Culture Amp launches global HQ in Melbourne with calls to fight bad behaviour in the startup world

Culture Amp co-founders Rod Hamilton, Doug English, Didier Elzinga and Jon Williams.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews launched Culture Amp’s global headquarters in Melbourne this morning, as the employee engagement startup reflected on the importance of building companies free of the inappropriate actions that have plagued the tech sector.

Billed as one of Melbourne’s biggest startup success stories, Culture Amp seek to improve company culture through its people-analytics platform.

Since launching in 2009, the business has grown into an international success story, with more than 120 staff across offices in Melbourne, London, New York and San Francisco.

In June the business announced it had booked $26.4 million in a Series C raise and is boasting an annual turnover of $10 million with customers like Airbnb, Adobe, Pixar, Slack and Nike.

Andrews secured the agreement with Culture Amp to bring its global headquarters to Melbourne as part of a visit to the United States last year, as part of the push to be “bringing home-grown talent back to Victoria.”

He said establishing Culture Amp’s presence was a “great validation” that the city has a “culture of innovation, creative thinking, a questioning culture”. 

“To have the sharpest minds in Culture Amp where all the output really comes from in our great city in our great state is a source of great pride for us,” he said. 

Culture Amp chief executive Didier Elzinga recounted the startup’s beginnings from “a few shared desks in a small building in Cremorne” to their new global HQ, reinforcing the continuing drive to “build a culture-first company…that embraces diversity in all forms”.

The startup ecosystem has been rocked in recent weeks by multiple accusations of harassment and inappropriate behaviour from some Silicon Valley heavyweights, leading for many to call for an overhaul in the toxic culture that has been allowed to develop.

Elzinga acknowledged the cultural crisis the ecosystem is facing, reinforcing his platforms commitment to “make the world a better place”.

“We’re hearing about behaviour that should not be occurring in this day and age… It’s not enough to win, we need to have companies that are built in the right way,” he said.

Andrews was quick to spruik Melbourne as a key startup hub, holding up Culture Amp as a prime example of the potential for Australian startups to have a global impact.

“All the great creativity in our nation has always been driven out of this city, out of this state,” he said. 

“When you pair that culture with the risk-taking innovative nature of so many of our entrepreneurs…it’s a powerful cocktail for jobs, for skills, for the wonderment of learning and discovery and product development.”

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