Skip to main content

Contact an Austrade specialist as an investor as a buyer

 

We are currently testing our new international beta site. Please go to international.austrade.gov.au and let us know what you think.

Australia is a great place to develop digital technologies. Our A$167 billion tech sector is growing fast: it expanded by 79% in the 5 years to 2021 (Why Australia Benchmark Report 2022).

Why Australia for Digital Technology Report 2023

This Austrade report highlights the benefits of building your digital technology business in Australia. It outlines Australia’s competitive advantages and expertise across the technology spectrum. This includes SaaS, fintech, cyber security, quantum, and digital games.

  • A thriving tech ecosystem: talented and diverse workforce, homegrown and multinational tech giants, access to venture capital.

  • World-leading universities and research institutions pushing the frontiers in emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, remote sensors and cyber security.

  • A strong and transparent regulatory culture promotes innovation while protecting IP.

  • Generous incentives and funding pools.

  • A government committed to shaping and supporting open digital trade.

  • Advanced digital infrastructure, including the National Broadband Network, 5G operational bases, and cybersecurity, AI and quantum capabilities.

  • Your ideal launch market – we’re an advanced digital economy, a nation of early adopters and avid users of technology at home and at work.

21
unicorns

21 Australian technology start-up companies have achieved “unicorn’ status (valued at over US$1 billion)

#2
for highest level of cyber security

Australia ranks the 2nd highest level of cyber security in the Indo-Pacific region

Source: Comparitech

Thinking about entering the Australian market?

  • Investors typically establish a new company, register as a foreign company or acquire an existing company. Assess your options with our Investor Guide.
  • Austrade is Australia’s national investment promotion agency. We attract and facilitate game-changing foreign direct investment into Australia. Our team of business and investment specialists can connect investors to early-stage opportunities in Australia and provide direct and tailored professional assistance. Find out how we can help.

Embracing open digital trade

The Australian Government is committed to open digital trade, making it your ideal location to grow a global tech business.

  • Australia advocates for harmonisation of international digital trade standards to ensure broader market access. We’re an active participant in international bodies focused on standards including the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
  • Australia also plays a leadership role in shaping global digital trade rules. We promote a rules-based and open global trading environment, which reduces trade barriers and delivers commercial benefits. We participate in in multilateral forums like the World Trade Organisation, United Nations, OECD, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and G20 and pursue ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) outcomes on digital trade including bilateral agreements.
  • For example, the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) entered into force on 8 December 2020, reducing barriers to digital trade.

The Australian Government works internationally to ensure businesses benefit from the immense opportunities digital trade offers.

Fast facts

Video: Australia’s dynamic digital tech industry

From our highly skilled workforce, research expertise and government support, this video highlights why Australia’s tech sector is one of the fastest growing industries in Australia.

Read transcript (TXT, 2.41 KB)

 

Our vibrant industries

5G

Australia is a global leader in 5G rollout.  We rank third in the world for 5G connected devices per capita (Source: Deloitte Access Economics Mobile Nation 2022: 5G Unleashed). By the end of 2021, 4,000 operational base stations had been deployed. By 2025, 95% of Australians will have 5G coverage (Source: Telstra 2021). We have the infrastructure and capabilities to be a test-bed for 5G innovation — in mining, healthcare, transport, utilities, and other industries.  Australian governments provide incentives aimed at broadening regional 5G coverage including the Regional Connectivity Program, NSW Regional Digital Connectivity program and Connecting Victoria

Cyber security

Australia generated the world’s ninth largest revenue in cyber security in 2022, growing around 9% per year on average (AustCyber. Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan 2022). Australia is the world’s second most attractive destination for foreign direct investment for cyber security (Source: FDi markets via Austrade Insights.  Investors will find talent, a strong research ecosystem,  growing domestic demand for cyber products and services, and a launchpad - with a shared timezone - to Asian cyber markets.

In November 2023, the Australian Government released the 2023–2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy (PDF, 13 MB). The Strategy sets out a roadmap for Australia to realise its vision of becoming a world leader in cyber security by 2030. The Australian Government will commit A$586.9 million to the Cyber Security Strategy out to 2030. It has released a 2023–2030 Cyber Security Action Plan (PDF, 2 MB) detailing the key initiatives that will start over the next 2 years.

Fintech

Australia’s fintech sector ranks 6th in the world and 2nd in the Asia Pacific (Source: 2021 Global Fintech Rankings, Findexable). The number of fintech companies in Australia more than doubled between 2017 and 2021. KPMG’s Australian Fintech Survey Report 2023 suggests this creation of fintech companies is rapidly accelerating. Total investments were at A$3 billion in 2022.

The EY FinTech Australia Census finds Australian fintech companies are born global, with 40% of business revenue generated from international markets. The Australian Government actively pursues open trade. For example, the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge and Australia-Singapore Fintech Bridge help Australia’s fintech ecosystem directly engage with customers, investors and regulators with other fintech markets.

Australians are great fintech innovators and early adopters. We offer a highly skilled and multilingual workforce, advanced business infrastructure and a tech-savvy population. Almost two-thirds of digitally active adults use fintech products. It’s underpinned by our sophisticated, secure and stable A$10 trillion financial services sector (Source: Roy Morgan Banking and Finance Report 2022) and backed by a fintech-friendly regulatory regime. This includes Australia’s enhanced regulatory sandbox, which allows fintech firms to test their products before obtaining a full license. Australia is reforming its payments, digital assets and open data regulations to keep up with recent innovations.

