Imagine stumbling upon a world where mythical wealth isn’t just a legend—it’s Australian reality.

Here’s where unicorns roam not the fabled lands but the bustling cityscapes down under, manifesting not as creatures of lore but as titans of innovation—Australia’s own billion-dollar startups.

The term ‘Australian unicorns’ symbolizes not just their rarity and value but the audacious spirit of Aussie entrepreneurship.

You, the astute business owner, sit at the vanguard of this vibrant ecosystem. Your keen insight recognizes the value of understanding these leviathans of industry.

This isn’t just another article; it’s your compass in the dynamic landscape defined by Technology hubs in Sydney, Melbourne’s startup district, and the disruptive fintech revolution.

By journey’s end, you’ll unravel how these unicorn ventures shape Australia’s economic narrative.

Uncover the secrets of their exponential growth. Gauge the impact they hold on job creation, market trends, and the venture capital scene.

You’ve embarked upon a path that winds through the lifeblood of Australia’s most celebrated startups. Ready for the ride?


The first of these Australian unicorns is Canva. The company has been around since 2012, and it took it only a couple of years to be classified as a unicorn. We’ve all used it at some point, but not that many people know it is located in Sydney Surrey Hills. 

The original idea belongs to Melanie Perkins, who was only 19 at the time. She was studying at Perth but also teaching design programs to other students to ensure extra cash. She founded the company with her partner Cliff Obrecht. A few years later, ownership was also shared with co-founder Tasmanian software expert Cameron Adams. How inspirational for all training providers!

Not that many successful startups specialize in design. Canva is unique, as it offers both free and paid templates and plenty of great functionalities. Australia can be proud of the online design tool. It is not that often that a private company grows as fast as Canva did.

The value jumped in 2021. The online design tool got to a $40 billion valuation from only $6 billion. However, nonofficial information reports that the value has declined to $26 billion in 2022.


Airwallex is another master of the digital revolution. It is the tool that brings businesses to the online world and expands their reach globally. 

The purpose of this enterprise software is simple. It lets businesses operate wherever and whenever they want, without restrictions. In such a manner, it propels the growth of the global economy. Not every private company can brag about something like that!

No wonder small business customers turned to it so quickly! The global trade finance platform has multiple useful functionalities. It supports an international payment network. Also, it enables a financial ecosystem for asset and digital currency trading. It is an all-in-one solution to receive money internationally.

The initial idea belongs to Jack Zhang and Max Li. The couple was trying to start their own business with a coffee shop but soon realized this was not easy. They were burdened with administration and high exchange rates and wanted to solve this problem for everyone else.

The Melbourne-based business has a net worth of US $100 million and grows at a stable pace. And yet, the instability of private equity valuations affected many successful startups. This Fintech, for instance, didn’t report any growth since November 2021.

What the company managed well is to expand internationally. It created dozens of offices worldwide and operates in China, Europe, and North America. It is amazing how well-accepted it was in the leading e-commerce markets: USA and UK.

If we add the valuations of all offices (including Headquarters Hong Kong), the international payments network is worth $5.5 billion.


SafetyCulture also belongs to unicorn companies dealing with technology. It is an employee analytics platform worshiped by leaders and their teams. It enables observation at scale – leaders know what is happening, and employees get a say in how something is done. It improves the safety and efficiency of the working place, and teams love using it. 

SafetyCulture was developed in a garage in Townsville when a couple of students decided to start their own business. The idea was to focus on safety, and they would never have guessed how successful it will be. The platform was even promoted on reality TV The Block! 

So far, over 100 million inspections were conducted with this app. With full access, you can use it to collect data, draft reports, streamline operations, and more.

Culture Amp

While on it, here comes another extremely successful employee analytics platform. Unlike SafetyCulture, Culture Amp focuses on analytics and staff statistics. It was founded in 2011 in Richmond, and it is currently worth over $2 billion. Seems like the COVID-19 pandemic only enhanced its growth – the numbers are raising as we speak. 

