10 Software Companies in Australia To Watch In 2020

It’s been a strong year for software companies in Australia. Despite industries battling against turbulent market conditions, it’s forecasted that information technology spending will grow by 4.6% in 2020 (from an estimated $93.7 billion in 2019).

In this article, we reveal a list of Aussie software companies to watch in 2020.

capterra's top ten software companies in australia

As tech companies continue to boom in Australia, we’re making it our mission to highlight those that are consistently recognised by buyers for exceptional standards. We chose ten software development companies, based on a mixture of quantitative and qualitative signals taken from Capterra Australia

You can understand more about the selection methodology we took at the bottom of this article. Until then, keep reading to learn more about the companies and their products.

Top 10 Software Companies In Australia To Watch

1. Canva

Screenshot of Canva's interface.
Screenshot of Canva’s interface.

Headquarters: Surrey Hills, NSW

Software Category: Graphic Design 

Founded: 2012

Founders: Melanie Perkins, Cameron Adams, Cliff Obrecht

What is Canva?

Canva is a drag-and-drop design tool that enables its users to create graphics for digital marketing. The software doesn’t require extensive training to use it and has a freemium and paid-for subscription model. Users can access stock photos, fonts, illustrations, and choose from thousands of templates.

The journey of the startup is an inspiring tale—the Founders pitched more than 100 investors while on the hunt for seed funding. Today, the business is worth AUD$4.7 billion and Canva has more than 15 million users across 190 countries. Also, more than 1 billion designs have been created through the award-winning platform. 

2. Employment Hero

Employment Hero dashboard.
Screenshot of Employment Hero dashboard.

Headquarters: Sydney, NSW

Software Category: Human Resources (HR)

Founded: 2014

Founder: Ben Thompson, Dave Tong

What is Employment Hero?

Employment Hero is a cloud-based HR platform that combines HR software with financial services, scheduling and payroll software, as well as employee benefits. The software product serves small and medium-sized Australian businesses and targets professionals working within HR, payroll, and employee engagement and benefits.

Employment Hero began as a payroll and benefits system but changed its focus to help employees make the most of their work life. As a result, more than 4,500 Australian businesses use Employment Hero today to manage over 175,000 employees. On top of this, the business has won several awards, including LinkedIn’s Top Startups Award in 2018.

3. ServiceM8

ServiceM8 invoicing system
ServiceM8’s invoicing system shown on desktop and mobile devices.

Headquarters: Darwin, NT

Software Category: Field Service Management 

Founded: 2010

CEO: Kim Ford

What is ServiceM8?

ServiceM8 is a mobile and cloud-based technology used by trade and full service-based businesses. Primarily, it allows users to simplify operations and manage the interactions between their clients and hired staff. The application includes communication software, job dispatch systems, quoting and invoicing capability, as well as real-time visibility on job status and staff location.

In 2019, ServiceM8 released a range of new features to help their users reduce the administrative tasks that take over their day. The update included automated time tracking on job attendance, more GPS-based visibility of field staff, and built-in two-way SMS functionality for texting clients. Additionally, the new features are now available on the latest iOS app and can be downloaded on the App Store.

ServiceM8 serves any professional within a business, from individual field staff members to back-office staff, through to top-level management. 

4. Kounta

Kounta point of sale for restaurants
Kounta’s Point of Sale interface for restaurants.

Headquarters: Sydney, NSW

Software Category: Point of Sale

Founded: 2012

Founder: Nick Cloete

What is Kounta?

Kounta is a point of sale software used by thousands of stores and restaurants across the globe. The platform is cloud-based and it’s also available to download on smartphones, tablets and laptops. 

Kounta has gained popularity partly due to the number of integrations and add-ons available (such as social media apps and loyalty program software). It also includes accounting and inventory software, CRM software, and can run offline.

In 2019, Kounta announced it had been acquired by Lightspeed POS. As a result, the platforms have been able to bolster its presence in the Asia-Pacific market.

5. Rezdy

Redzy booking dashboard
Redzy’s booking dashboard.

Headquarters: Sydney, NSW

Software Category: Point of Sale

Founded: 2011

Founders: Hugo Sterin, Simon Lenoir

What is Rezdy?

Rezdy is a software-as-a-service (Saas) product used for the booking and distribution of tours and activities. The product started when its Founder, Simon Lenoir, worked in a dive centre in Thailand. Simon found he spent too many hours behind the desk carrying out administrative tasks than in the water teaching. So, he set out to solve this problem through technology.  

