10 hot and successful Australian online businesses

Ten hot and highly successful Australian online businesses

I was inspired by Triple J’s Hottest 100 song countdown each Australia Day and thought I’d share the top online success stories of the companies I like.

My list is based upon a variety of factors, including:

  • How financially successful they are (where available).
  • The size of their online community/following seems to be huge.
  • The authenticity of their brand – Do I believe in their story? Are they able to design a beautiful logo and brand? Yes, aesthetics matter! These are the most important factors.
  • Whether I like them (opinion only).

10. iPledg

Founders: Bryan Vadas, Andy Tompkins

Revenue: $500,000

Started: 2011

Head Office: Queensland

Employers: Two

Industry: Finance & insurance

ipledge.com is now available to help organizations that need funding for ongoing operations or a single project. It is extremely easy to use and does a lot for social good. I find it amazing.

9. Kogan

Founder: Ruslan Kogan

Revenue: $100M

Started: 2006

Head Office: Melbourne

Employees11-50 (according to LinkedIn)

Industry: Consumer electronics, online retail

Kogan Technologies, an Australian manufacturer and retailer for consumer electronics devices, is Kogan Technologies. Ruslan Kogan founded the company in 2006. It sells products directly from Asia to Australian and British customers. The company sells a range of budget products directly to consumers and bypasses wholesalers, distributors, or retailers to compete on price. Some of the company’s advertising strategies have led to high-profile scandals.

8. Shoes of Prey

Founders: Jodie Fox, Michael Fox, Mike Knapp

Revenue: Unknown. It is worth noting that it was funded with $3 million in July 2012.

Started: 2009

Head Office: Sydney

Employees11-50 (according to LinkedIn)

Industry: Retail

Ok, I admit that I haven’t used the site to buy shoes, but it is a fashion-conscious girl’s paradise. The site allows you to design your shoes. You can choose your shoes’ size, color, and height by using their 3D designer. They make shoes to order and ship them worldwide in four weeks. It is worth noting that the founders were ex-Google employees and have mastered dominating search engines. They’ve been smart enough to pursue media coverage and, because it is such a unique idea, they love the media.

7. CatchOfTheDay.com.au

Founder: GabbyLeibovich

Revenue$250 Million

Started: 2006

Head Office:16,000 sq meter distribution center in Braeside, and another 25,000 sq meter one Truganina in Victoria

Employees: 600

Industry: Retail

This Aussie ripper, whether you love or loathe coupon sites. It increased revenue by 62% to $230 million in 2012. That’s a great achievement. This is a very competitive market, but these guys are the ones who come out on top in the coupon pile and make it to my top 10.

6. SourceBottle

Founder: Rebecca Derrington

Revenue: Unknown

Started: 2009

Head Office: Melbourne

Employees1-10 (according to LinkedIn)

Industry: PR & media

SourceBottle founder Rebecca was my guest at one of our Wednesday events in 2011. It was a discussion on online PR. Rebecca has made online PR a lot more accessible. She started with Australia and then expanded to the UK and USA in her quest for global dominance. It is a beautiful sight that is easy to use and well-designed. It’s simple yet effective.


Founders: Jay Hennock & Hannah Schwartz

Revenue: Unknown

Started: 1997

Head Office: Sydney

Unknown: Employers

Industry: Online dating

RSVP.com.au has never been necessary for me – I have been happily married since 1998, before the advent of internet dating. I have sat and admired the world of RSVP. Hitwise ranked RSVP.com.au the top dating site in Australia. Fairfax bought it in 2005 for $38.9 Million.

4. SurfStitch

Founder: Justin Cameron, Lex Pederson

Revenue$30 Million

Started: 2008

Head Office: Gold Coast

Employers: More Than 100

Industry: Retail

It’s no surprise that Australia is a huge surfing country and has become an online success story. Surfstitch, which launched nearly three years ago, is still riding the wave of success. It added the 200th brand in its portfolio and is expected to make $30 million in revenue.

Experian Hitwise says Surfstitch has been one of the most popular ecommerce websites in the country, with over 30 million visits to its site and more than 250 million page views since its launch. The company has grown beyond its Northern Beaches roots, with over 100 employees on the Gold Coast processing as many as 4500 orders per day.

3. Flippa

Founders: Matt Mickiewicz & Mark Harbottle

Revenue: Unknown

Started: 2009

Head Office: Melbourne

Employees: 13

Industry: Internet

Flippa is an online marketplace that allows you to buy and sell websites. It’s not only Australian but also one of the most respected globally. Flippa has more than 200,000 registered users looking to sell or buy websites. Flippa is part of the nurturing SitePoint family, including 99designs and Learnable.

2. Freelancer.com

Founder: Matt Barrie

Revenue$50 Million

Started: 2009

Head Office: Sydney

Employees: 200

Industry: Freelance Marketplace/online Jobs

Since 1998, I have used online freelance websites in England. I am so impressed with Freelancer.com and its ability to surpass some solid competitors and become the global leader. Their growth is impressive, and their plans are ambitious but solid. Keep an eye out for more. We will.

1. Wotif.com

Founder: Graeme Wood

Revenue $1.161 Billion

Started: 2000

Head Office: Brisbane

Employers: More Than 500 Staff in 19 Countries on Six continents

Industry: Travel

There aren’t many Australians who haven’t used Wotif.com to book something. Wotif.com is the number one destination for accommodation and a wide range of travel services. Their impressive revenue and large staff have had a significant global impact. This is a worthy winner of the inaugural Hottest 10 Aussie Online Success Stories.


I would love to hear from you about your experiences with the people on this list, whether you have used them or not. Also, please let me know if there are other online success stories you think should be included on the list.

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