Top 10 fastest growing companies in Australia
10. Connected Analytics (three-year year-on-year (YoY) growth 102.5%)
Connected Analytics is a privately owned and registered Australian company that posted a 2016 revenue of $4.01mn. A professional services business dedicated to helping organisations use information to gain insight and make better decisions, Connected Analytics uses a business model based on ‘an absolute commitment to delivery excellence and to an employment proposition that provides our clients with access to some of the best talent in our industry’.
9. JV Recruitment (3-year YoY growth 103.8%)
JV recruitment was founded in 2009 and reported its 2016 revenue as $14mn. The company provides a people-orientated approach to recruitment in the areas of construction, logistics, manufacturing and business support. It recruits across permanent, contract and labour hire staffing solutions and boasts a 96% placement success rate, with 60-80 labour assignments per day. It is currently directed by the company founder, Stuart Campbell, and is headquartered in Melbourne.
8. Reliance Real Estate (three-year YoY growth 108.8%)
Reliance Real Estate has been established as an independently owned and operated company in the Wyndham area with offices based in Werribee, Point Cook, Melton, and Tarneit office. It’s been around since 2011 when it had just four employees. Reliance has grown rapidly since and now has over 60 staff and a 2016 revenue of $4.67mn.
7 Hunter Mason (three-year YoY growth 118.6%)
Hunter Mason is a five-year-old construction management consultancy company headquartered in Sydney. The company delivers fitout and refurbishment services to the real estate industry and reported a 2016 revenue of $29.93mn. Owner Matthew Callender manages a team of over 20 and the company has notable partners including Accenture, Uber and Vodafone. Its most recent clients have also included booking.com, Jacobs and Qantas.
6. MYdeal.com (three-year YoY growth 124%)
MyDeal.com.au is an Australian online retail marketplace, connecting millions of consumers with thousands of Australian retailers since 2011 with over 2mn parcels shipped nationwide. The homeware and fashion site currently sells over 100,000 items and posted $29.55mn in revenue for 2016.
5. Alegre (three-year YoY growth 127.7%)
Electronics trade-in specialists Alegre have been capitalising on the used smartphone and tablet market since 2012 and posted a 2016 revenue of $27.9mn. The Alegre Trade In programme delivers an enterprising buyback solution described as ‘market leading’.
4. Evolution Health (three-year YoY growth 129.1%)
Evolution Health is a family owned Australian company established in 2006 which posted a 2016 revenue of $71.85mn. Evolution is a brand owner, manufacturer and supplier of a range of nutritional health supplements and products. Building on more than 20 years of manufacturing expertise in therapeutic products through sister company Ultra Mix, Evolution Health is a vibrant new player in the health and complementary medicine industry for the Australian and global marketplace.
3. Octopus Deploy (three-year YoY growth 133.3%)
Octopus Deploy is the most popular deployment automation server in the world with over 20,000 companies using its Octopus to automate NET, Java and other application deployments to their servers. It has achieved 12mn deployments to date and over 220,000 machines are running its service, Tentacle. 2016 saw Octopus post a revenue of $8.61mn.
2. Prospa (three-year YoY growth unreported)
Australia’s number one lender to small businesses for loans up to $250,000, Prospa has provided funds totalling $500mn. Prospa offers business loans of between $5,000 and $250,000 with no security required to access up to $100,000. Application takes just 10 minutes and clients can get same day approval. Funding is possible within 24 hours. Using a smart proprietary technology platform, Prospa focuses on the health of a business to determine its credit-worthiness. Its 2016 revenue was $56.36mn.
1.TripADeal (three-year YoY growth unreported)
TripADeal is Australia’s most popular online travel company which makes ‘travel dreams come true by offering bucket list adventures at unbelievable prices’. Voted Best Online Travel Agency 2017 by the National Travel Industry, its growing team of travel experts are all based in Byron Bay on the east coast. TripaADeal posted a 2016 revenue of $89.88mn
C-suite spotight: Melanie Perkins, CEO, Canva
Who is Melanie Perkins?
She’s the co-founder and CEO of Australian unicorn online design platform Canva, who ultimately became one of tech’s youngest female CEOs, at just 30, and recently became a billionaire aged 35, making her one of Australia’s richest and youngest.
Why is she in the spotlight right now?
Because less than a year after securing a US$6bn valuation during the pandemic, which provided a big boost to business, Canva has recently more than doubled its valuation, securing a $15bn valuation, which makes Perkins a billionaire, according to Forbes. The valuation comes in the wake of a new funding round in the first week of April 2021 led by T. Rowe Price and Dragoneer and raising $71m. At the same time, Canva announced its business has passed $500m in annualised revenue, up 130% from the year before.
What is Canva and why is it so successful?
Launched in 2013 by co-founders Melanie Perkins (CEO), Cliff Obrecht (COO) and Cameron Adams (Chief Product Officer), Sydney-headquartered Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design product that allows users to create everything from social media graphics to presentations and other visual content, as well as offering paid subscriptions like Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise, with 3 million of its now 55 million users taking paid subscriptions.
Accruing 750,000 users in its first year, following a number of rounds of investment including from Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital in 2019 and this month’s massive funding round, Canva now boasts 55 million users across 190 countries, with offices in Sydney, Beijing, Manila, and most recently Austin, Texas, and is valued at $3.2 billion.
And while the company was originally most popular with SMEs, helping them draft and design print and digital assets, it’s since grown to become a real-time collaboration suite that’s being used by big firms including McKinsey, Salesforce and American Airlines. In fact, Canva claims that 85% of Fortune 500 companies use the platform’s services. They continue to add new features and during the pandemic, added presenter video recording tools.
How did Perkins get there?
The idea of Canva came to Perkins when she was at the university of Perth, where to earn money on the side she taught students design programmes. Many of her students found platforms like Adobe complicated and frustrating, and the ideas came to her to simplify and democratise design, to make it more approachable and accessible, more collaborative, and ultimately to empower all in design. So, she and university peer Cliff Obrecht, who became Canva co-founder and Perkins’ husband, created an online school yearbook design business, Fusion Yearbooks, to test it out. Operating from her mum’s living room, the yearbook design business was a massive success, expanding to New Zealand and France, and remains the largest yearbook publisher in Australia.
However, Perkins did not give up on her dream to create a one-stop-shop design site and at one point spent three months living with her brother in San Francisco where she pitched to more than 100 venture capitalists, all of whom rejected Canva. It was following a chance encounter at a conference in Perth with Silicon Valley venture capitalist Bill Tai, Perkins was winning over major investors including Hollywood celebrities Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson and building out Canva’s design platform with a fast-growing team of tech engineers and a high-profile tech advisor, Lars Rasmussen who co-founded Google Maps.
It was in 2012 when things really kicked off however when Perkins and Obrecht found a tech co-founder in Cameron Adams. The same year, they closed their first funding round, which was oversubscribed and raised $1.5m, with Canva going live in 2013. In 2019, an $85m funding round led by Silicon Valley investor Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital gave the company a valuation of $3.2bn, before the most recent funding around in April 2021 leading to a valuation of $15bn.
In her own words…
"I think it's pretty important to know that every single person is going through their own trials and tribulations. Knowing that it's tricky for everyone, that any adventure will be filled with rejections and littered with obstacles – somehow makes the adventure a little less lonely. And it's most important for people who feel like they are on the outside to know this."