Female founders have launched some of Australia’s most significant startups and here we show you the top ten Australian startups, founded by women – or by women and men. However, women still remain outnumbered by their male colleagues in terms of startups so keep your eyes out for new female startups we can support.
It’s important we value our startups because it’s these contributions by our female founders which helps the broader Australian economy staying buoyant and lively. It’s their ingenuity, innovation and potential to revolutionise the ways we live and work which also keeps us on our toes.
SmartCompany compiled a short list of female-founded startups to watch in 2023, based on their development and funding activities over the past 12 months and we’ve shared this list below with our own additions and ammendments. The startups to watch span from innovative medical teams to some multi-million dollar innovators worth worth following in the months to come.
Human is an app platform building the future of personalised healthcare, promising to deliver “personalised healthcare” for users.
This involves finding gaps in existing medical knowledge, recruiting doctors and patients for research, and integrating those findings into what founders Georgia Vidler and Kate Lambridis call a “compelling scientific health tracking product”.
Human booked a $10.15 million seed funding round in July, led by Airtree Ventures’ Elicia McDonald, with additional investment from Kim Jackson and Scott Farquhar’s Skip Capital.
Lyka knows Australians love their pets and the company booked a $30 million Series B round in October to advance its raw alternatives to ultra-processed supermarket options.
Posolaky says she started the company when her dog had a bad reaction to food bought from a store and she added: “Pets are life for us here at Lyka and we have some very exciting plans to help improve the lives of more furry family members.”
Like Zipr, AirRobe is an Australian startup tapping into the fashion circular economy. But while Zipr eventually aims to take a commission from individual users, Air Robe hones in on major brands themselves.
When buyers make a purchase through a label’s online store, they can ‘add’ that item to their virtual AirRobe wardrobe. If they choose to re-sell or rent that item later down the line, the product description, and all of the professional photos used to market the clothing in the first place, will instantly populate their AirRobe sales listing. That one-click solution has been adopted by major brands including The Iconic, P.E Nation, and General Pants Co.
AirRobe and founder Hannon Comazzetto this year were named as recipients of the federal government’s Boosting Female Founders Initiative, taking on nearly $400,000 in grant funding. With discerning fashion consumers increasingly focused on sustainability, solutions like AirRobe promise to integrate more labels into the process through 2023.
Artificial intelligence has reached the mainstream with language engines which were thought impossible a decade ago now spitting out competent code — even crudely emulating the tone and style of your favourite authors. Your social media feeds might even be flooded by AI-powered profile pictures, aping the style of famous visual artists.
All of this is to say long-held ideas surrounding copyright law, intellectual property, and even data privacy rights are colliding with surging AI developments.
KomplyAi, the early-stage startup from commercial solicitor Kristin Migliorini, is a risk advisory system designed to help governments and major enterprises manage their legal responsibilities when exploring the huge new world of AI solutions.
A finalist of The Pitch, KomplyAi joins a host of startups looking to bridge the gap between those legal frameworks and real-world AI applications.
My Startup Coach
Blessing Diana hopes to fix this problem with her own startup – My Startup Coach. With lessons gleaned from her experience launching online boutique Diana’s Closet, the enterprise is dedicated to helping “women build profitable and scalable businesses” from the ground up.
With its coaching plans, My Startup Coach aims to reach an audience largely locked out of traditional entrepreneurial programs — while scaling up its own reach and presence.
Abyss Solutions, co-founded by Hina Ahsan and her colleagues Masood Naqshbandi, Dr Nasir Ahsan and Abraham Kazzaz, last month secured a $15 million funding round courtesy of AirTree Ventures and Australian Retirement Trust.
The capital injection will assist Abyss Solutions with its infrastructure inspection tech, namely autonomous drones and robots capable of digitally visualising aqueducts, dams, and subsea environments. Abyss Solutions is not only looking at the depths, either: its goal is to provide tech solutions for the space industry.
It’s been a tough year for cryptocurrency investors – and even tougher for their accountants who have the added responsibility of navigating tax guidelines while still coming to terms with the digital asset boom -and bust!
Stepping into this accounting mess is Syla, a “crypto compliance engine” designed to keep dabblers and degens alike, up-to-speed with their tax obligations.
With leadership from tax co-founder Maryna Kovalenko, Syla launched a platform this month designed specifically to assist tax professionals with navigating the rules.
Kovalenko joined AirRobe as a recipient of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative, booking nearly $390,000 in grant funding.
Since it hit in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic robbed many Australians of the traditional summer experience: long, sunny afternoons at the beach with mates, and early mornings catching waves. Now, La Niña notwithstanding, 2022 presents a reprieve for surf culture and Boardsox will be there for the ride.
Founded in 2017 by Geelong-based siblings Sarah Quinney and Dan O’Connell, Boardsox produces surfboard covers out of durable canvas, as opposed to synthetic options currently on the market.
History has proven international interest in Aussie surf brands, and it will be interesting to see how that rising tide lifts authentic local firms like Boardsox.
Co-founded by Skye Theodorou and Anish Sinha, insurance-tech player Upcover goes where others don’t: the small business market. It offers insurance to small businesses and contractors, spanning allied health professionals, fitness coaches, and tradespeople. In addition, it offers insurance to big businesses which deal with large numbers of contractors in the gig economy.
Upcover has been making headway for nearly three years, but a recent $4.7 million funding round, comprised of equity and debt, is set to drive its customer acquisition and product development efforts even further.
Operating in the same vein as Depop and Poshmark, Zipr hopes to provide a more direct link between buyers and those driving fashion trends.
Zipr is an e-commerce resale platform designed to meet gen Z shoppers where they already are: the TikTok and Instagram feeds of their favourite style influencers.
To take part, sellers post their outfits on social media and list the items on Zipr. The app provides a personalised link to the sale page which users can list on their TikTok or Instagram pages, allowing fans near-instant access to preloved items.
Founded by Canva alum Amber Linz in 2022, Zipr was the inaugural winner of SmartCompany’s The Pitch competition for early-stage startups.
For more information from Women Love Tech on female startups, visit here.