Australian app developer success
Australia is quickly becoming a hot-bed for the next big startups to grow from and as shown by the following case-studies, these are companies that have been started by people who just had a great idea. Add a small investment outlay, passion, grit and determination, they are now known for their contributions to the Australian startup eco-system.
1. Shainiel Deo, Founder of Halfbrick Studio
Ever heard of a little mobile game called Fruit Ninja (which has now achieved the amazing feat of over 1 billion downloads)? What many people don’t know was that Halfback Studios in Brisbane had been around as a mobile game app developer for many years, working on third-party games for other license). When the appstore debuted in 2009, this tiny studio didn’t even have enough funds to launch Fruit Ninja, so they shot a indie video in the back of their office. That video went viral and Fruit Ninja exploded onto the charts — in the process creating Australia’s largest mobile app development company and gaming studio.
2. Melanie Perkins, CEO of Canva
At 19 while studying her communications degree, Melanie Perkins grew frustrated with the lengthy time it took to do simple graphic design tasks like creating a marketing brochure. It was around the time Facebook was taking off that Perkins noticed the ease with which everybody was jumping online and using the social network without any instructions. Fast-forward a decade and Perkins' idea for an easy-to-use online tool, Canva, is now fully off the ground and has doubled its valuation in less than a year. The company is now worth an incredible $458 million. Melanie hustled at tech startup events that would pay-off when by chance, she managed to meet Bill Tai, a leading US venture capitalist in Perth at the Oz App Awards.
3. Chris Strode, CEO of Invoice2Go
For Chris Strode but originally see himself as an app developer, but getting fired from Macquarie Bank in 2002 at age 28 for having “one too many drinks” at a company event was the catalyst for have a crack at it - and burning he’s bridges from a corporate job. Having built the first quick prototpye of the Invoice2go app in Northern NSW, the app started to make just enough income for Chris to work on it more full time (by himself). Fast-forward a couple years later, Invoice2Go has grown into the most downloaded mobile invoice apps in the world, with a valuation well over $100 million, after Accel Partners a Silicon Valley leading venture firm pumped $35 million dollars into it.
4. Andy Sum & Matt Hall of Hipster Whale
When two young Melbourne gamers set out to make a small indie game, they didn’t exactly set out be global app developers. The idea and plan was simple. Let’s build an 8-bit 80’s style game, based around the gameplay mechanic of Frogger — an 80’s arcade hit — with the influence of Minecraft. Tweleve weeks later, they smashed out a little unknown game they called Crossy Road and placed it on the appstore. To say the game took off is an understatement. It went No. 1 worldwide within weeks and has since gone onto be downloaded over 150 million times. Hipster Whale would later work closely with Disney on the Disney Crossy Road sequel, which would also go number one in the charts.
5. Luke Anear, Founder of SafetyCulture
In 2011, Townsville local Luke Anear was inspired to transition from his workplace health and safety consultancy into an app developer, when he began noticing the penetration of smartphones into the pockets of employees – everyone from carpenters to office cleaners. So Luke decided as an app developer, to fund and create iAuditor, a free smartphone app that acts as a virtual library of 22,500 safety inspection checklists that it has sourced from companies all over the world. Without any marketing, the app soon gained credible word of mouth around the world leading to $3 million in fund raising, which includes Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar as investors. Not bad, a simple billion dollar app idea about work safety.
6. Filip Eldic & Emil Davityan, Founders of BlueDot
Bluedot Innovation is an R&D focused technology company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia that specialises in high precision location services for smartphones. When both Filip Eldic & Emil Davityan were looking to become app developers, they were based in Adelaide and were accepted into the ANZ Innoyz START Accelerator Program. From there, they rapidly built their first mobile app, which would go onto to great success and serve enterprise clients worldwide. Filip Eldic was part of the M5859 Apps Capital Raising Conference in May 2016, and talked about his journey as an app developer and raising capital.