The technology industry continues to go from strength to strength in Australia, with customer-centric solutions dominating the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 in 2017.
Selected from almost 200 tech start-up leaders from across the country, Hireup took home the top prize with record 7,713 per cent growth, followed by zipMoney (2 - 4,012 per cent) and Zero Latency (3 - 3,611 per cent) in second and third place respectively.
Hailing from New South Wales (NSW), Hireup is an online platform that lets people with a disability find, hire and manage their own home care and support workers - harnessing technology to bring the peer-to-peer economy to the Australian disability sector.
“In a departure from previous years, this year’s winner is not only in the healthcare sector, but is a profit–for-purpose led business,” Deloitte Tech Fast 50 lead partner Josh Tanchel said.
“Hireup is an online platform offering a new way for people with disability to find, hire and manage support workers. They’ve recognised an opportunity in the introduction of individualised funding through the National Disability Scheme (NDIS) and have harnessed technology to bring the peer-to-peer economy to the disability sector.”
Meanwhile, zipMoney simplifies the consumer’s financial journey by providing simple, user-friendly and financially responsible products, designed to facilitate both informed purchases and long-term personal finance planning.
Based in NSW, the start-up’s main products include zipPay (a digital wallet enabling ‘buy now, pay later’ both online and in-store) and Pocketbook (a mobile app that categorises spending).
Hailing from Victoria, Zero Latency is a global leader in multiplayer FRVR, in which untethered players freely explore a large physical space while immersed in a virtual reality gaming (or other) experience.
According to Deloitte, Zero Latency is currently the only company offering a fully-productised and commercially proven FRVR entertainment platform, currently operating in 11 locations on four continents, with 10 additional sites under development.
Rounding off the top 10 were Big Review TV (4 - 2,052 per cent); Instaclustr (5 - 1,257 per cent) and PEXA (6 - 1,233 per cent), followed by Sparesbox (7 - 1,223 per cent); Megaport (8 - 822 per cent); Brosa (9 - 807 per cent) and Metamako (10 - 801 per cent).
Now in its 17th year in Australia, the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 recognises and profiles fast growing technology companies, ranking public or private technology businesses based on percentage revenue growth over three years (2015 to 2017).
Since launching almost two decades ago, this year’s top 50 have the highest average growth rate on record, coming in at 664 per cent.
In addition, more than double the number of nominees (seven) had over 1,000 per cent growth compared to last year (three).
“This is the first time that we have seen a purpose-led organisation win the Tech Fast 50, but it perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise,” Tanchel added. “A strong customer focus is fundamental to growth and principled leaders who want to make an impact that matters can fuel innovation and growth from the top down.”
As explained in front of a jam-packed crowd in Sydney, disruption is coming to other industries in the form of customer-centric technology based solutions.
“Healthcare, aged care and education are amongst the emerging sectors in the technology start-up ecosystem,” Deloitte Australia leader of technology, media and telecommunications Kimberly Chang added.
“The companies who are identifying innovative solutions and reducing friction in the customer journey are the ones disrupting these markets and experiencing accelerated growth.”
Deloitte Tech Fast 50 2017
Working down through the list, Cashrewards (11 - 490 per cent); GetCapital (12 - 480 per cent); Catapult (13 - 440 per cent) and Araza (14 - 439 per cent) also featured, alongside Prospa (15 - 438 per cent); LegalVision (16 - 389 per cent); MyDeal.com.au (17 - 375 per cent); BrandLink (18 - 369 per cent); Adactin (19 - 333 per cent) and SocialGarden (20 - 324 per cent).
Furthermore, EML Payments (317 per cent) ranked 21st, followed by Solista (22 - 314 per cent); HealthEngine (23 - 305 per cent); MoneyMe (24 - 298 per cent) and Deputy (25 - 277 per cent); as well as placings for OpenAgent (26 - 247 per cent); Online Marketing Gurus (27 - 225 per cent); Zimbani (28 - 223 per cent); CorrectComms (29 - 216 per cent) and TechMpire (30 - 212 per cent).
