Australia, NZ see fastest early-stage funding growth of any global region

Australia, NZ see fastest early-stage funding growth of any global region

Sydney reigned supreme in Oceania's rankings, with particular reference given to the planned Tech Central Innovation District which will be anchored by Atlassian's global headquarters.

The startup ecosystems of Oceania recorded the fastest growth rate in early-stage funding globally between 2018 and 2022, representing a positive longer-term pattern for the region despite a 13.6 per cent decline in 2022.

Startup Genome's Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 (GSER) released today placed Sydney in a tied 20th position with Bengaluru-Karnataka in India, while Melbourne jumped an impressive six places to 33rd thanks to a 43 per cent increase in ecosystem value to $25 billion.

Melbourne's surge was partly due to a 27 per cent lift in exits valued at more than $50 million, as well as the initial public offering (IPO) of Judo Bank that was worth $1.7 billion and the $5.5 billion valuation of fintech Airwallex.

Meanwhile, Sydney's ecosystem grew 50 per cent to $78 billion with the report highlighting the addition of gaming platform Immutable to unicorn status with its 2022 valuation at $2.5 billion, in addition to noting Canva remained the highest valued at $40 billion while Software as a Service (SaaS) provider BigCommerce had an IPO at a valuation of $1.6 billion.

With a value of $9 billion, Brisbane entered the top 50 for emerging ecosystems globally, thanks in part to the $1.3 billion NASDAQ IPO of electric vehicle charger manufacturer Tritium.

New Zealand's startup ecosystem has a similar value to Brisbane's and Adelaide's and is reported to be worth $2 billion, while Perth and Canberra were classed as Oceania's top emerging ecosystems.

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick says the GSER results are an important benchmark to measure the growth of the Victorian startup ecosystem.

“While global market conditions are really challenging Melbourne’s startup ecosystem has bucked a global trend and is continuing to grow. This is an exciting time to be part of the startup sector,” she says.

The report is positive about LaunchVic's Alice Anderson Fund that ensures female startup founders have equal access to early-stage funding.

Attention is also drawn to construction of Atlassian's 39-storey headquarters, which will anchor Sydney's Tech Central Innovation District.

"Sydney has the #1 ranked startup ecosystem in Oceania and with anchor tenants like Atlassian and Block, the appeal of Tech Central is genuinely global. Whether you're in London, Tokyo or Mumbai, everyone knows the value of locating near these unicorns," says Investment NSW CEO Kate Knight in the section on Sydney, which also describes the NSW capital as a 'global hub of quantum expertise'.

Silicon Valley remains in top spot, followed by New York and London in joint second place, then Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Boston, Beijing, Singapore (which rose 10 spots), Shanghai and Seattle. Other cities that jumped by several positions were 23d placed Miami (+10), 31st placed Mumbai (+5), and 36th placed Zurich (+10).

Startup Genome founder and CEO JF Gauthier says despite recent downturns in investment, this report shows that lean times can often produce high-performing startups.

“Despite current economic challenges, we are confident that, equipped with the right knowledge, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and community leaders everywhere can leverage opportunities to come together and show how innovative technologies can not only continue to drive growth and job creation," Gauthier says.

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