Community Article

The untapped opportunity: Scaling from SEA to Australia

The pros of scaling from Southeast Asia to Australia

Ever wondered what it would be like to scale your tech business beyond the confines of Southeast Asia to Australia? Many founders don’t give it a huge amount of thought until later in the game, but in our view, it’s potentially leaving earlier (and significant) growth results on the table.

In this article, we’re breaking down the pros and debunking the most common founder hesitancies with scaling from Southeast Asia to Australia. 

Let’s talk about why founders are reluctant to scale into Australia 

  1. They compare Australia with the likes of the US and European markets; they’re big, daunting, and can be exceptionally tricky to find success in.
  2. Southeast Asian tech companies are already experiencing remarkable growth, is scaling necessary right now?
  3. Scaling internationally can get very expensive very quickly and can also be a costly mistake if you make the wrong moves.  

While we hear and understand those fears, we’ve spent over 15 years helping tech businesses scale internationally and with our HQ being in Australia, our success stories prove that overcoming them is a gateway to rapid growth (when done right). 

Australia’s advantages for your business 

The US is often picked as the most promising international market to expand into from Southeast Asia, but in our opinion - Australia presents a lot more advantages. 

Cost-effective expansion: Companies can expand at a fraction of the cost compared to more competitive markets. Sure, the Australian market is smaller and may not offer a revenue opportunity on a global scale that’s as substantial as the US, but with fewer players in the field, you have the opportunity to secure market share and establish dominance. Let’s not forget Uber’s success in Australia which generated around $4 billion annually, dominating ride-sharing and food delivery. 

Rapid adoption of emerging technology: From high smartphone adoption rates to the widespread use of software tools in the business sphere, there is fertile ground for innovative products and services in Australia. It’s rumored that a global (SMB) SAAS business in the collaboration space was able to grow to $25m USD in ARR in 3 years just from Australia alone. If we extrapolate that out with a 10X multiple that is $250m USD in enterprise value that has been added to that company - we would guess the investment required to achieve this would of been under $5m USD.

Mature legal and business frameworks: With a stable government, society and predictable economy, businesses entering the Australian market benefit from a level of protection that fosters confidence and stability.

Wealth and prosperity: Australia, on a per capita basis, is characterised by high levels of wealth. With a relatively small population of 26 million and a GDP of 1.5 trillion USD, the country maintains prosperity through core sectors such as mining, agriculture, and services, including a robust financial services sector. 

Cultural affinity for business: Aussies are open, easy-going, and collaborative people. While this doesn’t equal immediate revenue or purchases, it does facilitate valuable interactions, connections, and partnerships which is the foundation of the thriving tech ecosystem and communities here. 

Make the right moves for scaling success

Australia emerges as an economically sound, technologically adept, and culturally receptive market, offering strategic advantages for international expansion, especially for Southeast Asian technology companies eyeing global growth.

At Think & Grow, we partner with tech founders to help them scale their companies internationally. If it’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that every scaling trajectory is unique. 

And so we’ve developed services that encompass the entire scaling process from start to finish, in whichever way suits you; 

Advisory: Why things currently aren’t working or could be working more efficiently.

Strategy: How to take your company to the next level. 

Execution: What we will do together to advance your business to where it needs to be. 

From expansion strategy, HQ management and full scope market analysis to first key hires, business matching, and driving first logos – we are relied upon and trusted by some of the leading tech companies in the world.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you successfully scale from Southeast Asia to Australia. 


ARTICLE by Anthony Sochan, Co-Founder, 20 June 2024


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