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Airtree Press Part 1: Exporting Ambition
Industry trends & analysis
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The Aussie and Kiwi startups taking on the world, and making technology our greatest export.
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Industry trends & analysis
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In the Antipodean corridors of power, there’s a unanimous understanding: a flourishing tech and innovation sector isn’t just desirable, it’s imperative for the ongoing narrative of Australia’s and New Zealand’s economies. 

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen examples of ANZ companies expanding internationally and becoming category leaders like Atlassian, WiseTech Global and Aconex. Over the next decade, we anticipate technology will increasingly weave itself into the fabric of prosperity, elevating it from the overlooked youngest sibling to a paramount pillar of Australia and New Zealand’s economy, a pivot from the concentration risk tied to resource extraction.   

The ambition is clear: continue building world-class technology companies to foster high-value jobs that sustainably steer towards high-margin exports. While there’s no doubt room for improvement, there’s plenty of promise when we venture beyond our shores. 

Read on for stories from:

  • The Martec
  • HEO
  • Employment Hero
  • Reejig
  • Archistar

Check our Part 2: Unwavering Momentum and Part 3: Omnipresent Innovation in the series.

The Martec’s spectacular 300% surge in revenue and global talent marketing movement

Raaj Govintharajah, Founder and CEO of The Martec

In the fast-evolving world of talent marketing, one company has emerged as a true challenger brand, rewriting the rules of engagement and leading the category with unprecedented momentum. The simplicity of The Martec's mission—treating talent like humans—is likely what is resonating with customers globally and winning their hearts and minds. 

Raaj Govintharajah, the mind behind The Martec, draws on his extensive experience, having been part of the team that built Campaign Master, an marketing automation platform, followed by a successful stint running a tech recruitment firm. The pivotal moment came when Raaj recognised the parallels between marketing technology and the disjointed world of talent recruitment. The Martec was born out of the need to apply the principles of customer journeys and personalisation to the talent journey, which was, until then, a one-size-fits-all approach.

At the onset of the year, The Martec officially launched its groundbreaking Content Cloud, the culmination of three years of intensive research and development. The 6-in-1 AI-powered tool delivers personalised content at scale throughout each individual’s career journey, a standard usually reserved for customer marketing. 

The Content Cloud’s impact was immediate, increasing revenue by 300%. In the last quarter alone, The Martec secured an impressive lineup of new enterprise customers, a testament to its global appeal. Among the notable wins this year were industry giants such as Reckitt Benckiser, Sainsbury’s, Sanofi and Marvell. The ability to surpass incumbents and point solutions, like ChatGPT, showcases The Martec's versatility and competitive edge. 

The Martec addresses the need for businesses to achieve more with less by consolidating various tools and agencies into one comprehensive platform. It’s a compelling solution for enterprises looking for cost-saving mechanisms and to optimise their resources.  

"We're an all-in-one tool that opens up a whole new world of possibilities tied to board-level objectives. We're able to say to our customers, 'Here's a business case that will make you look like a hero,'" says Raaj.

A growing recognition of talent marketing as a distinct category signals a broader industry shift that The Martec is poised to capitalise on. More organisations are investing in dedicated talent marketing and employer branding experts, acknowledging the need to actively market to talent. Coupled with the fact companies are increasingly seeking AI applications to augment their teams and unlock new possibilities, The Martec has several tailwinds to ride into the new year.

Peering into the horizon of 2024, Raaj envisions a future where more people join The Martec’s movement.

"We have the largest global community for talent marketing–Employer Brandwagon–and I'm excited to see that grow, elevate the profession, and demonstrate the impact of talent marketing."

With an expanding global team across Australia, UK, USA and Vietnam, the world can expect The Martec to continue its trailblazing journey and leave an indelible mark on the industry. 

HEO’s meteoric rise to keeping space safe 

The HEO team

HEO reached new heights, both figuratively and literally in 2023. The company secured two major contracts, propelling its influence into the Asian market and sealing a significant deal with SpaceX. The launch of the Holmes Imager, the world’s first commercial camera dedicated to non-Earth imaging, orbited into space in July, etching HEO’s presence in the cosmos. And at the T-Minus event, the company unveiled HEO Inspect 2.0, a satellite inspection platform offering customers unparalleled insights into spacecraft, boasting features like pattern-of-life analysis and attitude estimation. 

On top of all of that, the company raised a $12 million Series A round, doubled its headcount, established an office in the US and its co-founders, Dr Will Crowe and Dr Hiranya Jayakody, were recognised on The Australian’s Top 100 Innovators list.

