Australia

Melbourne

MEMBERS:
LaunchVic

A globally renowned creative and education hub with access to world-class education, Melbourne is now home to numerous unicorns. Our talent, creativity, and thriving startup community make Melbourne a great place to build and scale global startups.

Dr Kate Cornick
CEO, LaunchVic
#2 Oceania Ecosystem in Talent & Experience
#2 Oceania Ecosystem in Funding
#2 Oceania Ecosystem in Performance

Highlights

Victoria is home to more than 2,600 startups that are rapidly becoming the beating heart of a new economy — the startup sector is now the same size as Victoria’s tourism sector. The state capital, Melbourne is a thriving hub for startups across an array of sub-sectors including Life Sciences, SaaS, AI, Blockchain, Advanced Manufacturing, IoT, Big Data, and Fintech. Victoria consistently ranks highly for the quality of its educational intuitions. It’s home to the University of Melbourne, Australia’s highest ranked university at #37, along with Monash University at #58 in the top 400 universities according to the QS World University Rankings 2022. RMIT University has been ranked #2 in the world for research that has impacted the development of Blockchain technology, and its Blockchain Innovation Hub is the world’s first research center focused on the social science of Blockchain. LaunchVic, the state’s lead startup agency, continues to create infrastructure to support the growth of the ecosystem. Its initiatives include the AU$10 million Alice Anderson Fund, an angel sidecar for women-led startups, and the Victorian Startup Capital Fund, a fund of funds set to unlock AU$240 million ($168 million) to support Victorian early-stage startups with high growth potential. LaunchVic has also helped launch dozens of programs. Three of the latest, which were created in partnership with Agriculture Victoria, hope to boost the local Agtech sub-sector. Farmers2Founders, Rocket Seeder, and SproutX will each receive AU$600,000 ($420,000) to run pre-accelerator programs.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$816 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$17 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$670 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$3.9 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$63 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
7
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3
185
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($B)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
6
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$3.1 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
9.3 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Life Sciences

In 2021, CBRE ranked Melbourne as one of the top five Life Sciences hubs in Asia-Pacific, and the University of Melbourne as second globally for university-related biomedical research. Five of Australia’s largest medical research institutes are located here, and there are several research and innovation initiatives, including incubator Melbourne Connect and Bio Innovation Hub. Regenerative medicine company Mesoblast has raised $412.3 million over seven rounds. Medtech startup Seer raised a AU$34 million ($24 million) Series A in August 2021, and Ena Respiratory has raised a total of AU$50 million ($35 million).

Fintech

Melbourne is home to more than 400 Fintech startups, and unicorns AfterPay, Airwallex, Judo Bank, MYOB, and PEXA were all founded here. Melbourne is also the location of the annual Intersekt conference, which brings the Australian Fintech community together. In 2021, global banking-as-a-service platform Railsbank established its first office in Melbourne, and financial services platform Airwallex raised a $100 million Series E. Business payments startup Zeller raised an AU$100 million ($70 million) Series B in March 2022.

Reasons to move your startup to Melbourne

Dynamic, Educated Workforce

Melbourne is projected to become the largest Australian city by 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. It’s also a multicultural city with close links to Asian markets.

World-Class Universities

The University of Melbourne is the highest-ranked university in Australia and #33 in the world. The Financial Times ranked Melbourne Business School the highest among Australian MBA programs. QS Best Student Cities Rankings 2022 named Melbourne Australia’s best student city.

Government Support

The Victorian government reduced the employer rate of payroll tax from 2.02% to 1.2125% in 2021. The Business Event Sponsorship Program provides up to AU$10,000 ($7,400) to support those hosting conferences. The 2021–2022 Victorian budget allocates AU$484.5 million ($361 million) through 2025 towards new job creation initiatives, with dedicated funds for small business services and support initiatives and funds to revitalize Melbourne’s central business district. The AU$2 billion ($1.49 billion) Breakthrough Victoria Fund is investing in projects in health and Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing, digital technologies, Agtech & New Food, and clean economies.

Startup Community

Startup Genome Members

“Startup Genome is honored to work with LaunchVic in accelerating ecosystem growth, job creation and impact in Melbourne. We are excited about Melbourne's startup community's future because of the increasing investment in its innovative entrepreneurs.”

JF Gauthier, Founder & CEO of Startup Genome

Key Ecosystem Players

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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