Melbourne accounts for 13% of global digital marketplace unicorns1


Delivering more than any other Australian state, Melbourne has seen the rise of three unicorn* startups – Seek, Carsales and REA.  All of which are now public companies trading on the Australian Stock Exchange.

SEEK creates world-class product technology solutions servicing job seekers and hirers and facilitating matching between job seekers and hirers via their online employment marketplaces.

Founded in Melbourne in 1997 and listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2005, today the SEEK Group encompasses a strong portfolio of employment, education and volunteer businesses.  Over the past three years, it has increased its market capitalisation from A$4.8 billion to A$7.2 billion. Contributing to this growth is a 16 per cent increase in revenue from the Australian New Zealand market from 2017 to 2018, a reflection of sustained investment in product and technology. SEEK now operates in 18 countries and maintains market leading positions in 14 countries.

Key success factors of a Melbourne location include:

  • Lifestyle and culture - rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities the lifestyle that Melbourne offers has enabled SEEK to attract world-class talent
  • Tech community - Melbourne is the centre of the Australian tech and product community that contributes to the tech capabilities that digital companies in Melbourne can draw upon
  • Gateway to Asia - from Melbourne SEEK can easily access Asian markets to support its global growth agenda

Seek is also giving back to the Melbourne ecosystem recently supporting Melbourne startup Vervoe. Powered by AI, Vervoe allows recruiters and employers to test the technical and personal skills of hundreds of candidates simultaneously and allows candidates to showcase their talent in real world situations.

*Unicorns are companies valued at more than $1 billion

REA Group and Carsales – Melbourne’s marketplace unicorn success stories

From their headquarters in Melbourne, the REA Group has created double digit growth in both revenue and EBITDA from its property and lifestyle digital businesses around the world for the last seven years.

Key success factors of a Melbourne location:

  • Geographically central location - encourages a balanced mindset about the Australian market – “we look east, west, north and south equally” said a REA spokes person
  • Strong digital and technology community culture - with up to a dozen meetups a day to connect with people and businesses
  • Digital education - well served to develop staff and allow career transitions to new, digital fields - RMIT, Melbourne University, Swinburne, General Assembly and many more
  • Innovation - fostered in collaborative hubs and districts, with co-work aplenty. The VC community are well connected to those hubs, as well as academia and business
  • Ecosystem - Melbourne is the Pacific HQ for major tech consultancies like ThoughtWorks, Dius, Data61, Cogent, Commoncode, and Luna Tractor - allowing access to some of the best global product and tech minds in fields such as AI, VR and AR.

Car sales is the largest online automotive, motorcycle and marine classified business in Australia.

Valued at A$2.9 billion, it has operations across the Asia pacific region.

Key success factors of a Melbourne location include:

  • Access to talent and a vibrant technology eco-system
  • Proximity to key customers and stakeholders
  • Growing economy and supportive business and local community

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