But if we take a step back, how did HEO get here? 

Originally conceived to track asteroids, HEO underwent a strategic shift in response to a shared challenge within the space community – the need for effective satellite observation and inspection. The number of satellites in orbit is projected to surge from 10,000 to over 100,000 by 2032, making orbital congestion a pressing concern. HEO’s satellite-to-satellite imagery not only addresses a crucial gap in the industry; it’s a visionary response to the burgeoning demand in a billion-dollar industry. 

“There’s been a noteworthy shift in the space industry, from the traditional business-to-government model to a landscape characterised by increased business-to-business interactions, unlocking new possibilities and avenues for growth,” says Dr Will Crowe. 

HEO’s innovative approach utilises existing sensors in space and outfitting satellites destined for orbit with cameras. It’s an extremely scalable model that establishes an extensive network to meet the demand for coverage and speed.

“Space-based sensors essentially serve as our eyes in space, ensuring the safety of the space environment."

Operating in Australia, the UK and the USA, HEO has secured partnerships with industry giants like SpaceX and the US Government. The company’s initial advantage was rooted in Australia’s absence of satellite-licencing restrictions.

“US satellite-licensing laws posed a barrier for American companies seeking to image other satellites,” says Dr Crowe. “That’s not the case in Australia, and we were the first commercial company to offer satellite-to-satellite inspection services. While we eventually played a role in lifting these restrictions in the US, our initial head start allowed us to deeply understand our customer’s challenges and develop a product tailored to address their most pressing needs in space.”

As HEO rides the momentum of 2023, the trajectory for 2024 is set with determination and ambition. The company plans to solidify and expand its presence in the US and Asia, responding to the growing demand for monitoring high-value satellites in Geosynchronous orbit (GEO). With a commitment to reducing time to insights, enhancing image quality and adding additional analysis features, HEO is poised to continue its journey as a leader in the space tech frontier. 

From down under to Downing Street: Employment Hero steps into the global spotlight 

Ben Thompson, Co-founder and CEO of Employment Hero, outside of No. 10 Downing St

How many Aussie startups can say they’ve been invited to 10 Downing Street for a discussion with the Prime Minister’s Business Advisor? Or had the UK Prime Minister post on LinkedIn to welcome your business to the country? Not many, by our count. But when you’re making waves as a formidable player in the global tech scene like Employment Hero is, it comes as no surprise. 

2023 has been nothing short of extraordinary for Employment Hero. The team surpassed the 1,000-employee mark, underscoring the company's exponential growth and, more broadly, the tech sector's role in job creation.

The company expanded its global footprint by launching its European Headquarters in London, a strategic move that positions Employment Hero to cater to a broader international audience. Having already built a robust customer base of 20,000 SMEs with 200,000 employees in the UK, there's no plan to slow down from here.

“We're not just settling into the UK; we're ramping up our commitment to this market, setting ambitious growth targets for 2024,” says Ben Thompson, Co-founder and CEO. 

Employment Hero's product ambitions match their global aspirations, and in their relentless pursuit of innovation, they've fully embraced the potential of artificial intelligence. Integrating cutting-edge features like SmartMatch, which offers continuous talent sourcing, and HeroAI, a personal HR assistant, into the product suite represents a significant leap forward. Over the coming months, SmartMatch is anticipated to cause substantial disruption in the recruitment landscape, and the team continues to optimise the matching algorithm with the vision that SmartMatch will become the primary talent-sourcing method by 2024.  

The introduction of Swag, the world's first employment super app, was another game-changing product development this year. Swag simplifies work, career, and financial management for employees and provides SME employers with a powerful tool to enhance their employee value proposition. It's another step towards Employment Hero achieving its mission of making employment easier and more valuable for everyone by transitioning employment into the digital realm. 

How Employment Hero's mission extends beyond the traditional boundaries of HR tech came to life this year with the launch of the Hero Foundation. This initiative aims to connect individuals facing adversity, including those with disabilities, and in developing economies and remote communities with quality job opportunities. The foundation leverages technology for societal benefit, exemplifying what tech for good truly represents. 

“Our goal via the Foundation is to facilitate over 1 million quality employment opportunities for these communities within the next 10 years.”

Already a trailblazing Aussie tech export, over the next 12 months, we can expect to see Employment Hero's presence and impact accelerate around the globe and further product innovation as they continue to redefine the future of work.

