Archive for the ‘Success story’ Category

Freelancer.com founder a business winner in 2013

Friday, January 3rd, 2014
Photo credit; Snap on Flickr

Photo credit; Snap on Flickr

Freelancer.com founder Matt Barrie has been named a business winner on Yahoo! Finance Australia’s list of business winners and losers for 2013.

Barrie enjoyed one of the year’s most successful IPOs when shares in the online freelancing network shot as high as $2.60 on their first day.

Coming off a 50 cent issue price, the Freelancer frenzy briefly made the company a billion-dollar concern.

Barrie holds 46% of the company and, even with Freelancer shares now trading around $1.30, his stake is still worth approximately $260 million.

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Keane family takes organic digital with great success

Monday, December 30th, 2013
Photo credit; Umstwit on Flickr

Photo credit; Umstwit on Flickr

The Keane family started their organic fruit and vegetable delivery business, Keane’s Organic Food almost by accident in 2008 and thanks to a cleverly designed website, it’s been growing ever since.

Melissa Keane, a former marketing executive at the University of South Australia, runs the business with her husband Simon,  a former South Australia Police detective and their daughter Millie.

The couple set up the business in 2008 as a part-time co-operative venture, sourcing and delivering organic produce in bulk for a few neighbours in the Unley area.

“I’ve always eaten organic food for its nutrition and taste, but when I was pregnant I wanted to find an easier way to purchase it in bulk and did a simple letterbox drop in my street to see who was interested in a co-op arrangement,” Melissa says. “The demand among other mums was clearly there, and before we knew it our business was born. In the past three years alone, sales have increased threefold and we’ve now employed two part-time delivery drivers to support our growth into new regions.”

Most of the orders come from mums who have little time and some older people.

Growing demand through mostly word-of-mouth referrals led to the more formal set up as Keane’s Organic Food, which now delivers to multiple regions within South Australia.

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Young Australian entrepreneur shares secrets in new book

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

5 minutes - MarkusAustralian entrepreneur Mark Middo aims to share his business knowledge with the world in his new book 5 Minute Business.

Middo and a business partner founded online voting system Reminisce Entertainment, which nightclubs use to allow patrons to vote for what songs they want to hear on a certain night. Prior to that, he started his own online company and sold it three months later.

In his new book, Middo explains how people can go from simply having an idea to bringing it to life in five minutes.

“I believe freedom can be built online, and I would like to share my framework to help people do something they love rather than trading their precious time on this earth for money through the outdated 9-5,” says Middo. “I was lucky enough to escape the 9-5 by applying these techniques, and I want to share them with the world.”

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Western Australia tourism business discovers power of social media just in time

Monday, December 16th, 2013
Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

Photo credit; Jason A. Howie on Flickr

A Western Australia tourism business on the brink of bankruptcy discovered just how powerful social media could be in the nick of time.

After spending tens of thousands of dollars on traditional advertising for his¬†one-man Margaret River Discovery Company and getting nothing in return, Sean Blocksidge was five days away from packing it in for good when the social media gods smiled on him. A few couples who had partaken in tours with his company, which provides 4WD tours of the rocky coast and canoeing on Margaret River’s famous waterway, left positive reviews on TripAdvisor and opened the floodgates for Blocksidge.

“I didn’t understand the power of this thing,” said Blocksidge. “And the algorithms behind it suddenly spun me up into the number one thing to do in Margaret River. That was it. The next morning, everything turned around. The phone and email went nuts and I’ve never looked back. Chock-a-block every day.”

For two straight years, it was then listed as the number one tourist activity in Australia.

And every day, Blocksidge does his due diligence by spending 15 minutes taking and uploading a photo of the region to his Facebook page, which auto-links to Twitter, and he then re-posts it to Instagram.

If it’s picked up by TourismWA, his image is viewed by millions.

