Archive for June, 2013

The Iconic online retailer’s push to be number one finally catches up to it

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

The online retailer The Iconic (officially named Internet Services Australia 1 Pty Ltd in Australia) that popped up in 2011 and started laying waste to its bricks and mortar competitors is now itself in trouble.

Recent reports have emerged that The Iconic, which promises excellent service and speedy delivery as its selling points, isĀ hemorrhaging both money and staff as it tries to cut costs to stop the bleeding.

From August 2011 to December 2012, Iconic had revenue of $30.6 million but a loss of more than $44.7 million.

The company’s owners, the German Samwer brothers have used a similar model of doing business that has led to great success in Germany, India, Singapore, Poland and the Philippines through their head company, Rocket Internet.

Internal documents from the company that had been obtained by the media show that the company’s business plan is to jump into new markets and become number one at any cost using the promise of free, overnight delivery.

And whilst it has worked in other markets, it seems to have stumbled in Australia so far.

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Dating site RSVP’d a hefty purchase price

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Founded all the way back in 1997 by Jay Hennock and Hannah Schwartz, Australia’s No. 1 dating site,, sold for close to $40 million to Fairfax in 2005. It is headquartered in Sydney.

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SourceBottle connects the people looking to be connected

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

SourceBottle founder Rebecca Derrington must have seemed like an angel to journalists looking for sources for news stories when she started SourceBottle in 2009.

The site, headquartered in Melbourne, allows both journalists looking for sources to quote in stories and people who want to act as quotable sources to register on the site for the purposes of connecting the two groups.

She started in Australia and has since expanded to other countries.

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Wotif issues net profit downgrade

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Brisbane-based online travel accommodation provider Wotif issued a net profit after tax downgrade to between A$50.5 million and A$51.5 million for the 2013 financial year, some of which was attributed to its Asia Web Direct domain names being affected by recent Google ranking criteria changes.

Wotif was started in 2000 by Graeme Wood and has $1.161 billion in revenue.

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Catch of the Day reels in major revenue

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

The online coupon site, founded by Gabby Leibovich, netted an increase in revenue of 62% in 2012 to $230 million.

The site, which has distribution centres in Braeside and Truganina, Victoria, started in 2006 and has been going strong ever since.

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iSelect debuts, stumbles on ASX

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

iSelect, an Australian online insurance comparison company, made the opposite of a splash when it listed on the Australian Securities Exchange recently. It started at A$1.85 per share but fell and closed at A$1.56 per share, losing 15.7 percent of its market capitalisation of A$479.3 million in the process.

Reasons given for iSelect’s poor performance were that its technology was “not groundbreaking” and it already has strong competition in its field with even more competition possible.

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Australia’s National Broadband Network could lead to boom for online startups

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

As Australia continues to roll out its $38 billion National Broadband Network, which will bring high-speed internet to almost all the 23 million population of the country, some government higher ups are predicting a boom in online and high tech businesses.

“As the rollout of the NBN continues, the capacity for start-up companies, particularly in the tech and digital sectors, to create game-changing businesses and applications is unprecedented,” said Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, recently.

Currently, online and high-tech start-ups only account for about 0.1% of GDP and 9,500 jobs. But the sector is growing rapidly and a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) suggests it could account for 4% of GDP and 540,000 jobs by 2033.

The rise of young startups has seen them start to populate the ranks of the Business Review Weekly Young Rich List, which ranks the wealthiest people in the country under 41.

The list includes 24 tech and online startup company founders, including: software entrepreneurs Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar at the top; PC Tools founder Simon Clausen at No. 4; serial entrepreneur specialising in online retail sites Ruslan Kogan at No. 8; Bigcommerce founders Mitchell Harper and Eddie Machaalani at No. 10; and founder Matt Barrie at No. 50.

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Shoes of Prey makes anyone a fashion designer

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Founded in 2009 by former Google employees Jodie Fox, Michael Fox and Mike Knapp, Shoes of Prey allows people to design their own women’s shoes using a virtual 3D designer that lets them pick style, shape, height and materials. The shoes are then custom made and shipped anywhere in the world within a few weeks.

The Sydney-based company reportedly received $3 million in funding last year.

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Kogan Technologies takes on big retailers, wins

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Founded in 2006 by Ruslan Kogen and headquartered in Melbourne, Kogan Technologies is an Australian consumer electronics manufacturer and retailer.

The company’s business model is to sell products direct from Asia to customers in Australia and the United Kingdom, bypassing the industry’s usual middlemen.

Kogan Technologies’ 2012 revenue was $100 million.

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iPledg grows business while helping others to do same

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Started in 2011 in Queensland and boasting $500,000 of revenue in 2012, iPledg founders Bryan Vadas and Andy Tompkins have continued to grow the online crowd funding platform while helping other businesses and community projects get off the ground by connecting the people with the ideas directly with potential backers.

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