Australia has a thriving startup ecosystem. It has produced global brands like Canva and Atlassian. The government even allows startup entrepreneurs to stay in the country for up to five years with a provisional visa for business innovation and investment

According to the Global Ecosystem Report 2023 (GSER 2023), Sydney is the home to the regional headquarters of over 600 multinational companies. This list includes Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Earlier this year, one of the world’s largest pre-seed investors, Techstars, moved its flagship accelerator program to Sydney’s Tech Central district, says Startup Genome.

Australia’s conducive environment for startups

Each year, the GSER 2023 comprehensively analyzes the current state of startup ecosystems worldwide. The data is based on 3.5 million startups across 50 countries. 

Last year, according to the Network Readiness Index 2022, Australia was ranked 14th out of 131 economies. Sydney is the country’s economic heartbeat and a fast-growing startup hub. 

Melbourne moved up six places on the GSER 2023 compared to last year. It’s now ranked 33 on the international scale of solid startups. 

Startup giants in Sydney and Melbourne

Australian startups that have successfully raised significant capital to fuel their growth in the last few months have attracted leading investors in the business. 

Planet Protector Packaging has raised $12 million, Vantari VR raised $7 million, and Arkeus secured $4.45 million.

But what have these startups done right to attract substantial investment? 

Notable investors 

Planet Protector Packaging, a home-compostable packaging solution, received funding from Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation. The Sydney-based startup was founded in 2016 and has won several environmental awards. Their mission is to reduce the amount of polystyrene on dump sites by providing cost-effective and eco-friendly packaging. They use waste materials and turn it into valuable products.

Vantari VR, a virtual reality startup, has raised $7 million in a pre-Series A round, reports TN Global. It said in a statement that the funds will go towards expanding into more healthcare organizations locally and abroad in the United States. Dr Vijay Paul and Dr Nishanth Krishnananthan founded the Sydney-based company in 2017. As a medical training platform, it helps medical staff practice medical procedures.

Simon Olsen and Dr. Jonathan Nebauer founded Arkeus, an ambitious Melbourne-based optical radar startup, in 2020. They specialize in optical radar technology designed for use in high-risk environments. It’s used in military settings, disaster recovery, search and rescue missions, and border security. According to Financial Review, the round was led by the CSIRO-backed venture capital firm Main Sequence Ventures. It contributed nearly $3 million.

Solving problems

All three companies are solving real-world problems. 

Planet Protector Packaging addresses sustainability and environmental issues. Polystyrene is a non-biodegradable material. It poses a significant environmental threat. Decomposing takes hundreds of years, leading to pollution in landfills and oceans. 

Vantari VR helps with the skill shortage through training specialists. Several training hospitals are now using the platform. According to TN Global the company has seen a 400% revenue growth in 2022-2023. Vantari VR provides realistic training experiences for healthcare professionals and aims to improve training methodologies in healthcare.

Quick and informed decision-making is crucial in disaster recovery and search and rescue missions. Arkeus‘s real-time orientation, threat detection, and trajectory tracking capabilities empower teams to act decisively and with speed in dynamic and unpredictable situations.

Drawing inspiration

With a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to flourish, Australia is an ideal country for bright thinkers, change-makers, and innovators to take business risks. 

These three companies have solved real-world issues with their innovative ideas to help create a better world for future generations. 

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand. Do you have a story you would like her to expose, report on, or consider? Please send your request to Newsdesk@locate2u.com.