Growth

Fast Lane: Smart50 success pays off for others

Eloise Keating /

 Back in 2007 a Sydney-based software company called Atlassian appeared on the Smart50 – SmartCompany’s annual awards that recognise the fastest-growing SMEs across the country.

Atlassian Software Systems was ranked fifth on the Smart50 list that year, with $22.5 million in annual revenue and a three-year average growth rate of 117%.

Atlassian was also awarded the “Millionaire Entrepreneur Award” in 2007, in recognition of founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar’s efforts to reach $1 million in revenue within 12 months of founding their business.

Eight years later, Atlassian is held up as one of the Australian technology industry’s true success stories.

Atlassian is pushing ahead with plans to list in the United States and currently has an estimated valuation of more than $3 billion.

Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar are now regulars on the BRW Rich List, owning an estimated 78% of the company, with estimated combined wealth of $2.1 billion.

The pair are renowned for their support of the local tech scene and have pledged millions of dollars to charity.

But their influence in the Australian business community is not just limited to other tech companies, as this year’s Smart50 shows.

The winner of the 2015 SmartCompany WFI Smart50 Awards is a Sydney-based construction management company called Hunter Mason.

Hunter Mason recorded revenue of $11.2 million in the 2014-15 financial year and a staggering growth rate over three financial years of 1740%.

The firm, which was founded in 2012, specialises in providing interior fit-outs and refurbishment services to corporate clients across New South Wales.

And it was the work it did for Atlassian that Hunter Mason founder Matthew Callender says has given his company a unique marketing opportunity and allowed his team to win new clients.

“Delivering a major project for a very popular software company that attracts a lot of media attention – Atlassian,” said Callender when asked what Hunter Mason’s most successful marketing effort was in the past 12 months.

The project Hunter Mason completed for Atlassian’s office can be seen on the company’s website, along with projects it has undertaken for other high-profile clients including Channel Ten, Foxtel and Westpac. Hunter Mason even counts the federal government among its clients.

There is no doubt Hunter Mason didn’t take out the top spot on this year’s Smart50 solely off the back of its work for Atlassian but this is just one example of the impact innovative and growing companies can have in a local community.

Perhaps in another eight years we will be celebrating the success of a company that does not yet exist but which was helped along the way by Hunter Mason.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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