Victoria's Startup Scene Surpasses $100 Billion: A Look at the Challenges and Triumphs
Victoria's startup ecosystem has achieved a remarkable milestone, surpassing the $100 billion valuation mark, as revealed in a recent report by LaunchVic and Dealroom. This significant achievement marks a 21-fold increase since 2016, showcasing the dynamic growth and potential of the Victorian startup sector.
A Diverse and Thriving Ecosystem
The report presents a comprehensive view of what constitutes a Victorian startup. It includes early-stage firms and scaleups founded since 2003, as well as unicorns established in Victoria since 1990. This broad categorisation encompasses industry giants like REA Group, SEEK, MYOB, and Carsales, as well as emerging stars like Judo Bank, Zeller, Airwallex, Linktree, and Envato.
Economic Impact and Job Creation
The Victorian startup ecosystem is a significant contributor to the national economy, supporting 35,600 jobs across Australia. Of these, 7,200 are in the eight unicorns founded before 2003. Additionally, Victorian startups have created 20,400 jobs overseas. The fintech sector emerges as the largest job creator, closely followed by healthtech.
Challenges and Opportunities
Despite the impressive top-line figures, the report highlights areas where the Victorian startup scene could improve. Over 1,000 Victorian enterprises founded since 2003 have received venture capital investment, with 25% raising at least $5 million. This is slightly lower than the global average, where 30% of VC-backed startups raise this amount, indicating a gap in funding opportunities within Victoria.
LaunchVic's Commitment to Growth
LaunchVic CEO Kate Cornick acknowledges the need for more early-stage investment. The organisation remains committed to increasing access to early-stage capital, recognising its crucial role in supporting startup growth. In 2023, LaunchVic introduced several funding initiatives, including a $1 million fund for agtech startups and a $5 million Alice Anderson fund, aiming to bridge the investment gap.
Victoria's startup ecosystem has reached a significant milestone, but the journey doesn't stop here. As the sector continues to grow and evolve, the focus shifts to ensuring that early-stage startups have the capital they need to thrive. With continued support and strategic initiatives, Victoria's startup scene is poised for even greater success in the years to come.