Brisbane startup Roubler sells majority stake to MYOB


Roubler founder and chief Andrew Northcott. Source: supplied.

MYOB has acquired a 73% stake of Brisbane-based workforce management platform Roubler, to offer an Aussie-first end-to-end software solution to businesses.

Founded in 2015, Roubler is a one-stop-shop for workforce management and payroll software, designed specifically to meet the needs of businesses with shift-based employee structures.

That tech will be integrated into MYOB’s enterprise resource planning and payroll software offering, allowing businesses to access a full end-to-end business management platform.

It serves to meet the demands of MYOB’s small business customers, MYOB general manager for enterprise Kim Clarke said in a statement.

“Now more than ever, businesses need to focus on their survival and growth,” she explained.

“Customers have been very clear with us: ‘Make it easy. Give me a single, all-in-one platform’.”

According to MYOB research, some 65% of customers would prefer to purchase their enterprise resource planning, payroll software and workforce management solutions from a single vendor, Clarke added.

“Our customers have shared with us just how important strong, AI-enabled workforce management capabilities are to their success, and access to the right software can deliver savings in spades — not just in terms of cash, but time and risk.”

MYOB general manager for enterprise Kim Clarke. Source: supplied.

A shifting landscape

The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed. But, the investment follows Roubler’s $4.6 million Series A round, closed in September last year, and led by Aussie VC firm Carthona Capital.

Carthona will remain as a shareholder in the business, along with founder and chief Andrew Northcott.

Other Aussie and international investors have exited, Northcott tells SmartCompany.

“For those that are exiting, it was a deal they were comfortable with,” he says.

Northcott declines to share what kind of growth the business has seen since then. But, he does say the business has been growing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roubler has customers throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Singapore, South Africa and the UK.

“We’ve had pretty good visibility on how different countries have reacted to the pandemic,” Northcott explains.

At the same time, the startup works with clients in various different industries, and with anywhere between 200 and a few thousand employees.

“Generally those businesses have reasonably strong balance sheets,” he adds.

“We’ve been fortunate.”

An intellectual challenge

When asked why he went down this path of investment, rather than raising more venture capital, Northcott says it partly came down to shared vision and the alignment of culture.

But he also points to the “opportunity to remain independent, and continue our growth as well”.

That was a unique opportunity, he adds.

“To have the support of a significant partner like MYOB to go and grow Roubler both within Australia and internationally, that’s really exciting.”

On a personal level, Northcott says he hasn’t had a whole lot of time to reflect on this next era of his startup’s life.

But, he’s keen to take up the “intellectual challenge” this next step brings.

“For me personally, that’s been an overwhelming motivator for going down this path,” he explains.

“To be able to take Roubler to its potential, not being restrained by capital or distractions around continually raising money, being able to focus on growing a business which is my passion … it’s significant,” he adds.

“Now that we’ve completed the process, I just can’t wait to get started.”

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