As an employer, you can use Culture Amp to conduct surveys among employees, and use data to improve working culture. It is a great tool for human resources, and performance management, and it is recommended by many leading companies. For instance, the tool is being used by Mcdonald’s and Airbnb.


Linktree was founded by brothers Anthony and Alex Zaccaria in 2016. Later on, co-founder Nich Humphreys joined the team. The idea was inspired by the administrative hurdle of running a digital agency.

The team wanted to improve access for their clients and manage better their social media. Regardless of how bio updates sounded in the past, Linktree used this simple idea to make billions of dollars. At the moment, they are the leading social media startup in Australia worth $1.7 billion. The biggest support came from the Aussie social media group which invested $150 million in this idea.

Thanks to Linktree, thousands of brands, agencies, and publishers stay in control of their online presence. They have almost 25 million users around the world.

Pet Circle

Sometimes, it takes an idea way simpler than a dynamic content-driven platform to conquer the market. Pet Circle played with emotions and reached out to pet owners all over Australia. Would you also like the best products for your pets at a lower price? Pet Circle can make this true!

Unicorn companies Pet Circle specialize in all sorts of pet products. They offer food, toys, treats, and medication. They operate entirely online, and with customers who have a subscription. 

Their breakthrough happened almost overnight. In only 2 years, the boosted puppy and kitten food sales for entire 50%. On average, an Australian pet owner spends $1,000 per year on their products.

To make matters even better, platform experts offer tips for pet care to their loyal customers.


This NFT startup followed the trend of the best unicorn companies and got a valuation of $2.5 billion in only a couple of years. The latest funding it received was the largest one – an incredible $200 million! 

Immutable offers global blockchain technology and leverages the capacity of immutable NFTs. It takes both commerce and ownership straight to the digital world. The group consists of Immutable Games Studio and Etherium-scaling Layer 2 platform Immutable X. 

The leading titles of the platforms are Guild of Guardians and Guild Unchained.

Several names signed on this idea: Robbie Ferguson, James Ferguson, and Alex Connolly. They created the unicorn companies in 2018 in Sydney.

The young startup now employs 165 people, which makes it the fastest-growing unicorn in Australia. As they report, they are planning to hire 200 additional employees in 2023, mostly for their sales and marketing department. Funds should be repurposed to expand the platform into innovative verticals and to obtain new partnerships.


GO1 is also specialized in human resources. It helps leaders optimize the potential of their team, conduct on demand training, and improve content.

This enterprise software also came to be in a garage. Its original purpose was web development, but as it turned out, it was capable of much more. In 2015, it was even accepted by the prominent Y-Combinator accelerator and opened offices around the globe. The dynamic content-driven platform is now present in South Africa, USA, UK; Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The platform has a strong focus on corporate training and demand training. In a similar fashion to other unicorn companies, it covers a wide range of regions and industries. So far, thousands of companies have used its potential to inspire and reinvent learning.

Judo Bank

Judo Bank (or Judo Capital) gathered some of the top investments in Australia. In 2018, it got $140 million from both international and Australian investors, which raised its value to $1.9 billion. As Ironbridge Capital reports, the company increased by almost 60% during the Covid pandemic.

Rather than an international payments network, Judo Bank is an Aussie challenger bank, and it is unique of its kind. There is no local bank account, and everything happens digitally. Distance and location are completely irrelevant.

The venture capital arm belongs to the well-known family Myer. It was created by NAB banker Joseph Healy and co-founder David Hornery. Both founders have created dozens of successful projects.

Zip Co

Zip was founded in 2013 by Diamond and co-founder Peter Gray. Nowadays, it has 1.3 million customers, and it can brag with over 14,000 major merchant retailers. The list even includes Chemist Warehouse and Bunnings. 

This Fintech is Australia’s finest. It is a global leader in public limited financial technology. It lets you buy immediately but pay later, in the form of a seamless solution. Companies use it to simplify their payment procedures and attract more customers in such a way.

FAQ On Australian Unicorns

What’s the Definition of an Australian Unicorn?

