Will Western Australia’s startup ecosystem be the state’s next gem?
Western Australia is home to Perth, has the longest coastline of all Australian states and is famous for its important mining industry. But there is more to the country’s largest state, than its landscapes and mines: Western Australia just had its all-time VC investment record in H1 2022. With AUD173m raised, startups in the state provide encouragement that the region can develop a strong technology sector over the coming years. Companies founded after 2010 in particular have an exponential growth path in the state.
To track and measure the success and growth of their tech ecosystem, the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation of the Western Australian government has launched their own digital database, powered by Dealroom.
Western Australia’s tech scene, by the numbers
Western Australia is now headquarters to 477 fast-growing companies created after 2000. The state’s total combined enterprise value reached AUD1.2B in 2022 so far, up 2.8x over the 5 past years. Contrary to the global country trend, and despite economic volatility, Western Australia’s ecosystem grew between 2021 and 2022, showcasing the industry’s resilience.
Over the past decade there has been a steady increase of available capital to fund startups across Australia. In Western Australia in particular, we saw an increase in the number of recorded rounds over the last decade. With AUD250M raised, 2021 was a record breaking year for Western Australia, like most places in the world. Yet 2022 seems to be headed for similar heights, as startups have already raised this year more than double the amount raised in 2020.
As the amount raised in early stage rounds (below $15M/Series A) continue to have a steady growth in the region, mid to later stage funding rounds (Series B+) continue to be a rare occurrence with no more than 11 rounds recorded since 2011. Notably, earlier this year, HealthEngine secured AUD30M investment in Series D from profit-for-purpose organization Inspire Impact which recently launched $350 million Impact multi-strategy fund. Alongside Inspire Impact,188 investors have a presence in Western Australia and 21 VCs call it home.
The success stories to come
Among the next startups to disrupt the Western Australian market could be previously mentioned Health Engine, the consumer healthcare platform connecting consumers to Australian doctors, GPs, dentists or healthcare specialists via an online appointment booking system. But the healthtech startup is not alone. Perth-based startup, Vitruvian Form, launched in 2018, also secured $15m in Series A funding this year. Vitruvian Form’s founder is a Curtin University of Technology’s alumni and might very well be Western Australia’s next homemade success story. And let’s not forget female-led OncoRes Medical, launched in 2015 and now worth an estimated AUD77—116M. Based in Nedlands, OncoRes Medical offers an imaging technology to provide intraoperative information available to surgeon.
However, an ecosystem’s health and growth cannot only be viewed through its most valued enterprises or evaluated by the unicorns it produces alone. Young companies are often creating more jobs and fueling the resulting economic growth. Dealroom Signal refreshes Western Australia’s next breakout opportunities everyday, surfacing companies showing strong traction and that are predicted to be fundraising soon.
A wide range of market focus
Among the 477 startups in the state there is a wide range of market focus. Fast-growing companies develop in industries as diverse as Data Science, Medtech, Bio and Life Science, Fintech & Cyber Security, Creative Technologies, Food and Agtech but also Mining Tech and Property Tech. Technology is increasingly restructuring the local economy, with startups progressively entering traditional industries such as mining, transportation, insurance and accommodation.
The mining industry in Western Australia has particular weight, aproximately 60% of Australia’s gold reserves can be found in Western Australia, and the state hosts 98% of the country’s iron ore. Western Australia has around $127 billion of resources projects in the development pipeline.
The Western Australia innovation ecosystem has much to offer, from established unicorns to up and coming startups across a variety of industries. Explore the Western Australia ecosystem platform powered by Dealroom to discover the unique aspects of the local innovation ecosystem.
Gain more insights on world-leading and emerging startup ecosystems
Subscribe to our Ecosystem Update newsletter. Stay ahead of the curve with key insights, trends and best-practices from around the globe. Every two weeks.