Australia set for strong growth in small business exports – SME Ombudsman
Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, believes 2018 will see significant growth in the export activity of small businesses.
Australia’s International Business Survey 2017, commissioned by the Export Council of Australia with support from Austrade, Efic and UTS, reflects the opinions of 941 firms from 19 sectors undertaking international activities in more than 90 overseas markets.
“Australia is seeing increased growth in exports and small businesses are leading the way,” Carnell said. “Nearly 88% of Australian exporters are small-medium enterprises. An increasing number of firms are ‘born global’, which means they’re exporting at the very beginning.”
- Export Council of Australia highlights lucrative trade opportunities with Argentina
- Free trade agreements are helping 93% of Australian businesses export – ECA report
- Canada’s export agency to expand role with Australia
The survey findings also showed that showed two thirds of respondents expected future sales revenue to increase. In agriculture and wholesaling, two thirds of businesses believe the outlook is better than the previous two years.
Further, just over one third of respondents had applied for finance, however nearly 40% of these were unsuccessful.
Carnell said this illustrates the challenge for small businesses to obtain capital from traditional banks, which require property as security.
“It’s great that more entrepreneurs are getting started with exports, but rapidly growing small businesses need sources of finance that don’t require putting the family home on the line,” she added.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.