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Australian cities stand-out in new Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Oceania sees highest early-stage funding in the world

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The world’s premier Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) was released today at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam by Startup Genome and Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).

15 June 2023, SYDNEY, Australia — The world’s premier Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) was released today at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam by Startup Genome and Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). It shows seven Asia-Pacific ecosystems in the top 30 ranking, with a further three as runners-up. Sydney maintained its top 20 position as the highest-ranking ecosystem in Oceania. Melbourne, the second largest ecosystem in the region, moved up six places to #33 with a 43% increase in Ecosystem Value to US$25 billion.

An annual initiative of Startup Genome and GEN, the GSER is powered by the world’s most comprehensive and quality-controlled dataset on startup ecosystems. Available online from https://startupgenome.com/report/gser2023 the report is informed by data on 3.5 million startups across 290+ global ecosystems.

The GSER 2023 ranks the top 30 as well as 10 runner-up global ecosystems and includes a top 100 ranking of emerging ecosystems. It also highlights startup communities from a regional perspective, separately ranking ecosystems in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, MENA, North America, and Oceania.

Chad Renando, GEN Australia Managing Director said, “The GSER shows Oceania experienced the highest increase in early-stage funding of any global region since 2018-2022. GEN Australia is looking forward to welcoming 4,000 delegates from across this thriving global start-up ecosystem to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Melbourne later this year. Melbourne stands out as a worthy host and globally significant contributor to the startup ecosystem having gained six places this year in the GSER rankings.”

Key findings for Oceania which covers Australia and New Zealand include:

  • Oceania experienced a 152% increase in Series B+ deal amounts, 81% increase in Series B+ deal count, and 60.7% increase in early-stage funding amounts over the period 2018-2022. This is the highest growth of any global region for this period.
  • Sydney maintained its top position as the highest-ranking ecosystem in Oceania. Its Ecosystem Value grew 50% from the GSER, with the number of unicorns increasing from three to four with the new addition of Immutable in 2022 valued at $2.5 billion. Canva remains the highest valued at $40 billion. Exits over $1 billion increased by one: SaaS provider BigCommerce had a $1.6 billion IPO valuation.
  • Melbourne, the second largest ecosystem in the region, moved up six places to #33. It experienced a 43% increase in Ecosystem Value, to $25 billion. The number of early-stage deals grew 29%, exits over $50 million 27%, and exits over $1 billion 50%, including Judo Bank’s IPO at a valuation of $1.7 billion. The highest valued of Melbourne’s three unicorns is Fintech Airwallex, valued at $5.5 billion.
  • Perth and Canberra identified as two Top Emerging Ecosystems.
  • Brisbane also produced one of Oceania’s biggest exits: the electric vehicle charge manufacturer Tritium’s IPOd at a valuation of $1.3 billion in January 2022. This helped move it from the 61-70 range to 41–50 in the Emerging Ecosystem ranking.
  • Adelaide listed #5 among Top Five Oceania Ecosystems by VC Funding per Capita behind Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and New Zealand. Tech giants including Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft Azure have established offices in Adelaide and a growing number of South Australian startups are finding global success, such as AI-fertility innovator, Life Whisperer and SWEAT, a global fitness for women software company.
  • New Zealand shot up in the Emerging Ecosystem rankings from previously 31-40 range to #20. It experienced a 29% increase in exits over $50 million (from seven to nine) and saw the birth of a new unicorn, Cleantech Lodestone Energy, valued at $1.3 billion. The GSER includes a section dedicated to New Zealand, “How a Diverse Range of Tech Startups Is Flourishing in New Zealand”.
  • More Oceania specific GSER data-insights available here.

Key findings for the Asian ecosystem include:

  • Singapore jumped 10 places in the ranking to #8, the second-highest ranked Asian ecosystem after Beijing. A 100% increase in exits over $50 million since the GSER 2022 helped boost its placement, four of which were over $1 billion.
  • Singapore boasts 18 unicorns, including Coda Payments, which raised a $690 million Series C round in April 2022. Delivery app Grab is the highest valued at $40 billion.
  • Two Chinese cities feature in the top 30 — Beijing and Shanghai at #7 and #9 — and two in the runners-up — Shenzhen and Hangzhou at #35 and #38. However, three of these four declined from last year’s rankings, including leading Asian ecosystem Beijing, which dropped two places, and tech hub Shenzhen, which fell 12 places.
  • India has two cities in the top 30 and one in the runners-up, all moving up at least two places. Bengaluru-Karnataka, the highest-ranked ecosystem at #20, rose two places and shares its position with Sydney. This success is largely due to a 57% increase in exits over $50 million and a significant growth in unicorns, from 21 to 36.
  • Delhi rose two places to #24, while Mumbai climbed five places to tie with Salt Lake-Provo at #31.
  • Seoul saw a slight drop of two places from last year, yet it still ranks high at #12 and experienced a significant increase in unicorns, from 9 to 17.
  • Tokyo, the only Japanese ecosystem in the top 30 and runners-up, sits at #15, down from last year’s #12 mainly due to the quicker growth of other ecosystems.
  • More Asia specific data-insights available here.

Local perspective: Melbourne will host global startup community #GEC2023

Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Australia is hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (#GEC2023) in Melbourne from 19-22 September 2023 which attracts delegates from across the global startup ecosystem. Today, GEN Australia is recognising and acknowledging Oceania’s impressive contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem reflected in the 2023 GSER.

Chad Renando, GEN Australia Managing Director added, “A 60.7% increase can be attributed to a maturing ecosystem, including an increase in the number and type of venture capital firms, emerging investment syndicate platforms and models, and increasing involvement from state and national governments. We are also seeing a push for greater representation in investment for females and First Nations founders, with more work needed to close the gaps.”

Global perspective

Jonathan Ortmans, Founder and President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) says key themes of this year’s report include inflation, AI regulation, talent attraction, global VC funding, and a wide range of market sub-sector analyses.

“Despite recent downturns in investment, this report foreshadows where we might see the world’s most disruptive and solution-driven companies emerge in the years to come — and provides unparalleled insights that policymakers and community leaders need to build resilient startup ecosystems,” he said.

The GSER is created in partnership with GEN, Dealroom and Crunchbase. Startup Genome’s two local Australia partners are Launch Vic and Investment New South Wales.The 2023 Edition provides insights and guidance to public and private leaders on how to foster thriving startup communities — the #1 engine of job creation and economic growth.

As well as data inputs from across the global ecosystem, the 2023 GSER includes contributions from expert thought leaders and local key players that further enrich the report’s extensive, evidence-based findings, which are the product of over a decade of Startup Genome’s independent research and policy work.


Heather Jones, PR Director, ImpactInstitute, GEN Australia
heather.jones@impactinstitute.com.au | 0400 394 669

Kathryn Forrest, Manager for Communications, Global Entrepreneurship Network kathryn@genglobal.org

Anna Brashear, Growth Marketing Manager, Startup Genome


The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) operates programs in 200 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organisations, GEN fuels healthier start and scale ecosystems that create more jobs, provide education, accelerate innovation, and strengthen economic growth. Learn more about GEN at genglobal.org and GEN Australia at genaustralia.org or follow on LinkedIn, Twitter (@GEN_Australia) and Facebook.


Startup Genome has more than a decade of independent research experience, providing data-driven insights to innovation policy leaders with clarity, momentum, and strategy to help them define and execute growth-focused actions. Working side-by-side with 300 partner organisations, including Launch Vic and Investment New South Wales in Australia, Startup Genome’s frameworks and methodologies are instrumental in building foundations for startups to grow. For more information visit startupgenome.com.

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