Fintech industry has the most number of founders, report says

A detailed report of the Australian startup ecosystem is mapped out by Startup Muster annual report 2017 that was released yesterday.

The survey was done over six weeks and is claimed to be the “largest survey of the Australian startup ecosystem.”

The final statistical sample for this report consists of 567 verified startup founders, 226 future founders and 452 startup supporters.

According to the report, the support community, this included but wasn’t limited to, accelerators, incubators, investors, mentors, educators, service providers, membership organisations, professional service providers, government and more.

The inclusion of future founders statistic is helpful for the startup supporters, enabling them to gauge the type of support that is needed in the near future.


As reported,

44 percent of startups was founded in 2016 and after with NSW holds the highest number of startup founders and QLD coming in at second.

There is an overall growth on startup in different industries; Fintech industry has the highest number of founders with a four percent growth since last year.

Blockchain has a four percent growth as well, but Artificial Intelligence has the highest growth of eight percent from last year.

Diversity is definitely gaining some momentum.

The diversity of the ecosystem was measured as well.

Female founders are on the rise, from 16 percent in 2014 to 25 percent this year and future female founders sit at 37 percent.

Male founders dropped by nine percent to 74 percent over the four years.

However, 38 percent of founders stated that they have no females working full time.

The steady growth in gender diversity is commendable as the male-dominated industry is slowly shifting.

As for foreign talent, 36 percent of the startup founders and 38 percent of future founders are not born in Australia.

Sixteen percent of startups have at least one current employee on a working visa. The majority holds 457 VISA.

This shows the impact that might come with the change in immigration laws as proposed by parliament.

Startup Muster chief executive Monica Wulff told Financial Review, next year’s survey results would should the consequences of this change.

“New start-ups need to be able to fill skills deficits with talent from overseas if they are to survive and prosper, and the start-up community has been hit hard by these changes,” she said.

Community and their struggles were highlighted.

The report included a section of the expectation and the reality of running a startup; this was compared between future founders and the current founders.

Solving important problems was stated as the top expectation among future founders, and ownership of the value created comes second.

The current founders have a different view; the ownership of value came on top as opposed to solving important problems.

Helping others was top five among future founders while it was ninth among current founders.

Mentorship and co-working took the top two spot respectively when asked on the help benefitted since founding for current founders.

This can be due to mentorship being the highest support type and provided support.

This shows the strength of community and the support from the interaction among players in the industry.

Requiring stable income were stated as the top issue faced by both current and future founders.

Future founders scored high for financial dependency, lack of confidence in their own abilities and the idea as issues hindering their progress. Only seven percent states that nothing is hindering them.

Funding situation and future plans reports provide transparency.

Funding situation showed that majority of the founders has never tried raising funds, stating it is not a priority yet.

Forty-two percent mentioned they have approached at least one investor and 37 percent have secured at least one investor.

As for the type of funding received, 67 percent took it from their own pockets; family and friends came in second.

Current founders stated Media exposure, mentorship and seed investment as the top three needs respectively.

On the other hand, future founders said mentorship, seed investment and assistance with strategy was their top three.

There is a drop in support most targeted industries as compared to last year. Internet of things and Medtech still hold the top two spots as targeted industries by supporters.

Fintech has the highest drop of 12 percent from last year.

As for future plans of startups, capital raising in Australia and expanding sales both inside and outside of Australia will be done in the next 12 months

Expanding sales outside and inside of Australia is still the plan in a year’s time.


This report paints a pretty detailed map of the ecosystem.

What lies ahead can be graphed from these findings and let’s see where will the industry moves towards to.

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Fintech industry has the most number of founders, report says
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