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Click Frenzy sale exceeds expectations according to founder

Friday, December 13th, 2013
Photo credit; Matt Trostle on Flickr

Photo credit; Matt Trostle on Flickr

Last month’s Click Frenzy online shopping event was a huge success, founder Grant Arnott said.

The 24 hour shopping bonanza ended at 7pm on Nov. 20 and over the course of the event, Arnott said the site had received over 1 million visitors and driven 1.6 million clicks through to the 300 participating retailers.

Local online retailer, The Iconic announced its first $1 million shopping day thanks to the event.

“We’re now thinking our initial estimates of $15 to $20 million in revenue [generated by the event] are pretty conservative,” Arnott said.

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Surfstitch considers IPO

Monday, December 9th, 2013
Photo credit; Daniel Flower

Photo credit; Daniel Flower

Australian company Surfstitch, which claims to now be the the world’s largest online sports apparel and fashion retailer, is considering going public on the ASX.

The news comes from co-founder Justin Cameron as Surfstitch sits as the market leader in Asia and Australia and is starting to dominate European online fashion retailing.

According to Cameron, who co-founded the business with Lex Pedersen, the business is already the largest online action sports and fashion business in the world.

He pointed out that Surfstitch’s main competitor in the US, swell.com, isn’t doing nearly the business that Surfstich is. He knows this because swell.com is owned by Billabong, and Billabong is a shareholder in Surfstitch

“So I know what that business is doing and it’s not doing anywhere near what we’re doing [in terms of turnover],” Cameron said.

In Europe its main competitor is Blue Tomato, which reported annual net sales of $42.3 million for the year to 30 April 2012, of which 75% was generated through e-commerce.

“We do significantly more [than our competitors' revenue],” said Cameron, who also said Surfstitch would turnover $80 million this financial year.

Surfstitch now has five European online stores and also runs Billabong’s e-commerce platform. In total, it manages more than 20 different websites.

“We represent more than 500 brands and have the ability to touch consumers across a number of different genres, including surfwear, sportswear, street fashion and accessories,” said Cameron. “We have seen a significant shift of consumer spending to online and we have been able to capitalise on that.”

Cameron says consumers can access a massive 20,000 different products through the business’s sites, something no other online surf brand can come close to matching.

“We launched before there were daily deal sites. When we started eBay was really the only option [for buying apparel online]. In the fashion space there was only us and ASOS. Being first allowed us to build awareness and scale very quickly.”

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Online wine retailer takes home the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award for 2013

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Photo credit; Uncalno Tekno on Flickr

Photo credit; Uncalno Tekno on Flickr

Vinomofo, an online wine retailer with revenue growth of 1,723% over the past three years has taken home the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award for 2013.

Co-founder and CEO Andre Eikmeier said the award is recognition of the “impact of a million decisions we’ve made, and the traction in the marketplace. Since we’ve grown profitably, rather than simply pumped capital into marketing dollars to ‘buy’ our growth, it’s something we’ve very proud of. For us, our customers and suppliers aren’t just transacting with us; they have to a large degree invested in our journey. They believe in us, and have championed us from start-up.”

Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 leader Joshua Tanchel said in a statement that Vinomofo’s innovative customer relationship model and its use of social media to enhance consumer engagement contributed to the business’s success.

“Vinomofo has disrupted and redefined the ultra-competitive online wine market since its launch three years ago. They have pioneered a content driven approach that has been a real hit for consumers, helping to break down barriers and open up new channels to market by working directly with wine producers.”

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Program ranks 50 of Australia’s fastest growing public and private technology companies, based on percentage revenue growth over three years (2011 to 2013).

Total revenue for this year’s Fast 50 winners was approximately $1.7 billion. Average three-year revenue growth for this year’s winners was 222%.

Melbourne-based online foreign exchange broker Pepperstone, which was founded in 2010, won the Rising Star Award, which recognises companies with strong growth potential that do not qualify for the Technology Fast 50 list, either because they don’t have revenue data for three years or they don’t meet the $8 million income threshold to take part in the Technology Fast 50 program.

