? Just a couple of months ago, Melbourne was crowned Australia’s ‘tech capital’ with the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle AC stating, “Our vision is for Melbourne to be recognised as the number one destination for startups and entrepreneurs to ‘start, grow and go global’, across Australia and Asia,”
Melbourne fans, indeed have plenty of reason to feel optimistic. The city still boosts cheaper development, lower office rates and more co-working space than Sydney. Heck, they even made a sport of the dumped share bikes.
The tech hub specifically has a lot to be boastful about, starting with the new tech startups coming through the ranks, including Timelio, Speedlancer and Culture Amp.
Followed by the big software giants using Melbourne as a landing ground, including Slack and Eventbrite.
Finally supported by the local founders continuing to push year on year growth and sharing lessons learnt. We’re looking at you CarSales, Envato, 99Designs.
One thing all these companies have in common is the understanding that people are the power behind growth. So, we’ve uncovered some of the fastest growing from 2017 so far. Let’s have a look to see which Tech companies are on the rise, increasing headcount in 2017.*
*All hiring data was either sourced directly from the organisation, or via LinkedIn analytics.
LiveHire.com is a software platform that many of Australia’s most well-known brands use to proactively build private Talent Communities (reserve armies) of great candidates that are open to working for them in the future, helping companies humanise their recruitment process, whilst improving the experience for candidates.
Since their launch just over 3 years ago, the LiveHire ecosystem of employers and candidates has grown exponentially every month. The LiveHire team has nearly doubled in the last 3 months from 28 to 50 people.
LiveHire predict more growth with their technology recently winning the prestigious iAward from Australia’s peak body for the digital economy (aiia), expanding into Asia, and proudly supporting the Women in Tech movement, a collaboration between some of the largest tech and digital companies to attract another 100,000 women to the technology sector.
Cogent work with novel digital businesses to turn great ideas into remarkable software.
Cogent has almost doubled in size in the last year both in terms of headcount and the volume of work they’re doing. They’re very conscious about growing purposefully, so they have a pretty robust growth strategy in place. There’s a big focus on doing more purposeful work – rather than just more work in general – and as a result, they’ve been more intentional about the projects they take on the skillsets they need to bring those to life. They have also ramped up their Ventures arm, which invests in promising Melbourne based startups that align with the Cogent values.
As they continue to grow they will be focusing on culture and work on projects that are fulfilling for their people. They believe in full transparency and a testament to that is their open salaries model and profit share, so as they scale their values like transparency, diversity and personal wellbeing become more important than ever.
Sidekicker is Australia and NZ’s #1 on-demand staffing platform – revolutionising the way thousands of businesses source and manage casual and temporary staff and providing their ‘Sidekicks’ with the flexibility to work when and where they want.
Fuelled by strategic hires, expansion and investment, Sidekicker has gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months. This year they are celebrating their 5th year in operation. To meet the demand of their clients with a national presence, they have launched into three new geographical markets – Wellington, Perth and Brisbane – bringing the total number of locations to 7. To support their growth and better service their clients, they have also tripled the size of their head office staff.
In 2018, growth efforts will continue across; Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland and Perth. They will continue to expand into their current categories of Events, Promotions, Business Admin and Hospitality and push into new ones such as Health Care and Warehousing.
Unlockd is a mobile platform that rewards consumers when they unlock their digital device and view targeted ads, content or offers.
In 2017 Unlockd have expanded their offering to reward users with premium entertainment content (launching with MTV in March) and loyalty points (launching with flybuys in August). They are now the world’s first attention based virtual currency. They are live with 8 partners across 7 markets and have raised Series B funding of $30 million, totalling $50 million invested since 2015. In July, they moved into their cushy new Melbourne office where their product, engineering and global support teams are based. They now have teams and offices in Delhi, London, New York, Singapore & Melbourne. And finally, they have clocked up $10m in value to users against their target of $500m by 2025.
For 2018, they plan to continue their efforts in emerging markets where smartphone penetration is still growing & mobile usage itself is high – such as India, Indonesia and other Asia Pacific markets. They will also be working to secure and launch more partners in developed markets, where their streaming and loyalty program offer is resonating with established players.
Whispir helps businesses engage with their audience through easy-to-use beautiful communications applications and intelligent data-driven workflows.
