Australia’s eastern seaboard gets a lot of love from the startup community, with a collective 83% of the country’s startups being located in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory. But Western Australia has proven it can hold its own, with a number of 2017’s prominent startups being headquartered there.
Some of these startups have been recognised and shortlisted for Techboard’s 2017 WA awards, ran annually by the online startup directory which is based in the state. The winners of the award will be announced on December 5 at an event ran in conjunction with StartupWA, the state’s startup advocacy group.
This year’s awards shortlist feature companies from the blockchain, cybersecurity, and fintech sectors. The list of 10 are below, in alphabetical order.
Credi | Fintech | Founded in 2016
Credi is a platform to allow family and friends to establish simple loans between themselves, aiming to take away some of the most difficult aspects of relationship and personal loans by creating digitally signable legally binding contracts.
Cycliq | Consumer goods | Founded in 2014
ASX-listed Cycliq creates smart bike cameras and safety lights for cyclists, with the company stemming from a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014. Since then, it’s managed to land a number of high-profile brand ambassadors, including Cadel Evans and Caleb Ewan.
“It’s all about awareness — because our particular product produces such rich content it’s an easy medium to share,” Cycliq co-founder Kingsley Fiegert told StartupSmart in June.
“You need to find ambassadors that get your product and are aligned with the ideal customers that buy your products.”
DigitalX | Blockchain/fintech | Founded in 2014
Also ASX-listed, DigitalX is a blockchain advisory firm based in Perth and New York, and has advised some big-name clients such as Australia’s own Power Ledger, and Bankera — which raised a $39 million pre-initial coin offering round.
The company was one of the top 50 fastest growing tech companies, according to financial services firm Deloitte in 2016, and co-founder Zhenya Tsvetnenko launched a financial health education startup called Future Penny in April last year.
Family Zone | Cyber Security | Founded in 2015
Family Zone aims to provide parents and families with comprehensive cyber security and cyber activity solutions, as both a way to protect and limit kids interactions with the cyber world.
Fastbrick | Constructiontech | Founded in 2015
Fastbrick Robotics is another ASX-listed company to make the shortlist. It recently raised $35 million from institutional investors to further develop its commercial prototypes for a bricklaying robot.
Constructiontech startups such as Fastbrick were recently found to be primed to boost Australia’s economy by $25 billion a year over the next decade, and heralded as a “huge opportunity”.
Hazer Group | Energy | Founded in 2010
Based off groundbreaking research done by the University of Western Australia, Hazer Group is focused on cheap and clean hydrogen energy solutions by converting methane in natural gases into hydrogen, storing the fuel in graphite.
“The early stage indication is certainly that it has the potential to be not only the cleanest but the cheapest way of making hydrogen globally,” managing director Geoff Pocock told The Guardian.
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HealthEngine | Health and biotech | Founded in 2006
HealthEngine is behind one of 2017’s biggest startup raises, locking in a $26.7 million in a Series C round in April. The platform offers an online marketplace for finding and booking healthcare appointments, with co-founder Marcus Tan telling StartupSmart the startup began as just “two guys in a lounge room”.
“[Investors] want to know that you’ve done your homework. From a building confidence and trust perspective, it’s knowing your team can deliver,” Tan said after the capital raise.
LiveHire | HR | Founded in 2011
“For companies looking to come through, make sure you spend time in the private sector and successfully complete a minimum of three funding rounds.”
That was LiveHire’s co-founder Michael Haywood’s advice to startups looking to go public after the HR company completed a $40 million initial public offering in June 2016.
“The IPO process is about testing the business for resilience and testing that the ship has been built with a strong vision,” he said.
Nuheara | Wearables | Founded in 2007
ASX-listed smart-earphones company Nuheara successfully completed a $9 million raise in July, and is proudly Australia’s only listed consumer wearables company. The company backdoor listed after finding the venture capital market inhospitable.
“We tried the VC route in Australia — our aim was to remain Australian. VC’s in Australia wanted us post revenue and as a hardware based business it was impossible for us to do; we needed capital to get the hardware up,” co-founder Justin Miller told StartupSmart.
“It’s disappointing — I would have liked the VC market to have embraced us a little more.”
Power Ledger | Energy and blockchain | Founded in 2016
One of Australia’s first successful initial coin offerings was done by energy-trading blockchain startup Power Ledger, which raised $34 million dollars on the blockchain in October to expand and develop its technology.
Since then, the startup has continued to see success, with the value of its POWR token rising considerably, and it winning part of a federal government $8 million Smart Cities grant.
“We’ve got a pipeline of projects we’re working on which will hopefully see an increase of utilisation for the POWR token. That’s the focus of the business – create projects which will increase the use of the POWR token,” co-founder Jemma Green told StartupSmart.