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Freelancer.com makes strong debut on stock market

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Photo credit; Andreas Poike on Flickr

Photo credit; Andreas Poike on Flickr

Australian online freelancing website Freelancer.com made a strong debut on the ASX Nov. 15, surging by as much as 400%.

Freelancer raised about A$17.55 million by selling 35.1 million new shares or only 8.1 percent of the company, capitalising on a revival in the Australian IPO market and strong interest in non-resources stocks.

The stock was offered at A$0.50 per share and traded at A$1.60 by 0243 GMT, valuing the four-year-old Sydney-based company at A$697.6 million.

“On the face, the price is telling us that this float is underpriced,” said CMC Markets strategist Michael McCarthy.

“But because they only sold a small amount of the 436 million shares, that’s not a problem for them. What they’ve essentially done is establish a market value of this company.”

CEO Matt Barrie holds 46% of the tightly held business, a stake worth about A$321 million after Friday’s jump in the share price. Investment fund Startive Capital owns another 39%.

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eWay partners with netsuite

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Photo credit; Neil Duncan, Deutsche Messe & CeBIT Australia on Flickr

Photo credit; Neil Duncan, Deutsche Messe & CeBIT Australia on Flickr

eWAY, a global online payment gateway provider based in Australia, has joined the NetSuite SuitePayments program to offer businesses greater payment options when using the NetSuite SuiteCommerce platform.

NetSuite said, in a news release, that by partnering with eWAY, it continues to open the door for more ecommerce, retail and wholesale distribution organisations to move their entire business to the cloud-based business management suite. This will help to improve operational efficiency of these organisations and offer their customers a richly interactive and friendly shopping experience.

Headquartered in Canberra, eWAY has processed over 80 million credit cards since it was started by CEO Matt Bullock. It now processes over $300 million per month for its rapidly growing customer base of more than 13,300 merchants in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the UK.

“Time to go live to market is critical for any ecommerce business and any delays can be costly,” Bullock said. “By combining our leading payment gateway with the NetSuite SuiteCommerce platform, customers now have a solution to turn on online payments within days instead of weeks. Talking to the banks, gaining approvals and completing their forms is a painful process. As a one stop shop for merchants, eWAY makes this process much faster and easier.”

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OneShift founder defies odds, wins awards

Monday, November 25th, 2013
Photo credit; Epic Fireworks

Photo credit; Epic Fireworks

Although just 22 years old, Genevieve George can count herself as the CEO and founder of a successful online start-up.

George runs OneShift, an online jobs platform which matches employees with employers.

“I know it’s not that common for a 22 year-old female to run an online business but I had an idea and I had a strong feeling that this idea would work out,” George said.

And it’s even more uncommon than George lets on. A report conducted by the government’s Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research revealed 68.5% of small business operators were male and 31.5% were female. It also found that the lion’s share of business owners are aged 25 to 54 years old (28.2%). In 2007, business operators aged 20-24 years represented just 2.5% of all owners.

“Obviously one of the difficult challenges for a younger business owner is finding the funding to back your idea and to prove that your idea can really work. OneShift started off as a free WordPress site and was embraced predominately by restaurant, bar and caf?? owners in Sydney,” George said.

OneShift now has 217,000 users in a wide variety of businesses all around Australia.

OneShift is doing so well, it has been awarded the 2013 Winner of the Australian Business Award for three different categories:

  • Innovation
  • Enterprise
  • E-Business.

George was the 2013 Winner of the Anthill 30Under30, which recognises entrepreneurs under the age of 30 for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. She was also a finalist for Australia’s Small Business Awards.

“I do think that many young, business-savvy individuals lack the support and assistance to launch their ideas into the real world of business but it’s not impossible,” George said. “You do need a strong idea and you need to be able to let this idea go wild – change it, shape it, develop it. Finally you need a lot of motivation and persistence.”

To read more about this story, click here.