Victoria leads when it comes to tech unicorns

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 25 August, 2017

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Victoria has produced more tech unicorns — start-ups valued at more than $1 billion — than any other Australian state, research commissioned by LaunchVic shows.

Victoria’s three technology unicorns are digital advertising company REA Group (valued at $8.7 billion), job listing company SEEK ($5.9 billion) and classifieds site ($2.8 billion).

The survey commissioned by LaunchVic in collaboration with Startup Victoria and dandolopartners found that Victoria’s start-ups span a range of industries but are particularly strong in the health, enterprise and corporate services, as well as media and entertainment sectors.

Some 60% of the state’s start-ups are revenue positive within their first yer, and almost $80% achieve this by year two, the survey suggests.

One in three start-ups are bootstrapped — funded internally — and among those seeking external investment it takes an average of five months for start-ups to raise a median of $250,000 from angel investors.

The survey also shows that more than two-thirds of Victorian start-ups are exporting to key overseas markets including the US, UK, China and New Zealand.

The average age of a start-up founder is 36. While three-quarters of founders are male, women are more likely than men to establish a start-up past the age of 45. Nearly all (97%) of the state’s start-ups are in Melbourne.

Despite the strong activity within Victoria’s start-up market, the survey also identified key areas of improvement that LaunchVic plans to focus on. These include the fact that 54% of start-ups have not considered an exit strategy or are planning to remain private indefinitely.

“We already knew Victoria was the start-up and innovation capital of Australia and this report confirms that,” Victorian Minister for Small Business and Trade Philip Dalidakis commented.

“We’re working hard to ensure start-ups feel supported and welcome here in Victoria, because we know they will support our future economy and create jobs for Victorians.”

Image credit: © Nivens

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