Jessica Gardner Reporter

Jessica covers Australia's technology start-up scene, writing on breaking news and trends in entrepreneurialism, media and marketing. She was previously named Australia's best New IT Journalist for 2011.

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The 2011 start-ups – where are they now?

Published 22 November 2012 05:05

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BugHerd

Then: Participated in Sydney accelerator Startmate and raised two tranches of angel funding totalling $740,000.

Now: The bug tracking software for web designers and developers has about 300 paying subscribers.

Next: The company aims to be profitable in mid-2013.

Espressogrow

Then: Developed a model for turning trash (coffee grounds) into treasure (organic fertiliser).

Now: Manufactured 300 tonnes of fertiliser in Australia.

Next: Negotiating supply arrangements with cafe chains here and in England.

Grabble

Then: After three months in the Startmate program, the company moved to the US and Walmart bought it in December 2011.

Now: Founders Anthony Marcar and Stuart Argue will roll out the technology to 8000 stores in 2013. It will affect 6 billion transactions a year.

Next: Stuart – start another company, design and build a house. Anthony – bicycle tour across the US.

ImageBrief

Then: Raised $600,000 from Sydney angel dinner network Innovation Bay.

Now: The crowdsourcing play for the stock photo sector has raised a further $900,000 from local investors. About 500 advertising agencies have posted briefs and about 5000 photographers have been approved to supply images.

Next: Chief executive Simon Moss will relocate to New York.

Lupé Wines

Then: Creating a market for single-served wine.

Now: Annual turnover of about $1 million split evenly between individual glasses (about 350,000) sold at events and into export markets such as Japan, where the product is popular in high-end convenience stores.

Next: Focus on getting more producers to use the packaging innovation.

One Big Switch

Then: Tapped into consumers’ discontent, helping those that wanted to switch to a better mortgage deal.

Now: Raised an undisclosed amount from Mark Carnegie’s venture fund. About 300,000 people have signed up and “tens of thousands” have used OBS to switch their home loans or electricity providers.

Next: “We want to stamp our authority on the domestic market,” co-founder Lachlan Harris says.

Roamz

Then: Raised $3 million from listed marketing company Salmat for a 60 per cent stake.

Now: 160,000 downloads of the app globally. The latest version has included a search function and push notifications to boost use and levels of re-engagement.

Next: If Roamz can crack 200,000 users in Australia and 1 million globally, the app will be “an exciting media platform,” founder Jonathan Barouch says.

Signrider

Then:Created a new outdoor advertising segment, turning private cars into mobile billboards.

Now: About 5000 drivers have signed up. Founder Dave McGree has focused on small and medium business advertisers.

Next: McGree wants to go after the big end of town.

Vaxxas

Then: Raised $15 million to commercialise a novel vaccine-delivery mechanism, the most ever by a start-up biotechnology/medical devices company.

Now: Established operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the US.

Next: Merck has signed a deal to fund research in exchange for a licence to use the product.

Zookal

Then: The textbook rental company used offers from its overseas equivalent, Chegg, to pump up an angel round from local investors.

Now: Brought in a co-founder of Chegg, Aayush Phumbra, as an additional angel investor. Acquired a company that helps international students get work experience. One of the original five founders, Tia Saunders, has left.

Next: Wants to raise $1.2 million to be the “Chegg of Asia”.

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