Business, Money and Earnings :: Market news

Heres the startups youll be hearing about before too long

THE topic of innovation is on everyone’s lips thanks to Malcolm Turnbull’s announcements today. Here’s some start-up success stories you either know about, or will soon.

Five Australian start-up success stories

Atlassian: This Sydney software company with an annual turnover of $455 million will float on the NASDAQ this week, and pundits predict it will be Australias richest tech IPO yet. The company could be valued at $US3 billion despite its location far outside Silicon Valley.

Vinomofo: The wine-selling website that only sells what it considers to the finest drops now ships more than 35,000 cases of wine to customers each month, and is discussing international expansion. Now free of the Catch Group, the start-ups revenue has grown more than 1000 per cent over three years.

Adore Beauty: Woolworths bought 25 per cent of this online beauty product store this year, which founder Kate Morris said allowed the company to spend more on marketing and inventory. The company expects to see more than $10 million in revenue this year.

Hipages: This online platform connecting tradies to the people who need them is now valued at $100 million, following News Corps purchase of a 25 per cent stake in the company (publisher of this outlet). Its set to launch on the stockmarket in the next two years.

Airtasker: The firm that lets users advertise for others willing to assemble Ikea furniture now processes $20 million worth of jobs each year, and has raised $8.5 million since its 2011 birth. The company recently partnered with Coles, Woolworths and Big W to stock gift cards in their stores.

Five Australian start-ups to watch

Clipp: This made-in-Australia bar tab app lets users set the amount they wish to spend on booze for the evening and flash their phone each time they order drinks. An invoice is sent discreetly the following day. Users can also find bars with drinks specials.

FunCaptcha: Brisbane-based company FunCaptcha swaps annoying requests to identify letters and numbers on some websites into mini games. The company, created in 2012, claims it boosts conversions from 65 to more than 95 per cent.

Canva: This design company didnt just sign up original Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki this year, but it rolled out a design marketplace professionals can use to sell their layouts. The Sydney-based firm attracted more than a million users in its first year.

GoodnessMe Box: Its a simple idea a box of health food sent to your home every month for $25 and its one this company has used to turn over $1 million of stock since its launch in June last year. The profitable start-up now fills thousands of orders each month.

LawPath: This hub delivers fixed-fee legal services from more than 600 lawyers, letting users download legal documents or seek advice for small or medium-sized businesses. The company has attracted $2.4 million in funding to date.

Nab using veda alerts to spy on customers

NAB has been accused of “Big Brother” tactics by monitoring when its business customers are shopping around for rival loans, sparking competition concerns.

The lender has been receiving the tip-offs from credit reporting agency Veda, which it says are used to better manage relationships with customers, Fairfax Media reports.

One borrower who recently applied for a car loan with ANZ said she was shocked to receive an email from NAB saying its smarter systems alerted it that she was seeking or inquiring for finance elsewhere and it could whip up multiple quotes.

I felt violated, she told Fairfax. I felt there was an invasion of my privacy because they accessed information Ive never given them permission to access.

I have a right to get second opinions and compare lenders but they put me in a very awkward position.

In a statement, NAB said it believes in lending responsibly to our business customers.

This means we do use a range of information sources, including limited information from credit bureau Veda, to manage relationships with our customers, it said.

This information helps us to understand if our customers are borrowing within their means and operating their businesses prudently.

We believe its important that our bankers keep in touch with their business customers, especially when they are taking out new lending with other institutions, to understand the intent of the finance and how it will impact on their business operations.

The information received from Veda only relate to business banking customers. No consumer credit information is provided by Veda to NAB.

A Veda spokeswoman said: This is a matter between NAB and their customer. Veda cannot comment on NAB and its customers.

Veda, which collects data on customers credit histories, was recently purchased by US giant Equifax for $2.5 billion

Although the sharing of business customers data does not technically breach regulations, privacy advocates have described the practice as sneaky and scary and said it could raise competition concerns.

Fairfax reports other banks are understood to be using the alert service.

A Westpac spokesman said: Westpac does not receive alerts if a business customer enquires or applies for a loan at another bank. CommBank also said it does not use the service. has contacted ANZ for comment.

A spokeswoman for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said all inquiries should be directed to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

A spokeswoman for ASIC said neither privacy concerns nor competition issues were ASICs remit and directed inquiries back to the ACCC.

The OAIC has been contacted for comment.