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The 25 most in-demand Aussie start-ups

Jessica Yun

There’s no longer any doubt that Australian start-ups are making waves, both on international shores as well as on home turf.

LinkedIn has unveiled its inaugural Top Start-Ups Australia 2018 list, naming the nation’s most sought-after young companies that are shaping the way we live, work and do business with each other.

These are the 25 start-ups you need to keep an eye on:

1. Canva

“It is Australia’s latest tech uncorn, valued at more than $1.3 billion,” Ms Logue wrote.

With 300 staff across the globe but headquartered in Sydney, the online graphic design offers a flexible workplace and an internal ‘Canva University’ for professional development.

Also read: Is the Aussie stock market really about to crash?

2. Expert360

Although this online freelance marketplace is also headquartered in Sydney, over a quarter of their staff are from around the world and speak Mandarin and Filipino.

3. Escient

Escient is a digital management consulting firm where the advice goes two-ways: clients being counselled by advisers also get invited to sit on an advisory board.

4. Koala

Online mattress and bedding retailer Koala, dreamed up by two childhood buddies, has a headcount of 84 in Sydney. Their point of difference: they’ve partnered with the World Wide Fund and other charities to make a donation with every mattress purchase.

5. Airtasker

This online outsourcing marketplace connects painters, gardeners, handymen, with 1.6 million customers who need someone to get a job done. The company aims to change the way people get things done and how they earn money.

6. Prospa

Online lender Prospa helps small-medium enterprises with fast loans and has had its fair share of headline in the fintech space. Thus far, the 120-strong fintech firm has lent over $500 million to 12,000 small businesses.

7. Versent

The cloud consultancy firm was founded by executives from NAB and has attracted employees from Optus, Australia Post, Sydney Water and KPMG with a global headcount of 280. The company is also able to call more than half the ASX200 among its clients.

Also read: The suburbs where property values have HALVED since 2008

8. Youfoodz

Youfoodz is a meal delivery service that you might have seen around The Block – their meals were used to feed contestants this year. The Brisbane-based company has a global headcount of 501 and claims to save customers 15 hours per week in shopping, cooking and cleaning.

9. Assembly Payments

The Melbourne-based payments platform for banks started its journey as an online marketplace payments facilitator that was funded through friends and family. In the past year alone, its headcount has since doubled.

10. Bench

Innovative marketing platform Bench harnesses data and artificial intelligence to create advertising campaigns for clients. Highlights include working with SBS on the World Cup.

Also read: Where would you be today if you’d bought property 20 years ago?

11. Today

Research and design firm Today has a global team of 55 and is based on Melbourne. Fun fact: it was called upon to help with the roll-out of the NBN. The company also has a keen emphasis in donating part of its profits to charity.

12. GO1

This e-learning platform – co-founded by a Rhodes Scholar, a former UN youth representative, and a doctor who juggled studies with the start-up – grew out of a Brisbane garage. It now boasts a global headcount of nearly 200 across the US, South Africa, Vietnam, the UK and Malaysia.

13. Willow

Architectural software company Willow is based in Sydney’s CBD and builds software for buildings by harnessing data to construct virtual models and turn them into “powerful insights”.

Also read: 5 helpful strategies if your property doesn’t sell

14. Mad Paws

Pet-sitting service platform Mad Paws has screened and connected over 15,000 with pet owners across Australia. Qantas has backed the firm, saying the partnership could help travellers who need to leave pets at home.

15. Neds

The headcount of this Brisbane-based online gambling start-up grew to over 135 within the first year of operation. The executive chairman, Dean Shannon, has also co-founded a number of other gambling businesses.

16. PrimeQ

Cloud consulting firm PrimeQ is an Oracle cloud solution specialist helping businesses transition their infrastructure to the cloud. Based in Adelaide, they’re 136-strong and looking to grow their team to 200 by offering a six-month graduate program to attract local talent.

Also read: Housing shouldn’t hit bank stability: RBA

17. Tanda

Cloud-based workforce management software firm helps business with an online timesheets, rostering and payments system. Tanda is headed by three Brisbane-based co-founders who was inspired by their attempt to solve an on-campus pub’s timesheet system.

18. e&e Solutions

The business and technology advisory firm counts the Queensland Government, Virgin Australia, The University of Queensland, Suncorp Bank, and a number of super funds among their clients. The Brisbane-based company says it has invested next to nothing in marketing, relying on word of mouth.

19. LegalVision Australia

Online law firm LegalVision Australia aims to make legal services more accessible for Australians and has enjoyed an injection of venture capital funding to the tune of $9 million by top tier law firm Gilbert + Tobin. Based in Sydney, they have a major focus on producing legal information in the firm of blogs and videos.

20. Lendi

Online loan broker Lendi has grown its staff by a whopping 79 per cent in the last 12 months, boasting a headcount of 362. The lucky new hires start their first day with their favourite drink, treat and gift voucher.

Also read: Here’s how long it really takes to save for your first home deposit

21. KBSS Engineering

Specialist engineering services firm KBSS Engineering was created by a Western Australia-based 24-year-old. The company has now taken projects in Venezuela and Vietnam and has worked with Rio Tinto – as well as taking young Indigenous Australians under its wing.

22. Sidekicker

Staffing platform Sidekicker acts like a standby workforce for hospitality, retail and events employers. Headquartered in Melbourne, over ten thousand jobs are completed across Australia and New Zealand each month, and the company expects this number to double over the next year.

23. lexvoco

This new-age Melbourne-based law firm eschews dress codes, designated office hours and billable hour targets. Made up of “lawyers who previously loved law but didn’t like being a lawyer,” their core values are pretty clear-cut: “no jerks”.

Also read: Good news for NAB mortgage holders as the bank opts to HOLD rates

24. Viridian Advisory

Boutique wealth firm has seen waves of bankers ditch their jobs to join the company, which helps clients with cash flow and debt strategies as well as proprietary software solutions.

25. Employment Hero

Digital HR platform Employment Hero brings together payroll, scheduling, HR processes and employee benefits into one place. At the end of March, they closed an $8 million funding round counting SEEK and VC firm OneVentures among its investors and are looking at expansion plans – watch this space.