In terms of the number of listed companies, Tanchel said tech sector listings have doubled in the last three years, now comprising over 200 companies, ranging from software-as-a-service (SaaS) to Fintech to online marketplaces, and including global names such as Wisetech and Xero.
“When it comes to maturing of the sector we have seen that 22 per cent of companies are between $10 million and $20 million,” Tanchel explained.
“In addition, 10 per cent of companies are between $20 million and $40 million and 14 per cent of companies are greater than $50 million. The numbers speak for themselves: in the right environment, growth is rising exponentially.”
Returning to the list, Zetaris (208 per cent) placed at 31, followed by Adore Beauty (32 - 197 per cent); Touchpoint Technology (33 - 196 per cent); HRL Holdings (34 - 192 per cent) and Oneflare (35 - 178 per cent).
Maintaining the strong growth trajectory were Avoka (36 - 176 per cent); Supple Solutions (37 - 176 per cent); Digivizer (38 - 161 per cent); Nextgen Distribution (39 - 137 per cent) and Onel (40 - 135 per cent).
Rounding off the list, BizCover (131 per cent) placed 41st, followed by MNF Group (42 - 124 per cent); Insync Technology (43 - 121 per cent); Bench (44 - 119 per cent); Appen (45 - 118 per cent); Transpire (46 - 118 per cent); HUB24 (47 - 116 per cent); CloudPlus (48 - 115 per cent); OvertheWire (49 - 112 per cent) and Burst SMS (50 - 106 per cent).
“We congratulate all of our 2017 Tech Fast 50 winners,” Tanchel added. “Every year we see the bar set higher and every year it is surpassed. “And with 17 of this year’s winners having previously ranked in the Top 50, this outstanding level of sustained growth is impressive.
"We’re proud to be supporting and showcasing the best and brightest of Australia’s high-growth businesses. We will continue to work with and cultivate opportunities for those who are bringing technology and innovation to the broader Australian economy."
Despite such accelerating business success across Australia, Tanchel cautioned that attracting and retaining talent is still seen to be the major obstacle that companies are predominantly facing.
“Having the right skill sets and ensuring that those people are attracted to joining a business can be challenging,” he added.
From visa related issues to increasing opportunities across all industries, Tanchel said there needs to be further community discussion around how best to ensure that the talent pool is available and growing.
“Technology, innovation, ambition and creativity provide the perfect opportunity for a sector that is thriving, growing and succeeding,” he added. “By sharing more insights, case studies and examples of why the industry is a great place to forge a career, we can continue to attract and retain the best minds out there.”
Leadership and Rising Star
Alongside the annual list, Code Camp took home the Rising Star award, in a category dedicated to high-growth nominating companies that have been trading for less than three years and do not therefore qualify for the Tech Fast 50.
Code Camp aims to educate, inspire and empower Australian school students through the opportunity to learn to code, build apps and develop websites.
Specifically, the start-up offers school holiday programs, after school classes and in-school sessions at more than 40 schools across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Wollongong, working with over 300 teachers, while achieving 5,697 per cent growth in the process.
“This year’s Rising Star winner has experienced phenomenal growth for the second year in a row, having featured as a category finalist in 2016,” Tanchel added. “Teaching kids coding skills in and out of schools is so important. They will definitely be one to watch in 2018.”
In addition, Catapult was honoured in the Leadership category, open to established technology companies with a strong track record of growth and operating revenues greater than $50 million.
Based in Victoria, the business was born from a partnership between Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) and the Australian Institute of Sport, creating technology to help athletes and teams perform to their true potential.
“The company has grown to become a global category-leader in elite sports technology and over the last few years they have completed a number of acquisitions, including a market leader in video-based technology and athlete management systems,” Tanchel added.
Currently, the ASX-listed business has over 300 staff across 16 countries worldwide, working with over 1500 elite teams from 30 different sports globally.