Australia

Melbourne

MEMBERS:
LaunchVic

The growth of our local startup sector continues to go from strength to strength. In the past year we have had some of the largest exits and acquisitions on record including Square’s commitment to acquire Afterpay for a record $39 billion.

Kate Cornick
CEO at LaunchVic
#2 Oceania Ecosystem: Talent & Experience
#2 Oceania Ecosystem: Funding
#2 Oceania Ecosystem: Performance

Highlights

Melbourne’s maturing startup scene is home to more than 2,100 startups, nearly 500 investors, and close to 50 accelerators including , and continues to grow. According to Dealroom, year-over-year startup job growth reached 10.75% between 2018 and 2020, translating to more than 5,900 jobs created. Total VC investments in Melbourne surged to a record of over US$1 billion in 2019-2020. Local leaders are committed to continue supporting the city’s startup scene. The State’s $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund will drive investment in translational research, innovation and commercialisation outcomes to accelerate growth in key industry sectors and create jobs. Victoria's startup agency, LaunchVic, received record funding of $110.5 million in the government’s 2020-2021 budget to continue its work to drive the long-term success of Victoria’s startup ecosystem. Of this, $60.5 million was allocated to the Victorian Startup Capital Fund - a Fund of Funds designed to catalyse investment in early-stage startups, and $10 million was earmarked for the Women’s Angel Sidecar Fund to support female founders. Private funding will provide significant supplemental support to all these programs. In addition to this the city also offers small business grants to support innovative, market-ready products. The University of Melbourne’s MAP Accelerator Program and the Wade Institute’s VC Catalyst program support startups making a positive impact on the world. With 60,000 people in its network, Startup Victoria based in Melbourne is the largest grassroots startup community for founders in Australia and aims to create more and better founders.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$529 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$548 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$7.6 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$13.68 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$400 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$480 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$3.5 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$3 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$65 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$44 k

Sub-sector Strengths

Life Sciences

Melbourne is home to four Biotech unicorns, Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals; Mesoblast; Polynovo; and Telix Pharmaceuticals and the city attracts approximately 40% of the nation’s Life Sciences funding annually. With five of Australia’s largest independent medical research institutes and two top-ranked universities for biomedical research, Melbourne was ranked among the top 5 Life Sciences hubs in Asia in 2021 by CBRE.

Fintech

More than 200 Fintech startups, and, as of Q4 2020, five homegrown Fintech unicorns are headquartered in Melbourne. These include Airwallex, Afterpay, Judo Bank, MYOB and PEXA. In August, Square announced its intentions to acquire Afterpay for $39 billion which would be the largest public M&A deal in Australia's history and the largest cross-border Fintech deal globally. Groups such as Fintech Australia support startups looking to pilot digital solutions in partnership with some of Melbourne’s largest financial and insurance corporations. Melbourne’s annual industry conference Intersekt is the leading Fintech gathering in Australia.

Reasons to move your startup to Melbourne

Tax Incentives

The AusIndustry R&D Tax Incentive provides targeted R&D tax offsets designed to encourage more companies to engage in R&D. The Victorian Budget 20/21 includes $250 million for direct wage subsidies and $836 million in payroll tax relief to encourage employers to hire new workers.

Dynamic, Educated Workforce

Melbourne is projected to become the largest Australian city as early as 2031 and is home to one of the most educated workforces in the country. More than half of all Victorians aged 20-64 hold some form of post-secondary qualification, while almost 30% aged 15-74 have a university degree. The University of Melbourne is the highest-ranked university in Australia and the 4th highest in the Asia-Pacific region. The Financial Times ranked Melbourne Business School the highest among Australian MBA programs.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Members

Startup Genome
Partners

Potential(x)
ygap First Gens Accelerator Program
ASTN HeadStart
Cyrise
SBE Australia, Springboard Tech
SBE Australia, Springboard Life Sciences
SBE Australia, E3
Runway Hq
ACMI X
BioMelbourne Network
Inspire9
Rome2rio
Runway Geelong
Startup Bootcamp
Startup Victoria
York Butter Factory

Featured Articles from
Local Ambassadors

Daniel Shaw-Dennis
Daniel has over 20 years’ experience in technology and digital transformation. He has passion and experience growing organizations, enjoys the occasional keynote and a frequent coffee.
Daniel Shaw-Dennis | Ambassador
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