Hottest 10 Aussie Online Success Stories

Hottest 10 Aussie Online Success Stories

Triple J has the Hottest 100 countdown on Aussie Day each year, so I thought in the lead up to the country’s national public holiday I’d share who seems to be the Hottest 10 Aussie Online Success Stories right now and why.

My list is based on a number of factors including:

  • how financial successful they are (where information is available)
  • the size of the online community/following they seem to have
  • the authenticity of their brand — do I buy into their story and purpose? Do they have a pretty logo and brand (yes it’s important!)
  • whether I like them or not (opinion only)


Founder(s): Bryan Vadas, Andy Tompkins
Revenue: $500,000
Started: 2011
Head Office: Queensland
Employees: 2
Industry: Finance and insurance

With both Government and private funding drying up, organisations needing funding to continue existing, or for a one off project, can now turn to The site is exceptionally easy to use and is doing a lot of social good, which I think is awesome.


Founder(s):… Ruslan Kogan
Revenue:… $100M
Started: 2006
Head Office: Melbourne
Employees: 11-50 (according to Linkedin)
Industry: Consumer electronics, online retail

Kogan Technologies is an Australian manufacturer and retailer of consumer electronics devices. The company, founded in 2006 by Ruslan Kogan, sells products direct from Asia to customers in Australia and the United Kingdom.… The company competes on price by selling a budget range direct to consumers, bypassing wholesalers, distributors, and retailers.… This business model and some of the company’s advertising tactics have resulted in high-profile controversies.


Founder(s): Jodie Fox, Michael Fox, Mike Knapp
Revenue: Unknown, though worth mentioning it was funded $3m in July 2012.
Started: 2009
Head Office: Sydney
Employees: 11-50 (according to Linkedin)
Industry: Retail

Okay so I’ll admit I haven’t actually used this site as in bought shoes, but I’d love to — it’s a veritable fashion conscious girls nirvana. If you haven’t heard of the site, essentially you can design your perfect shoes. Using their 3D designer, you choose the shape, colour and height of your shoes. They custom make them and ship worldwide within around 4 weeks. Worth noting that the founders are ex Google employees and kinda have the hang of dominating on the search engines. But they’ve also been clever enough to actively pursue media coverage, and being such an innovative idea, the media love them right back.

7. Catch of the Day

Founder(s): Gabby Leibovich
Revenue: $250 million
Started: 2006
Head Office: 16000m2 distribution centre in Braeside and another 25000m2 DC in Truganina, Victoria
Employees: 600
Industry: Retail

Love or hate coupon sites, this Aussie ripper lifted revenue by 62.0 per cent in 2012 to $230 million. Cudos to that. It’s a highly competitive market, but these guys come out on top of the coupon pile, and therefore make our top 10 list.


Founder(s): Rebecca Derrington
Revenue: Unknown
Started: 2009
Head Office: Melbourne
Employees: 1-10 according to Linkedin
Industry: PR & Media

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting sourcebottle’s founder Rebecca at one of our Web Wednesday events in 2011 on the topic of Online PR. Rebecca has somewhat revolutionised online PR, starting with Australia and branching out to the UK and US in a quest for world domination. It’s a beautifully designed and easy to use site, that serves a great purpose: to connect media to interviewees, and businesses who have something to promote or a specialist knowledge to media. Simple, but effective.


Founder(s): Jay Hennock & Hannah Schwartz
Revenue: Unknown
Started: 1997
Head Office: Sydney
Employees: Unknown
Industry: Online dating

Okay so I haven’t ever needed to use I’ve been happily in a relationship since 1998, pre the whole internet dating thing came along. But I’ve sat looking over the shoulder of many a single girlfriend, and marvelled at the world of RSVP. is ranked the #1 dating site in Australia by Hitwise.I t was bought by Fairfax in 2005 for $38.9 million.


Founder(s): Justin Cameron and Lex Pederson
Revenue: $30m
Started: 2008
Head Office: Gold Coast
Employees: 100+

It’s not surprising in a way that Aussie has created an online success story selling surf gear giving that surfing culture here is huge. Nearly three years after launch, Surfstitch is riding the wave to success, adding the 200th brand to its portfolio and forecast to reach revenue of $30 million.

According to Experian Hitwise, Surfstitch is one of the country’s most highly trafficked e-commerce sites, clocking 30 million site visits and over 250 million page views since launch. The company has expanded beyond its Northern Beaches birthplace, employing over a 100 staff the Gold Coast and processing up to 4,500 orders a day.


Founder(s): Matt Mickiewicz and Mark Harbottle
Revenue: $31M (2011)
Started: 2009
Head Office: Melbourne
Employees: 13
Industry: Internet

Flippa is a marketplace for buying and selling websites and it’s not only Australian, but it’s the best in the world at what it does. Over 200,000 users have registered to buy or sell websites on Flippa. Notably Flippa is also part of the large and nurturing SitePoint family of web start-ups that includes 99designs, Learnable, andSitePoint Market.


Founder(s): Matt BarrieRevenue: $50 million
Started: 2009
Head Office: Sydney
Employees: 200
Industry: Freelance marketplace / online jobs

I’ve been using online freelance sites since 1998 in England and am so in awe of, and how they’ve managed to come along, overtake some seriously solid competiton, and now dominate globally. Their revenue is astounding, their continued growth and future plans ambitious but solid. Watch this space. We intend to.


Founder: Graeme Wood
Revenue: $1.161 billion
Started: 2000
Head office: Brisbane
Employees: More than 500 staff in 19 countries on six continents
Industry: Travel

I doubt there are many people in Australia who haven’t booked something on before. It’s the first port of call for accommodation for most, as well as a range of other travel needs. There’s no denying their seriously impressive revenue and large staff size that has had a real global impact.… All in all, a very worthy winner of our inaugural Hottest 10 Aussie Online Success Stories.


I’d love to know if you’ve heard of them or not, if you use them, and if there is anyone else you deem to be a real online success story that should have made the list.