In the past 12 months, Whispir has enjoyed rapid growth and continued international expansion, estimating 56 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from FY15 to FY17. The communications software company has also increased its staff by more than 100 percent in FY17, adding 75 new staff across Australia and New Zealand, Asia Pacific and North America.
Looking ahead, Whispir has plans to double their headcount by 2020 and expect to grow CAGR at 85 percent year-on-year. Channel partnerships with industry leaders including StarHub, IBM, Telstra, Twilio and Telkomtelstra have been integral for the company, opening new opportunities across their core expertise. These partnerships offer enormous potential and are expected to further accelerate Whispir’s expansion. Jeromy Wells, Whispir CEO says, “We have a bold vision for further expansion. The growth we have achieved so far will be accelerated by building on our strengths with a product pipeline that includes AI, the internet of things and data analytics.”
IRESS designs, develops and delivers technology for the financial services industry. They provide solutions that help with life’s big decisions – from getting a mortgage approved to planning for retirement or building wealth on the stock exchange – things that make a real difference to people’s lives and financial wellbeing.
IRESS has operations in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, and Asia. For the financial year ending December 2016, IRESS had group revenue of $389.7m, up 8 percent and they have grown to be a 1,800 strong team across six countries. They aim to attract and retain the best people through graduate programs, learning and development opportunities, industry-leading benefits and by creating an inspiring, creative, community-focused and rewarding work environment. One of the ways they do this is with a 24-hour Global Hackathon, in which employees from all areas of the business come together to collaborate on new ideas, solve client problems, compete for prizes and eat a ton of pizza.
2018 will see the company continue to look to other areas it can take a leading position on when it comes to creating a work environment that’s diverse, inclusive and innovative. They’re also committed to ongoing investment and innovation to ensure the technology and solutions they create continue to meet their clients’ needs.
Adslot‘s Automated Guaranteed technology streamlines the trading of premium digital media for Buyers and Sellers.
In August last year, Adslot signed a long-term contract with GroupM – the world’s largest media buyer. Following that, the company successfully concluded an $18m Capital Raising. The raising was conducted in order to expand the R&D team in support of deployments in new markets for GroupM, and increase the velocity of new feature development. Additional product & development resources were hired and on-boarded during the period October ’16 to June this year. Over this period the product & development team nearly doubled in size, with a corresponding threefold improvement in output.
The expanded team will focus on product development velocity and refining processes. By the end of FY18, the integration of Adslot’s two core platforms; Symphony and Adslot will be close to reaching a single product experience objective. They will see an increase in marketing activity and further growth of the sales organisation.
Easy Weddings offers planning tools and access to Australia’s premium wedding suppliers including wedding dresses, venues, invitation, cakes and flowers.
The business has grown their website audience (couples planning their weddings) by 21% in the last 12 months, maintaining their 17-year position as Australia’s most visited wedding website. This metric is important for the company as it determines how many wedding businesses they can partner with. To accommodate this growth, they’ve expanded the team by 10 percent. This growth will help them to better service their 4,500 clients and further enhance their product offerings such as their wedding planning apps, and a brand new CRM for their wedding suppliers.
2018 will be more about international expansion, both into new countries, as well as continuing the growth of their UK operation which launched in 2015. They will be evolving their product offering to make it easier for their two customer groups to connect – couples and wedding vendors.
TRIBE is the world’s fastest-growing self-serve marketplace connecting brands with micro-influencers.
TRIBE were successful in raising a $5.35M Series A investment round to fund international expansion and solidify their Australian position. They’ve used those funds to invest in a number of areas; they opened a Sydney office to complement their Melbourne HQ, and over the year increased their headcount from 6 to around 30 Australian staff. Additions were predominantly made into their onshore product team, then sales and building a marketing function. They also have an off-shore development team numbering around 12 developers to support their local product team of 12. These funds were also used to launch in the UK, which was the result of extensive global analysis of where investment was best placed. From a business point of view, since the Series A, they’ve grown from approximately 5,000 influencers to now having 22,000 with 50-100 joining per day.
For 2018, they are starting to look into other regions. Although, this would only be done after careful consideration as to where markets are ready for their products, and the complexity in setting up operations; factoring in things like costs, language and culture. Asia presents some interesting possibilities, as does broader Europe now that they have an established base in the UK.