They’re not mythical creatures; they’re breakout stars in the business world. Think companies rocking the scene with valuations smacking over a whopping $1 billion before going public.

All homegrown right here on Aussie soil! This is about high-growth startups, revolutionizing and redefining success in our vibrant market.

How Many Unicorns Does Australia Have?

The Aussie unicorn club isn’t as crowded—yet it’s an elite group. As of now, we’re looking at just a handful that have galloped past the billion-dollar mark.

They’re our head-turners like Canva, turning the entrepreneurial world on its head—one design at a time.

Which Sectors Do These Unicorns Operate In?

From the financial wizardry of fintech to the creative playground of design, these unicorns are diversifying across the board.

It’s not just the Australian technology landscape they’re lighting up; they’re gatecrashing sectors from e-commerce to renewable energy, bringing innovation that’s as varied as it is groundbreaking.

What Makes an Australian Unicorn Successful?

It’s the whole shebang—innovative ideas, razor-sharp market fit, and relentless scaling up. You can’t ignore the juicy mix of venture capital support and customer-centric products.

Toss in a bit of that legendary Aussie grit and bam—that’s the sweet spot.

How Do These Unicorns Impact the Economy?

Put simply, they’re game-changers. Not only do they draw eye-popping international investor interest, but they’re also job-creating engines.

They fuel the startup ecosystem, encourage entrepreneurial spirit, and they’re making sure the world sits up and takes notice of Australia’s economic landscape.

Are Australian Unicorns Mostly Tech-based?

You bet. The tech scene’s where it’s blazing hot. SoftwareFintechOnline services. This arena is where our unicorns are prancing the proudest.

That said, it’s Aussie curiosity—so we’ve got players across healthtechEdTech, and renewable tech as well.

How Do Australian Unicorns Compete Globally?

They step into the ring with fierce innovation and global market expansion plans.

Tailored digital marketing strategies, a focus on scalable models, and a passion for disruptive tech give them that knockout punch against international titans.

What Role Does Government Play in Supporting Australian Unicorns?

Think knight in shining armor, providing the framework and resources startups need.

The Australian government’s not just on the sidelines; they’re laying down policies, funding programs, and tax incentives—all designed to give our unicorn hopefuls a running start.

Can Startups Still Become Unicorns in Today’s Market?

Absolutely. Market’s dynamic, sure, but the dream’s alive and kickin’. It’s about spotting those gaps and diving in, headfirst, with a blend of strategic foresight and agile approach.

Fresh ideas and fierce ambition? They’re the rocket fuel for tomorrow’s unicorns.

What Does the Future Hold for Australian Unicorns?

Bright. So bright, you might need shades. We’re talking expanding international markets, making even bigger economic impacts, and continuing the legacy of start-up innovation

. There’s a wave of new kids on the block, armed with ideas that could very well redefine ‘unicorn’ for the next gen.


So, we’ve taken the grand tour, haven’t we? Circled around the energetic realm of Australian unicorns. Seen them in their natural habitat—thriving, disrupting, and conquering. It’s clear, these aren’t just flashes in the pan. They’re the beacons leading Aussie innovation, blazing trails for the dreamers and doers yet to come.

Projecting ahead, there’s this tangible buzz—expectations of growth, of IPOs waiting in the wings, of success stories yet unwritten. You’ve gotten the lay of the land. Witnessed how these unicorns aren’t only redefining markets but crafting a narrative that inspires the local startup ecosystem and attracts those international eyes.

  • Venture capital’s intent gaze
  • Government’s tailored support
  • Startups’ dynamic agility

They all blend into this potent potion for potential boom. So, watch this space. The saga of these formidable Australian unicorns is just… getting… started. And for business owners like you? It’s a sign—take the reins, join the charge, and maybe, just maybe, pen your own mythic tale.

If you liked this article about Australian unicorns, you should check out this one with Canadian unicorns.


I'm the manager behind the Upcut Studio team. I've been involved in content marketing for quite a few years helping startups grow.