By Rafael Kimberley-Bowen
Firstly, some stats and insights on startups and tech companies in August:
- In August we profiled 1,571 companies.
- Among other metrics, we captured 570 global news mentions of Australian companies, 149 milestones, 41 funding milestones, over 27,000 tweets and 10,000 Facebook posts and employee counts at 965 companies.
- We’re now also capturing downloads and reviews of over 500 Australian apps on iTunes and Google Play.
- The big banks played a significant part in two of Techboard’s top three companies in August, with NAB and Westpac providing debt and equity respectfully to NEXTDC and zipMoney.
- Five of the top ten are ASX listed.
- Telecom and fintech were the dominant categories in the top ten.
Power Ledger was the top trending company in August as it launched Australia’s largest ever Initial Coin Offering. The blockchain startup raised $17m in a presale of tokens as part of its ICO, which was the first to be launched in Western Australia. While the Power Ledger ICO has been reported as Australia’s first, Sydney-based fintech ChronoBank did complete a $6.7m ICO earlier this year. It does however appear that the Power Ledger ICO is the first conducted within Australia, rather than with a foreign-based partner. The funds are being used to further develop the platform which will allow consumers to trade in renewable energy. The company also appointed venture capitalist Bill Tai to its board of advisors, and saw strong press coverage during the month. Power Ledger was also the country’s top trending startup on social media as recorded by Techboard, with high month-on-month increases in engagement metrics.
Speaking to Techboard Power Ledger Managing Director and Co-founder David Martin said:
“We’re extremely happy with the success of the pre-sale phase of the Token Generation Event and have really high hopes for the public phase that begins on 8 September.”“We see the huge level of support for the TGE as a sign of strong community demand for the concept of peer-to-peer energy trading and this community backing will give us a lot of impetus as we work to change the way the world buys and sells its energy needs. It also means that we now have the necessary funding to expand the technology globally.“We aim to be the distributed Ledger for the distributed energy economy.”
NEXTDC was Brisbane’s highest trending startup and ranked second in the country. The ASX-listed data centre operator can be described as one of Brisbane’s few unicorns, by virtue of the fact that it is a seven year old startup with a $1.5b market capitalisation. In August it secured $300m in syndicated senior secured debt facilities with National Australia Bank, providing it with now $600m in debt facilities, and announced a takeover bid for the Asia Pacific Data Centre Group. NEXTDC also intends to spend $250m in this financial year on opening new data centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
zipMoney was the third highest trending startup, and New South Wales’ top ranked company, following a $40m private share placement with Westpac. The ASX-listed fintech also saw a strong increase in its social media engagement metrics and an increase in share price.
“We are so very grateful for being positioned inside such an exciting fintech in what is such a great age for fintech. We are continuing to witness the red tape being progressively worn down, with government and regulator bodies all coming together to foster a culture of innovation and disruption.” Larry Diamond, CEO and Founder Zipmoney Limited.
Unlockd was Victoria’s top trending startup and fourth overall. The mobile platform attracted strong news coverage as a result of two partnership announcements. Unlockd is working with youth mobile brand AXIS in Indonesia, and with flybys in Australia. The latter partnership will allow consumers to earn flybuys points using Unlockd’s technology, essentially earning loyalty points for watching adverts on their phones.
“Our platform now provides people with the ability to convert their attention into a whole host of rewards like free premium entertainment content, discounted phone bills, more mobile data or loyalty points, with more to come.” Matt Berriman, Founder and CEO, Unlockd.
Hyper Anna was ranked fifth (and NSW’s second highest trending), having closed a $16m funding round from Sequoia China, and Dubber came in at sixth (and Victoria’s second highest), on the back of a partnership with US-based telco AT&T and a global deal with BroadSoft Business Inc.
ONTHEGO was the ACT’s highest trending startup (64th overall), with the sportswear customisation startup signing a multi-million dollar deal with English soccer club Sheffield Wednesday.
Praxis Aeronautics was South Australia’s highest trending startup (84th overall), with strong news coverage for the solar-powered drone startup and a $150k grant from the state’s Early Commercialisation Fund.
See the top 10 below (you must be signed up and logged in to view the full ranking).