May 19, 2020

3 Tips for Internet Companies Based on the Success of REA Group, SEEK and Atlassian

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2 min
3 Tips for Internet Companies Based on the Success of REA Group, SEEK and Atlassian

According to the “internet hall of fame” list from the World Startup Report, Australia’s top three internet companies rank the country 8th out of 50 countries based on valuation. REA Group (the global real estate advertising company, worth $6.6bn), SEEK (Australia’s number one jobs site, worth $5.3bn) and Atlassian (an enterprise software company, worth $3.3bn) combine to rank Australia behind the US, China, South Africa, Korea, Russia and Israel.

Only 29 of the countries on this list have “billion dollar” companies. Google’s value alone is higher than the combined value of the remaining 49 countries outside of the United States.

Trends from the World Startup Report prove the increased value of publicly traded companies. Public companies are around six times larger than private companies, and are also over 60 times larger than the average acquisition value. REA Group and SEEK are public companies; it is rumoured that Atlassian is considering an IPO sometime in 2014.

E-commerce and search companies, like REA Group and SEEK, are the most popular industries when analysing the top three companies from the 50 companies. Other trends include communication companies are the most highly valued, and B2B companies (like Atlassian) seem to be the companies with the fastest path to wealth.

lots of news recently about lack of support for Australian startups, but new global survey shows that Australia in is 8th place in valuation of its top companies, across 50 countries

Australia is a tough place for startups of any sort. According to the Expatisan Cost of Living Index, Sydney and Melbourne are nearly as expensive as San Fransisco for startups.

The World Startup Report’s authors shared some advice they accumulated from the results of the survey.

  1. Be patient. Successful startups don’t happen overnight. If you’re interested in building a billion-dollar company, it will take at least seven to 10 years.
  2. Be realistic. The largest companies are in the US or China. If you want to have a $100 billion company, moving out of Australia is your best bet.
  3. Solve “old” problems. It may not seem like search and e-commerce are very innovative, but they are important building blocks for every ecosystem.

Information sourced from StartupSmart.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.


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