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9 Victorian Startups Are Being Guided To Achieve Unicorn Status

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Construction tech startup HammerTech, restaurant ordering platform Mr Yum and auto subscription website Carbar are among nine startups picked by the Victorian government’s start-up firm LaunchVic as potential unicorn companies under a new program to help them get there.

A “unicorn” is a reference to a startup reaching a valuation of $1 billion.

The state has spawned 20 startups in recent years that have reached the $1 billion milestone, including A Cloud Guru, CultureAmp, MessageMedia, Airwallex, and Afterpay.

To qualify for the program, the scale-ups involved must have 50 full-time employees, a valuation between $30 million and $200 million, monthly revenue of at least $1 million per month, or a single venture capital round of more than $5 million have been raised.

Three four-month programs will run between 2022 and 2024, and the first cohort is three months behind schedule after LaunchVic first announced the program in March.

The nine emerging startups have been chosen for 30X30, LaunchVic’s new program to help 30 Victorian companies achieve unicorn status by 2030. More cohorts will be named in 2023 and 2024.

To get there, mentors from existing unicorn companies such as Atlassian, Canva, Bumble and SafetyCulture, with deep experience of scaling in areas such as HR, Operations and Finance, will work with them to address those foundational issues.

The other involved are infrastructure company Buildkite, health tech ventures Nutromics and Seer Medical, “death tech” cremation startup Bare, internship marketplace InternMatch and luggage company July round out the nine startups.

HammerTech is already a leader in construction operations and HSEQ management software.

Founded in 2015, the company now has more than 350 customers, domestic and abroad, serving 80% of the top 100 contractors in Australia and New Zealand.

HammerTech CEO Ben Leach said Melbourne HQ is delighted to be recognized for its potential

“As HammerTech continues to scale, respond to evolving customer needs and innovate our platform, the LaunchVic program will provide an invaluable support network of people and resources to guide our journey. The mentoring and learning programs for our operations team and the connections made through the 30X30 program are already bearing fruit,” he said.

“Our mission is to make construction sites worldwide safer and more productive and we are grateful to LaunchVic to support us in this.”

Mr Leach said that trust and reliability are the key factors driving HammerTech’s success as the company has completed more than two million employee introductions to its platform.

“We support billions of dollars in construction projects worldwide,” he said.

“We are constantly investing in and innovating our offering to ensure we remain the software provider of choice for Australian construction companies.”

Mr Yum, the hospitality-focused ordering and payment platform, may come closest to hitting unicorn, having raised A$89 million in a Series A from US VC Tiger Global last November.

The deal was the country’s third-largest Series A and set a new benchmark for a women-founded company in Australia. It followed six months earlier after the $11 million Seed round.

Des Hang’s Carbar raised $28.9 million in February this year, led by insurance giant IAG and Seven West Media, after raising $16.8 million in 2019.

Hang said he was honored to continue his business alongside some true innovators in Victoria. “Carbar will come. Running a successful startup is all about timing. We are now well positioned to help Australians move from an internal combustion engine car to an electric vehicle in the next ten years,” he said.

“This program is a really positive step in terms of increasing their state government’s support for the ecosystem and targeting directly where it will have the most impact.”

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