Venuemob is the easiest way to find and book the perfect venue for your event – whether it’s a birthday, conference, launch party, gala dinner or a wedding.
A year ago, the Venuemob team was a posse of 12 crammed into a tiny office space. They’re still packed like sardines, but that’s because they’re about to outgrow their (much larger) space, with a team of almost 35. Recently they launched a new version of their venue booking website, and a revealed a new dashboard for their 4000+ venue partners. Venuemob Manager features reporting tools, an enquiry management system and availability calendar, and tools for larger venue teams. In between all that, they found time to take home ‘Best Product or Service’ at the Australian Event Awards for 2017, enjoy a couple of team member weddings and engagements, and compete in a handful of triathlons and marathons.
In 2018, the Venuemob team is focusing on international expansion to New Zealand and Singapore. They’ll be growing their world-class team to build additional tools for venues and event planners, and add a payment solution into the platform – making Venuemob a true online marketplace for events.
Versent helps businesses understand, transform and operate in the cloud.
This young consulting company has increased headcount by 50 percent making their total number of employees to over 160. Not bad for 3 years in business. Engineering saw the greatest increase in staff with 121 percent growth. Followed by a 50 percent increase in Information Technology, 40 percent in Sales and 18 percent in Consultants.
Earlier this year James Coxon, co-founder of Versent to discuss their wild success. On the topic of growth, James offered “As a company, we continue to grow in order to meet customer demand, as well as continue to expand into full-stack development. We have a number of ends to end, full stack product development programmes in flight – and I’m personally very excited to expand Versent’s experience and capability in this space.”
MYOB is an Australian multinational corporation that provides tax, accounting and other services to small and medium businesses.
Growth in 2017
This year they have experienced growth of seven percent bringing their total employee count to nearly 2000. It is not surprising that a majority of their new hires went into technical roles. They increased Engineering headcount by 37 percent, Information Technology by 12 percent and Consultants by three percent.
The race for the No.1 spot as a financial services platform will no doubt continue into 2018.
The Urbanise platform uses cloud technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to completely reimagine service delivery to buildings and communities.
This relatively new business, established in 2014 has had a nice year of growth, adding 10 percent to the team to now make up 110 employees. There was an increase of 67 percent in Sales and 21 percent added to Engineering.
In July 2017 the company announced a 5-year partnership with New Zealand company Crockers. Of the partnership, David Bugden, Global Head of Strata said, “Urbanise’s recent expansion into New Zealand has received a significant boost with the news that we have secured a long-term partnership with New Zealand’s largest body corporate management company, Crockers.”
Attra is a multinational IT solutions and services delivery firm focussed on the banking, finance and payments industries.
Attra continues to grow year on year. The business has seen a growth of three percent with over 1110 employees. The two skillsets most recruited within the business are under the categories Quality Assurance (which increased by 16 percent) and Engineering (an increase of two percent.)
In December 2016 Attra announced a global services partnership with Cardtek. Of the partnership, Anil Gammampila, Founder and Chairman commented that “Our partnership gives Attra a wider geographic reach and a strong foothold in the Digital Payment solutions and services space. Cardtek’s customers will benefit from our deep domain expertise and access to high-quality global delivery and support services.”
Kloud is an award-winning IT services company offering public and private enterprises the best technical expertise and business acumen.
The team at Kloud have a decent growth spurt this year of 19 percent. They now have 238 employees. Their Engineering category headcount increased by 50 percent. While Information Technology gained another 24 percent and Consulting grew by 6 percent.
Not only is Kloud growing but co-founder Geoff Rohrsheim was in September recognised by his peers for his entrepreneurial efforts, taking home the 2017 South Australian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award.
Rome2rio is a comprehensive global trip planner that helps you discover how to get anywhere.
This well-established business has seen a significant growth of 50 percent in the past 12 months to bring the team past the 35 milestone. Media and Communications was the area with the most growth at 113 percent, followed by Engineering which increased by 100 percent.
This ‘cockroach’ startup says that live bookings are their future and this year announced partnerships with three major European rail operators. On what this means for their future, CEO Michael Cameron says “By 2018, Rome2rio’s booking coverage will be more global and comprehensive than our most respected competitors.”
PageUp‘s innovative HR Software is configured to make your business more efficient & profitable.
