Unicorns in the making: Algorithm pegs two Aussie startups for $1 billion valuations


Airwallex co-founder and president Lucy Liu. Source: supplied.

Aussie startups Deputy and Airwallex have been included among 50 startups billed as future unicorns, on track to reach a $1 billion valuation that would raise them to the heights of the much-revered Atlassian and Canva.

Since 2015, startup-focused research firm CB Insights has collaborated with The New York Times on an annual list of startups most likely to reach the elusive unicorn status.

CB Insights uses its Mosaic algorithm, which analyses data on a startup’s financial health, traction and chosen market, to predict whether they will eventually morph into mythical beasts or not.

Of the 50 startups from the first list in 2015, 24 have since reached unicorn status.

This year, of the 50 future unicorns, 33 are from the US, and 22 of those are from California.

Five startups are from India and four are Chinese, while Latin America and Europe are home to three apiece.

CB Insights noted the list is industry agnostic, with startups working in various sectors from healthcare to payments to navigation.

The 50 startups have an average total funding of $111.4 million.

Sydney-based HR solutions startup Deputy bagged $111 million in Series B funding in November last year, adding to $33 million raised in 2017.

At the time, co-founder and chief Ashik Ahmed told StartupSmart that between the two raises, Deputy had grown to more than 200 people, tripled the size of its executive team and more than doubled its customer base.

“We’ve been really able to scale the business in terms of what value we’re delivering,” he said.

Airwallex also raised a mammoth Series B round last year, securing a total of $109 million from the likes of Tencent, Sequoia China and SquarePeg.

Speaking to StartupSmart at the time, Airwallex chief Lucy Liu said the startup’s goals are “quite ambitious”.

The funding was pegged for new product lines and features, increasing headcount and expanding to the US and Canada.

“Our primary focus is really on solidifying the connections between APAC and the rest of the world,” Liu said.

“We scale as our customers scale.”

NOW READ: Canva raises $50.9 million to become Australia’s latest unicorn, setting the bar high for startup funding in 2018

NOW READ: Secrets of unicorns: What do the world’s billion-dollar startups look like?


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