Reejig's HR Tech win paves the way for global impact

Siobhan Savage, Co-founder and CEO of Reejig

It’s Siobhan Savage’s life’s mission to ensure no individual’s nor any business’ potential goes to waste. Having been involved in projects where one side of the business was rapidly hiring while the other side was letting people go, Siobhan was motivated to find a solution that created visibility of the skills, capabilities and potential to businesses. 

That solution–Reejig–just won Human Resource Executive’s HR Tech Product of the Year. More than a mere accolade, this recognition has positioned the company as a formidable force in the US market and captured the gaze of global industry giants. 

“We’re carving out a new niche in workforce management, and this win really puts us on the map,” says Siobhan Savage, Co-founder and CEO.

Diving deep into the realm of artificial intelligence, Reejig stands at the forefront of innovation. Their deployment of generative AI isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a transformative approach to work ontology. By deconstructing tasks into skills, Reejig’s AI-powered platform automates processes, enhancing productivity and bridging skills gaps. It’s a commitment to making work smarter, more efficient and future-ready. 

As the technology sector grapples with a shortage of skilled workers, the Tech Council of Australia identified that Australia needs 600,000 more people to join the tech sector by 2030 to lift productivity across the economy and provide more high-quality jobs for Australians. Critical to achieving this is ensuring there are enough pathways to work in these roles and improving the diversity of the tech workforce. 

“We need to show how people from different backgrounds can move into tech and ensure companies are ready to welcome them. This will take effort from everyone, and Reejig’s tech is ready to support this goal.”

Reejig has its sights set on making a big impact in the US in 2024. With an unwavering focus on becoming the go-to product for workforce transformation, the company is gearing up to unleash its mission of Zero Wasted Potential to a broader audience.

“Our mission is super important to us. It’s all about ensuring everyone gets a shot at a meaningful career, helping companies run without unnecessary waste and including everyone in society.”

“With all the tech changes happening like automation, we’re here to help people learn new skills and support companies to make the most of new tech. It’s win-win all round.”

Archistar’s proptech prowess is reshaping global cities

Dr Benjamin Coorey, Founder and CEO of Archistar

Imagine it took 1,470 steps to submit an application. Absurd, right? Unfortunately, it was the reality for anyone submitting a site plan application to the City of Austin. But it’s also where Archistar steps in to save the day, using cutting-edge technology to revolutionise how individuals, businesses and governments plan, design, build and sell.  

Archistar’s collaboration with customers extends beyond providing solutions; it’s about driving meaningful global change in the design and construction landscape. In the case of the City of Austin, Archistar’s analysis unveiled the complexities in site plan applications, prompting the development of streamlined processes that could reduce processing time by up to 90%. 

On an even larger scale, Archistar’s recent Granny Flat report, developed in collaboration with CoreLogic and Blackfort, identified over 655,000 properties in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane that are suitable for Granny Flat developments, presenting a practical solution to housing affordability through urban infill. 

“By providing actionable options to both industry and government, we aim to tackle housing issues comprehensively, from multiple angles,” says Dr Benjamin Coorey, Founder and CEO. 

Since launching in 2018, Archistar has solidified itself as a leader in the Proptech industry. The company’s three-year streak in the Australian Financial Review Fast 100 is a testament to its sustained growth. The accolades received, including Proptech of the Year and Most Innovative Proptech from the Proptech Association Australia, underscore Archistar’s commitment to pushing boundaries and redefining industry standards. 

“Australia’s proptech landscape reflects a broad array of innovative technologies. The diversity comes from Australia's connection to property, a topic that’s as common at weekend barbeques as it is in boardrooms,” says Dr Coorey. 

“Our cultural affinity, coupled with the prevalence of smaller companies and absence of monolithic competitors, has nurtured an environment abundant in diverse solutions.”

International expansion has been pivotal for Archistar, not just in terms of business growth but also in identifying where their technology can make the most significant social impact. The insights gained from working with forward-thinking cities in the United States, Canada and Australia have allowed Archistar to tailor solutions that make a meaningful difference. As an example, Archistar’s long-term partnership with the City of Vancouver will deliver speed, value and certainty to both the city and its citizens, creating a more seamless pathway to home ownership. 

“It’s a genuine delight to team up with many different customers and cities to solve real-world challenges. Their passion and eagerness motivate us to continue crafting breakthrough innovations."

In 2024, Archistar aims to expand its partnerships, collaborating with cities committed to enhancing housing supply and affordability through technology. The company envisions a future where AI plays a critical role in transforming the property development process, streamlining and optimising the development stages.

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