Seven fast-growing businesses to keep an eye on in 2016

Seven fast-growing businesses to keep an eye on in 2016


At SmartCompany, we’re incredibly lucky to be exposed to so many innovative businesses – whether it is software companies raising millions of dollars or retailers that have been able to bite off a healthy chunk of their market.

However, there are always a few companies that stand out from the pack.


Read more: Meet the 2015 Smart50


With this in mind, here are seven fast-growing businesses we think you should keep an eye on in 2016.


1. Hunter Mason


Construction management firm Hunter Mason topped this year’s Smart50 list after increasing its turnover from $3.5 million in 2013-14 to $11.2 million last financial year.

A recently completed major project for software company Atlassian helped Hunter Mason land even more clients, however, founder Matthew Callender told SmartCompany the construction firm’s success lies in treating every client the same.

“Every job we win, whether it’s worth $25,000 or $4 million, we treat it as the most important job we have,” Callender said.

It will be interesting to see what Hunter Mason achieves in 2016, and whether it decides to expand beyond New South Wales.


2. Canva

Graphic design startup Canva may have raised $21 million in its latest funding round but it appears the Australian startup darling is only just getting started.

Last month the tech company was named the coolest place to work, according to JobAdvisor, meaning it is sure to snap up more of the best and brightest.

Co-founder and chief executive Melanie Perkins previously told SmartCompany one way to create a great workplace culture is to have lunch with your team.

“It doesn’t need to be expensive to put your people first,” Perkins said.

“It’s more about team bonding and your perspective – do you care about your team and do you want them to come to work, or not? Yes, there’s all these awesome economic benefits… but it all comes from the place of wanting people to love their work.”


3. Envato

In a similar vein, Melbourne-based software company Envato was crowned the coolest place to work for women this year.

Envato is a network of eight online marketplaces with 1.5 million active users that have spent more than $US250 million.

Given workplaces with a higher percentage of women in the workforce and management roles are generally more profitable, it seems the only place Envato can go is up.

Co-founder and chief executive Cyan Ta’eed previously told SmartCompany Envato managed to boost the number of women in its workforce through one simple trick – changing its job ads.

“We changed the language in them and said we were diverse and inclusive and always open to talk about flexibility,” Ta’eed said.

“That not only got us more diverse candidates, but it got us straight, white male candidates who were really interested in promoting diversity themselves. So that was a great starting point for us.”


4. My Pet Warehouse


Pet supplies business My Pet Warehouse is on track to reach $34 million in revenue this financial year, despite launching without the help of a bank loan.

Founder Philip Bartholomew used to run the company now known as Greencross Limited, so expect him to use his experience to take My Pet Warehouse to new heights in 2016.

Bartholomew previously told SmartCompany retailis a difficult industry but it is based on a simple premise – treat the customer well.

“The best advice I’ve ever received is never let the customer leave empty-handed,” Bartholomew said.

“My philosophy in retail is if you look after the customers, they’ll look after you.It’s that simple.”


5. Adore Beauty


Adore Beauty founder and previous Smart50 finalist Kate Morris sold a 25% stake in her business to Woolworths back in May.

Getting a supermarket giant to notice your business, let alone invest in it, is no small feat, especially for a business founded in a garage in 2000.

In the past 12 months, Adore Beauty has also secured a deal with US cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, becoming the only Australian pure-play online retailer to stock Estee Lauder’s brands, and last month it became the first and only local pure-play online retailer to stock the full range of products from skincare brand Ella Bache.

Adore Beauty is on track to turn over around $16 million by the end of this financial year and Morris says she plans to continue growing the business by increasing customer awareness and expanding her product offering.


6. ShowPo

Online retailer ShowPo has also previously made it onto the Smart50 and has no sign of slowing down any time soon.

The business turns over more than $7.5 million and continues to grow its massive social media following, leading the way by experimenting with the newest social media marketing tool on the block, Snapchat.

Founder Jane Lu previously told SmartCompany entrepreneurs shouldn’t wait until something is perfect before launching it, because nothing ever is.

“You just have to back yourself,” Lu says.

“Yes, you could fail, but you could also be stuck in a job that you don’t like.”

It’s this gung-ho attitude that places ShowPo on SmartCompany’s list of businesses to watch in 2016.


7. Vinomofo

It’s onwards and upwards for wine specialist Vinomofo after securing a spot on the Smart50 again this year and also picking up Smart & Lasting award.

Vinomofo’s revenue almost doubled in the past 12 months, to $28.7 million, and around 20 new employees joined the business.

The company is one to watch because it is making serious investments in its Australian operations, as well as overseas.

“We’re investing $10m in marketing in our Australian market, with a 300% growth target,” co-founder Andre Eikmeier previously told SmartCompany.

“We’ve just hired two Asia leads and we’re setting up in Shanghai to launch Vinomofo into China. This marks the beginning of a global expansion.”


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