Smart50 Awards 2016

6 MyDeal Australia

Revenue

$15.6 million

Growth

480%

Founders

Sean Senvirtne, 33

Head office

Melbourne, VIC

Year founded

2011

Employees

35

Industry

Retail and consumer products

Website

MyDeal.com.au

MyDealFounder Sean Senvirtne’s third start-up business was completely bootstrapped, and after years of intense work with heads down, online marketplace MyDeal.com.au has secured rapid growth.

The aim is for more where that came from. MyDeal is gunning to become a $300 million company in the next three to four years, having recorded revenue of $15.6 million for the 2015-16 financial year.

But Senvirtne has previously told SmartCompany money is not the most important thing.

Building something that lasts is more important than making money. If starting a business is just about making money, a lot of people will give up. You want to build something which lasts for years,” he said earlier this year.

MyDeal sprung from Senvirtne’s conversations with SME owners, who made it clear that many simply didn’t have the technical expertise to sell their products online.

The platform allows businesses to sell online without paying big overheads. The site now houses 25,000 different products and records 650,000 monthly visits, meaning a key challenge has been growing the team to sustain customer demands.

“Owning a business is a constant worry – I am always thinking about how to grow,” says Senvirtne.

Data is incredibly important in the online retail world, and the business has focused on how to use information to make the best decisions.

“We look at our data to identify areas of opportunity such as new products we should bring on board,” says Senvirtne.

Competition from other digital retailers is also keeping the management team on its toes.

“International expansion of online retailers has meant that the e-commerce market has become more saturated. It has become more important than ever to identify a niche and become a leader in that segment,” the entrepreneur says.

Luckily, the history of the business as a bootstrapped operation means that pivoting towards new trends is second nature.

Building a bootstrapped business is a nightmare,” Senvirtne told SmartCompany in August.

You need to be able to squeeze the dollar to the absolute limit … but if you do this, it builds a better business and keeps you humble and nimble.”

The team says scaling up the business has been “character building”, but the instinct to look ahead has been critical for growth, particularly when it comes to technology infrastructure.

The strategic approach is “look at where the puck is going to be, not where it has been,” the MyDeal team says.

MyDeal’s platform provides service to both the 1000 suppliers that sell their wares through the site, and the 650,000 site visitors looking to buy up products.

The business needs to keep both of these groups front of mind, which means tracking customer and sector trends and behaviours on a nearly continuous basis. A large tech team needs to adapt to changes and modify the site on very tight deadlines, listing products “within hours” if needed.

The best marketing tool is being able to provide value and being able to look after your customers, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Senvirtne told SmartCompany.

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