Melbourne start-up ecosystem valued at over $10 billion

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The Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2021 reveals that Melbourne’s start-up ecosystem value has grown by more than $3 billion in the past 12 months, and is now valued at more than $10 billion.

This is a significant increase, with Melbourne’s start-up ecosystem valued at $2.21 billion in 2018, $3 billion in 2019 and $7 billion in 2020 – a growth rate of 475 per cent in four years.

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said that the report demonstrates the strength and ongoing economic opportunities for Victoria from the start-up sector.

“The steady rise of tech companies amid the course of a global pandemic has reinforced the resilience of start-ups in Victoria and the growing maturity of the sector,” Dr Cornick said. “We continue to go from strength to strength, and in the past year we had some of the largest exits and acquisitions on record including Square’s commitment to acquire Afterpay for a record $39 billion.”

In the past year, Melbourne was noted to have had a record number of exits between $50 million and $1 billion on par with Sydney, Amsterdam, and Stockholm. Total early-stage funding in Victoria also increased from $363m to $529m (a 35 per cent increase) in a year.

“LaunchVic has been focused on addressing the early-stage funding gap and we’ve already seen promising results in the space of a year, with our new angel investor networks pumping millions into Victorian start-ups,” Dr Cornick said. “I expect early-stage investment funding will be even more impressive next year when the Victorian Startup Capital Fund and Alice Anderson Fund really start to get underway.”

Melbourne ranked in the Top 25 for subcategories of Connectedness and Talent, with a well-connected network of start-ups and scale-ups as well as a high percentage of experienced founders and people with tech and life sciences. The city was also identified for its strengths in Life Sciences, attracting approximately $511 million in Life Sciences funding each year, or 40 per cent of the national total. It is also recognised as being a FinTech hub with more than five unicorns headquartered in Melbourne collectively valued at more than US$30 billion: Afterpay, Airwallex, Judo Bank, MYOB and PEXA. Globally, Melbourne ranks equal 36th with Geneva/Bern, Delhi and Dublin.