Another long-standing business continuing to go from strength to strength is PageUp. The business has grown by five percent in the past 12 months, to reach around 220 employees. The majority of new headcount came from the Engineering category and the Business Development team.
In an interview with The Australian, founder Karen Cariss suggested PageUp are looking at their next stage of growth which could look like a float on the ASX to continue their international expansion. Karen says in the interview, “We have been growing in Australia and becoming very successful, but a lot of our growth going forward will come from our offshore markets.”
BidEnergy is a cloud-based platform to manage the energy spend of your business by giving you real-time visibility into your spend data. BidEnergy now delivers source-to-pay services globally.
In the past 12 months, BidEnergy has grown by 13 percent. Business Development and Operations both increased headcount by 20 percent and Engineering increased by 14 percent. The team is now 36 strong.
Over the last 12 months, BidEnergy has announced numerous significant contracts including agreements with the likes of Flight Centre. BidEnergy Managing Director, Stuart Allinson said: “While the contract is just for Australia at the moment, we are eyeing their extensive network in the USA and UK with relish as potential future business opportunities.”
Redbubble is a global online marketplace for print on demand products based on user-submitted artwork.
This year saw Redbubble increase headcount by eight percent. Engineering received the bulk of new hires and has increased by 26 percent. Media and Communications increased headcount by 16 percent and Art and Design by 10 percent. The group now has a workforce of 611 staff.
Redbubble has stepped into Augmented Reality. In September they released Redbubble for iOS with an AR update. Founder Michael Huskings said, “We moved down the path of AR because our tagline is ‘Find Your Thing’. So customers finding their thing and seeing that in their environment [through AR] is deeply aligned with our brand and positioning.”
Travelport Locomote is a brilliantly simple corporate travel platform that empowers travel managers to drive change and achieve a quantum leap in program efficiencies. More than an online booking tool, our range of module powered workflows consolidates the entire travel lifecycle. This empowers travel managers to drive behavioural change in their travellers and achieve a leap in program efficiencies that goes further than the usual single focus on online booking.
Having expanded into the UK and Asia in 2017, Travelport Locomote plans to move into the US market in 2018 to continue its global expansion. As well as moving into new markets the growth strategy also includes the internal expansion with at least 30 new roles having been filled this year and more to come for 2018.
Culture Amp makes it easy for companies to collect, understand and act on employee feedback.
Growth in 2017
Another startup to feature in our 40 Top Melbourne Startups to Watch in 2017, Culture AMP has experienced fantastic growth this year. They have increased headcount by 38 percent in the past 12 months. Business Development received a great injection of talent and increased by 58 percent. Followed by a 25 percent increase in Information Technology and 17 percent in Engineering. They now employ over 150 employees around 4 office around the world.
To gear up for further growth, the company raised $26.4 million earlier in the year with co-founder Elzinga committing to further growth with goals to double the number of employees.
MyXplor develops, builds, and supports software solutions for childcare management.
This year MyXplor have increased headcount by 46 percent. The Engineering category grew by a huge 350 percent and Sales by 100 percent. This recent growth spurt brings the headcount total to 35.
Xplor, has a backing of $6 million from 2016 behind its engine and continues to scale its centres at a rapid rate. Xplor now boasts more than 200,000 happy parents on its platform with offices in Australia, the United States and Malaysia.
Dubber is a cloud-based call recording software which operates as a software-as-service offering.
It’s been a big year for Dubber. They have increased headcount by 55 percent. The Sales category has had the largest boost with 400 percent. Quality Assurance and Business Development both increased by 50 percent and Engineering by 25 percent. Bringing the company total to over 34.
It looks like the company is just getting started after recently raising $7M to expand its U.S., Europe operations.
Yellowfin BI is the only modern BI Platform that supports both the analyst and business user workflows, to deliver increased user adoption and faster analysis.
This year Yellowfin BI had a headcount increase of 19 percent, bringing total employees to nearly 100. Business Development surged their numbers by 60 percent. Information Technology by 50 percent and Sales by 18 percent.
In the past year, Yellowfin has more than doubled the number of customers relying on the platform and added more than a million new users. ”
ROLLER provides digital software solutions for Events, Leisure & Hospitality businesses around the world.
