Australia has an enviable reputation in many areas. Around the world we are recognised as a sporting powerhouse, a getaway destination, and a lifestyle superpower. We export first-class actors to Hollywood almost as prolifically as iron ore to China. Increasingly, we are also known for having fostered a generation of remarkable economic success.
Crossroads is a publication focused on how we might be able to maintain that enviable economic record in the decades ahead. Global trends make it clear that technology must play a fundamental role in driving that future prosperity.
A NEW WAVE OF BILLION-DOLLAR BUSINESSES
A large crop of highly successful Australian technology companies are beginning to reach maturity at around the same time. Heading into 2019, Canva was Australia’s only private tech company formally valued at more than US$1 billion (a widely-recognised milestone). Heading into 2020, Airwallex and Judo Bank have joined the club. There are also firms like Envato, which has stayed private and grown to a valuation likely in excess of US$1 billion but hasn’t sought funding. Together, these billion-dollar businesses are just the crest of the wave. A substantial swell of new tech firms is rising quickly behind them, as we discuss at p9.
At the same time, we have seen rapid growth of publicly-listed Australian tech firms (p11). Atlassian, Australia’s biggest tech company, is now worth around $45 billion, making it one of the top 10 largest Australian firms by market capitalisation. ASX- listed tech stocks have also begun to significantly outperform the market in recent years, with many of the most prominent young tech firms seeing meteoric share price rises.