Quantum

Australia has 30+ years of global leadership in quantum research, with an innovative ecosystem consisting of 21 quantum focused research institutions, over 25 quantum focussed start-ups and a robust workforce. Australia is home to more than 3 per cent of global quantum startups, well above our 1.6 per cent share of global GDP (Source: Australian Quantum Alliance 2023). The Australian quantum industry attracts on average $14.4M in venture capital funding per deal, more than Asia ($13.8M), the US ($13.71M) and Europe ($7.6M) (Source: Austrade pitchbook analysis on 2018-2023 data). The Australian Government’s National Quantum Strategy outlines new opportunities for international partnerships and collaborations to grow the industry. Market projections from national science agency CSIRO forecast Australia’s quantum technology opportunity could reach A$2.2 billion in revenue by 2030 and A$6 billion by 2045 (Source: CSIRO 2022).

Digital services and enterprise technology

Digital technology has become fundamental to Australian businesses, the workforce and the economy. Australia’s digital technology sector is expected to deliver $250 billion in GDP by 2030 (Source: Tech Council Australia 2022). Enterprise software, SaaS and digital services are some of the biggest drivers for growth. Australia ranked fourth globally in attracting foreign direct investment into software and IT services between 2003 and 2020 (Source: Austrade FDI market analysis). In fact, almost half of our top digital services companies are foreign-owned, ensuring Australia’s digital economy reflects world-leading solutions and our workforce is globally competitive.

Incentives, grants and support

  • The Australian Government is working to establish a new A$15 billion financing vehicle, the National Reconstruction Fund. It will drive investments into priority areas of the Australian economy including A$1 billion targeted at critical technologies. 
  • The Australian Government maintains a List of Critical Technologies in the National Interest. These include artificial intelligence (AI) technologies; advanced information and communication technologies; quantum technologies; and autonomous systems, robotics, positioning, timing and sensing. This list signals priority fields to, among other objectives:
    • provide certainty to investors.
    • help focus Australia’s international partnerships and collaborations.
    • provides guidance for the development of investment mandates and co-investment plans for the National Reconstruction Fund.
    • informs other priority setting mechanisms. This includes the National Science and Research Priorities, which in turn align efforts and investments in science.
  • The A$9.9 billion project REDSPICE will bring opportunities for the cyber security industry. The investment in the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) will support cyber capabilities including advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • A new A$101.2 million Australian Government investment into quantum and artificial intelligence will support businesses to integrate these technologies into their operations. This includes A$19.8m to set up an Australian Centre for Quantum Growth, which will support research and development of the quantum technology industry in Australia.
  • Australia’s first National Quantum Strategy sets out a long-term vision for how Australia will take advantage of the opportunities of quantum technologies. A new National Quantum Advisory Committee will guide the National Quantum Strategy to drive industry growth.
  • The Australian Government is investing $3.4 billion over the next decade to establish the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA) focused on defence innovation.
  • Available tax incentives include a research and development tax offset, and incentives for early-stage investors in innovative companies.
  • The Department of Industry, Science and Resources administers a suite of business innovation grants and initiatives that support research, entrepreneurship and commercialisation.
  • Individual states and territories also offer numerous grants and incentives for tech businesses, including the Innovation Booster Grant in WA,  Investment NSW offers grants in New South Wales, the A$2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund to support commercialisation.
  • Fintechs will find that Australia’s regulatory agencies take an innovation led approach to new business models and assets classes. As a founding member of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) supports pathways for foreign fintech companies to operate within Australia. ASIC’s Innovation Hub helps fintech startups navigate the regulatory system.  The enhanced regulatory sandbox lets businesses test a wide range of products and services for 24 months without needing a financial services licence or a credit licence.
  • The Australian Government is working with industry on a coordinated effort to target of 1.2 million tech-related jobs by 2030.

Homegrown heroes & global giants

Australia is home to multiple global digital success stories including rare unicorns – startups worth more than US$1 billion.

  • Less than 10 years after it was founded, Australian design software company Canva reached a peak valuation of $US40 billion in 2021.
  • Buy now, pay later company Afterpay was acquired for a history-making A$39 billion in 2021.
  • Other Australian tech sensations include Aconex, Airwallex and Atlassian.

We’re also a magnet for international companies.

  • US tech giants like Adobe, Amazon and Microsoft all have deep roots in Australia.
  • Google is so confident in Australia’s digital future it is investing A$1 billion over five years in Australian infrastructure, research and partnerships through the Digital Future Initiative. Australia is one of just a handful of countries Google has chosen for such a significant investment. It launched Google Research Australia in 2022.
  • Emerging unicorns such as Dataiku, Snowflake and Eventbrite are rapidly growing their Australian teams.
  • Multinationals including Hitachi and Boeing use our cutting-edge facilities.

All are capitalising on our research talent and business-friendly regulatory environment.

Join our thriving ecosystem

Australia’s digitech ecosystem is strong. We have a talented, multi-cultural workforce, many world-leading universities and research institutions, and a highly collaborative R&D environment.

Success stories

A number of computer display screens sit above a desk and two chairs
blue and white words relating to artifical technology stacked in different font sizes with ones and zeros in the background
Two men wearing high visibility jackets stand near mine equipment with one man pointing at a sign
Hands pointing the screen of a tablet with a crypto graph
Four men and a woman in business suits stand on a stage with two flags on the left of stage.
L-R: Kevin Rudd, Steven Worrall, Brad Smith, PM Anthony Albanese, and Ambassador Kennedy. Credit: Microsoft.
SumUp card reader

Contact an Austrade specialist as an investor as a buyer