ROLLER has had a cracking year with a headcount increase of 24 percent. The Business Development category was the greatest beneficiary of this increase, growing by 400 percent. Engineering and Sales both increased headcount by 50 percent and Operations by 20 percent, taking their employee count to 56.
Luke Finn, the CEO of Melbourne-based tech company ROLLER recently shared the company’s results so far: “experiencing two years of rapid growth, during which we expanded into North America, the UK and Europe with offices opened in London and LA. Not only have we added hundreds of new clients across 15 countries, we’ve seen bookings grow by a factor of 20, we’re processing tens of millions of dollars in bookings per month and we have 40 staff and counting.”
Matchbyte innovate and develop IT solutions for the airline, hotel and travel industries.
In the past 12 months, the team has risen to over 35 employees with a strong 13 percent growth. Consultants were the most hired skillset, that team increasing by 17 percent, followed by Engineering which jumped up eight percent.
Afterpay Touch is a technology-driven payments company with a mission to make purchasing feel great for a global customer base.
It has been an exciting 12 months for Afterpay Touch, the new business venture between Afterpay and Touchcorp. The combining of the businesses saw them increase headcount by 19 percent to make up a workforce of 155 staff. Support received the greatest injection of staff, growing by 240 percent. The technology was the other area adding the troops, this team increased by 67 percent.
The company was very recently tipped as the IT Stock to watch stating that since 2014, The business has already amassed more than 1 million active users in Australia with more than 7,200 merchants including Myer, Country Road and The Iconic.
Airwallex is a financial technology company that offers integrated solutions for B2B cross-border transactions.
The startup is continuing to kick solid goals and has had an excellent growth year, adding 56 percent to their headcount. Legal was the area to receive the majority of new hires and has grown 200 percent. Engineering has had a decent expansion of 63 percent and Business Development hires are up 25 percent. The team has grown to over 40 with offices in Melbourne, Shanghai and London, with Singapore coming soon.
As of May this year Airwallex has raised $16M to bring its cross-border payment service to Europe, with plans to set up shop in London.
Envato operates a group of digital marketplaces that sell creative assets for web designers, including themes, graphics, video, audio, photography and 3D models.
Envato is the second largest employer on this list with a current headcount of over 1,300, following their seven percent growth this year. In terms of department breakdown, Engineering saw the greatest influx of new hires, increasing the team by 25 percent. Information Technology came in second with a lift of 17 percent. Then, Media and Communications by seven percent and Arts and Design by 2 percent.
In their recent 11-year birthday celebration, Envato announced reaching $500M in lifetime community earnings.
Aconex provides the #1 cloud and mobile collaboration platform for the global construction industry.
Aconex has continued steady growth this year with an increase in headcount of seven percent. To date, the team has reached the 800 mark spread across 47 offices in 23 countries. The Engineering Department was the area listed with the most growth this year adding to the team. Followed by Sales which grew by 15 percent.
Catapult is a public athlete analytics company that engineers wearable technology for elite sports.
It’s been a big year of growth for Catapult with a headcount lift of 39 percent. This brings their global workforce to a total of 177 employees. Sales and Business Development seem to be the areas bringing on the most recruits. Sales grew by 129 percent and Business Development by 50 percent. Followed closely by the Engineering team which grew by 41 percent.
Carsales.com.au allows you to search 200000+ new & used cars for sale or sell your used car.
It’s been a steady growth year for this well-known site, overall headcount has increased by nine percent. The Engineering department saw the largest number of new hires, growing by 22 percent. Information Technology came in second at 19 percent. Followed by Sales at 8 percent and Marketing at seven percent. The site now employs 504 staff across the country.
The team has spent the year not looking the traditional view of which teams need to increase headcount, but rather looking at how the skills needed for the future are being developed and attracted into the business explaining: “The digital space moves rapidly, data and insights play a crucial role in shaping our future direction, whether creating a more compelling membership offering to our consumers through membership team, investing in an artificial intelligence team, expanding our global footprint or extracting more value from data. What is certain for us is the need to create global technology centres and opportunities for our people to work remotely is high our agenda.”
Jora is a worldwide job search aggregator in almost every continent around the globe.
In the past 12 months, this company has increased their headcount by 10 percent. The team now sit at over 40 with the Engineering department seeing an increase of 36 percent, and both Sales and Marketing increasing their numbers by 25 percent.
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