Three Australian growth companies named among the world’s most innovative

Three Australian businesses have made their way onto the Forbes‘s list of the 100 Most Innovative Growth Companies – and all three made it into the top 20.

Forbes’s annual list of innovative growth companies is often dominated by North American and UK businesses, however Australian companies Seek, REA Group and the local arm of Domino’s pizza chain have all made the cut this year.

The three companies are among smaller businesses worldwide that have gotten a look-in this year as Forbes’s list now includes a restriction on company’s market capitalisation.

To be eligible for the list, companies need to have seven years of public financial data and a market capitalisation of between US$2 billion and US$10 billion, which means the list excludes many larger corporations, such as Amazon. Forbes will publish a list featuring firms that are over the $10 billion limitation later this year.

In a blog post on how the rankings are calculated, Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen, co-founders of the group that conducts the research, The Innovator’s Dream, explained how the list is calculated and ranked.

Companies are ranked on what’s called an “innovation premium”, or the “difference between their market capitalisation and the net present value of cash flows from existing businesses”. This difference allows the assessors to calculate the amount to which investors believe that the company will be able to continue profitable growth.

Companies are also ranked on “enterprise value”, which is market capitalisation plus net debt.

Banks and financial services providers are absent from the list as Dyer and Gregersen say it is more difficult to calculate their investment in research and development. Companies in the mining or energy services have also been excluded because of the influence of commodity prices on their fortunes. Last year’s list didn’t include a single Australian business, but last year’s criteria also did not include market cap limitation.

The Australian business coming in highest on the list is job-finding platform Seek, at number 13 with an enterprise value of US$4.2 billion and an innovation premium of 69.2%. Seek was founded in 1997 and has its headquarters in St Kilda, Victoria. Seek’s services cover Australia, South Asia, and places such as Mexico and South Africa.

The next Australian company on this list at number 19 is online real estate advertising company REA Group, with an enterprise value of US$5.2 billion and an innovation premium of 66.2%. REA Group is also headquartered in Melbourne and is majority owned by News Corp Australia. The service has expanded internationally after starting out as realestate.com.au, and operates major property websites in over 10 different countries.

Finally, at number 20 is Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, the largest franchisee for Domino’s Pizza in the world and one of Australia’s largest pizza chains. According to the list, the company has an enterprise value of US$4.2 billion and an innovation premium of 65.6%. Domino’s Pizza Enterprises is the master franchisor for the Domino’s brand in Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Monaco.

The business at the top of the list is another real estate company Rightmove, with a 91.3% innovation premium. Rightmove falls under the software and services industry, which accounts for 18% of the list, followed by pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and life sciences, which makes up 14% of the list.

The top 20 most innovative growth companies, according to Forbes are:

  1. Rightmove
  2. NetSuite
  3. ASOS
  4. DexCom
  5. M3
  6. athenahealth
  7. MonotaRO
  8. Ultimate Software Group
  9. Kakaku.com
  10. Moneysupermarket.com Group
  11. CoStar Group
  12. Start Today
  13. Seek
  14. Aspen Technology
  15. Searainbow Holding
  16. Zhongyuan Union Cell & Gene Engineering
  17. Gillette India
  18. BTG
  19. REA Group
  20. Domino’s Pizza Enterprises.

This article was first published on SmartCompany.

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