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101 South Asian Australian Startup Founder List – Launched

Australian entrepreneurs with roots in South Asia have emerged as unsung heroes


A group of Australian entrepreneurs with roots in South Asia have emerged as unsung heroes in the startup realm, amassing over $1.12 billion in funding since 2013. Notably, women from this group have been making their mark and outperforming their international counterparts, according to a recently released report. This remarkable cohort, which has largely gone unnoticed by mainstream media, is heralded as a significant force in Australia’s startup ecosystem.

Here is the link to the entire list

The event, titled the “101 South Asian Australian Founders List Launch Party,” took place on Tuesday, August 8, 2023. It was organized by the SAARI Collective and sponsored by Allied Legal.

The event’s aim was to elevate the visibility of these remarkable entrepreneurs, who are often operating under the radar. The occasion featured a panel discussion with influential South Asian startup founders and venture capital investors.

Despite systemic barriers faced by South Asian female founders, this subgroup has collectively raised over $120 million in capital while steering some of the most innovative and high-performing companies. The report underscores the need for greater support, media attention, and equity in investment funding for female-led startups.

The “101 South Asian Australian Founders List” is not ranked but does spotlight the individuals and organizations. While many founders noted a lack of bias against them in terms of capital raising, the report indicates that the Australian startup ecosystem fails to mirror the diversity of its populace.

Yet, the report exposes a significant disparity in media attention received by South Asian Australian founders in comparison to their Anglo-Australian counterparts. The report states that “many founders on the list have never been featured in mainstream Australian media,” indicating a need for enhanced visibility.

The unveiling of the “101 South Asian Australian Founders List” by the SAARI Collective, a media startup focused on boosting the visibility of South Asians and their contributions in Australia, has brought attention to the dynamic impact of one of the nation’s fastest-growing populations within the startup community.

Spearheaded by the SAARI Collective, the research for the list involved an in-depth study of hundreds of founders, culminating in the recognition of their substantial contributions.

Sandeep Varma, founder of SAARI, reflected, “Our research revealed that South Asian founders often felt their presence was limited, and the media and Australian startup ecosystem seldom acknowledged their endeavors.” However, this narrative is beginning to shift.

Varma further emphasized, “This list marks the dawn of a new era for South Asian leadership in tech entrepreneurship within Australia. It showcases the remarkable and substantial influence that South Asian Australian startup founders wield on both a national and global scale.

he report underscores several key findings. South Asian founders in Australia exhibit a disproportionate level of success, with 78 percent of startups on the list securing a combined investment of more than $1.12 billion since 2013. Furthermore, the list highlights that 22 out of 101 startups are led by female founders, representing just under 22 percent of the cohort. This figure is slightly higher than the global average of 15 percent for female founders in startup ecosystems.

A spotlight on the sectors these startups inhabit reveals a dominance of Software as a Service (SaaS) and information technology businesses. Other enterprises operate within the fields of MedTech, fintech, EdTech, and artificial intelligence.

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