Women are on the rise in Deloitte’s list of Australia’s fastest growing tech companies

- November 27, 2020 3 MIN READ
My Plan Manager CEO Jane Kittel and founder Claire Wittwer-Smith.
A Melbourne media buying agency that’s seen its revenue grow by an astonishing 2390% over three years has been named the overall winner of the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia awards.

Half Dome in Cremorne took out the top prize ahead of runners-up My Plan Manager (1621% growth) and Autoguru (1148% growth). Half Dome ranked 12th in Deloitte’s Rising Star category last year. To qualify as overall winner, a business has to have more than $8 million in revenues over the last three reporting years.

While BNPL service Zip took out the leadership award, NDIS financial services provider My Plan Manager, runner up for the overall award, received the female leadership award for the highest-ranked company with a female founder or CEO. My Plan Manager has both. 

Founder Claire Wittwer-Smith launched the venture on a kitchen table in Adelaide in 2014. It was the sector’s first app for tracking NDIS  budgets. 

“As well as helping clients to use their NDIS funding to live their very best lives, I wanted to offer the  same technology that we all use in managing our personal banking, so that clients could access their  NDIS budget the same way,” she said.

CEO Jane Kittel attributed their success to adopting fintech to empower people with a disability.

“My Plan Manager is at the forefront of developing technological solutions that make it easier for  people to manage NDIS plans, and to spend their funds so they get the most value out of those  plans,” she said

“Our investment in technology, such as a new customer relationship management solution and cloud-based telephony system in late 2019 and early 2020 stood us in good stead and enabled  workforce flexibility right when we needed it.”

Marking the 20th year of the awards, Technology Fast 50 Leader, Deloitte Partner Josh Tanchel, said Half Dome’s growth was impressive considering the challenges of 2020.

Being based in Victoria, the state most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, makes the founders’ win particularly inspiring. Half Dome’s result is a testament to their resilience, grit and ability to quickly adapt, innovate and problem solve,” he said.

“Let’s face it, 2020 has not been a normal year. The winning list in 2020 highlights that the COVID-crisis has continued to accelerate the disruption of traditional industries. Every company nominated this year has shown great resilience and resourcefulness.

“It’s also been great to hear numerous stories of our Tech Fast 50 cohort prioritising the health and wellbeing of their customers and teams, and of rival businesses coming together to share knowledge and resources. There is so much to be proud of in this community.”

Tanchel said that many Australian tech companies are continuing to experience growth.

“The rise of businesses that have successfully harnessed technology is clear. The largest category this year was online/direct to consumer, with COVID-19 accelerating the shift from physical stores to online by at least three years,” he said.

“We’re also seeing big sector wins in software and converging sectors, such as fintech and health-tech, where the intersection of consumers and technology continues to drive change, and communications/IT services which are enabling the digital transformation.”

Deloitte TMT Financial Advisory Leader, Kat McMaster said there was a notable increase in female founders/co-founders in the Tech Fast 50 this year.

“We’re thrilled to see four females in the top 10, and 15 in the top 50 (up from three and 13 in 2019 respectively), with a 15% increase in female representation overall. The top two companies in our Rising Star list are also female led, with a third female lead in the top 10,” she said.

“Congratulations to My Plan Manager for winning the Technology Female Leadership award, and for also placing second overall on the Tech Fast 50 list. This company champions inclusivity by helping Australians with a disability maximise their NDIS support and funding. The Rising Star winner, JS Health, is also female led.”

Here are all the winners of Deloitte’s 2020 Technology Fast 50 awards.

Technology Fast 50 award: Half Dome – 2390% growth
Runners up: My Plan Manager (1621% growth) and Autoguru (1148% growth)
* A company with the highest ranked growth based on more than $8 million in revenues over the last three reporting years

Leadership award: Zip Co – 303% growth
Runners up: Appen (221% growth) and Sendle (181% growth)
* For companies that made the Technology Fast 50 list and have more than $50 million in revenues in the last reporting year

Female Leadership award: My Plan Manager – 1621% growth
Runners up: Modibodi (929% growth) and Brighte Capital (912% growth)
* For companies that made the Technology Fast 50 list, which are founded or co-founded by a female(s) or have a female CEO

Rising Star award: JSHealth Vitamins – 21,540% growth
Runners up: Coviu Global (11,553% growth) and iGreenData (2132% growth)
* For fast growth businesses that have been in operation for less than three years.

Here’s a breakdown of the Fast 50 by sector and states:

Number of companies by sector:

17 online/direct to consumer (34%)
14 software (28%)
8 fintech (16%)
4 digital/media (8%)
4 communications/IT services (8%)
3 health-tech (6%)

Number of companies by region:

28 in NSW = 56%
12 in VIC = 24%
6 in QLD = 12%
2 in SA = 4%
1 in ACT = 2%
1 in NT = 2%