As well as Sydney, Australia, Rezdy has two supporting offices in America (Las Vegas and Raleigh) to help manage the thousands of tour and activity agents that use the platform. Rezdy has customers from more than 100 countries and has had more than $1.3 billion in bookings processed through its platform.

6. Qwilr

Qwirl splash functionality
Screenshot of Qwirl’s splash functionality.

Headquarters: Surry Hills, NSW

Software Category: Proposal Management 

Founded: 2014

Founders: Dylan Baskind, Mark Tanner

What is Qwilr?

Through Qwilr, users can create shareable web documents for clients to view on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. It sets out to remove graphic designers from smaller tasks to allow them to work on more important projects. Users without design backgrounds can use the tool to create web-based business brochures, proposals, reports, and much more. 

Qwirl is already a fully global operation with nearly half of its customers coming from the United States and Canada. The company has thousands of customers across 60 countries and has set out to achieve further growth closer to home.

In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Tanner expressed his belief that Australia has a ‘special strength in design that will propel more local businesses into household name status.’

7. Skedda

Skedda booking system
Skedda’s booking system interface displayed in calendar format.

Headquarters: Melbourne, Vic

Software Category: Meeting Room Booking System

Founded: 2013

Founders: Jonathan Fagg, Sam Maurus

What is Skedda?

Universities, training centres, sports venues, co-working spaces, enterprises, healthcare centres, and community facilities use Skedda. 

According to its website, the small business was ‘born from the need to scratch [their] own itch’, but quickly turned into the platform that exists today. The software combines booking calendars, online booking systems, user management, and the distribution of rules and policies of the venue use. 

Skedda is accessible via desktop, tablet, and smartphone devices. 

8. Avaza

Kanban board Avaza
Kanban board displayed through Avaza software.

Headquarters: Sydney, NSW

Software Category: Project Management

Founded: 2012

Founders: Behram Khan, Tim Kremer

What is Avaza?

More than 30,000 businesses use Avaza to deliver service-based work to clients. The platform targets small and medium-sized businesses to offer a project management platform within a range of budgets (free to US$39.95 per month with unlimited project collaborator seats). 

Users can coordinate projects with customers, track time and expenses, and send invoices. Tim Kremer and Behram Khan (long-time veterans of the Australian IT, media and consulting industries) founded the company in 2014. Due to its combination of project management software, financial technology and integrated reporting, the software is now used by users in over 150 countries. 

9. Award Force

Award Force Judging Top Pick dashboard
Award Force scoring dashboard.

Headquarters: Sydney, NSW

Software Category: Competition Software

Founded: 2013

Founder: Richard de Nys

What is Award Force?

Award Force is an award management software, utilised by businesses across the globe to recognise excellence within their field. The platform allows award organisers to manage award programmes, grants, staff excellence initiatives, scholarships and fellowships. It also manages start-up incubation, VC, and funding. The platform is accessible to contest organisers, entrants, and judges. 

In 2019, the software reached 1.7 million users and had 387,414 entries submitted through its platform. While the Award Force headquarters is in Sydney, the company is mostly made up of a remote workforce. Today, the technology company has 34 staff members across 18 countries.

10. Ovatu Manager

Ovatu Manager dashboard
Screenshot of Ovatu Manager’s scheduling dashboard.

Headquarters: Sydney, NSW

Software Category: Appointment Scheduling 

Founded: 2010

Founder: Dave Hole

What is Ovatu Manager?

Ovatu is a cloud-based scheduling system that is widely used by the hair and beauty industry, as well as fitness, well-being, medical and education industries. The platform includes point of sale technology, automated reminders (to avoid no shows), and business reporting.

The platform began as a side hobby for Founder, Dave Hole, in 2010. Today, seven million people book with Ovatu worldwide and the platform processes more than one million monthly appointments. 

What methodology did we follow to create this list?

Content Analysts at Capterra pulled a list of software that had a Head Office in Australia from our website’s directory. We then reduced the list to software that had at least 100 unique user-submitted reviews with an overall user rating of more than 4.5 out of 5. 

Next, we reviewed each software’s brand awareness strength through the number of monthly searches carried out on search engines using the brand name—we set a minimum of 300 searches per month. Finally, we analysed the user reviews to assess the standard of the software’s ease of use, customer service, features and value for money. 

All software included in the list launched within the last decade (2010-2019). 

More than 5 million users utilise the Capterra platform to research which products to invest in. Want to be included on next year’s list? Join over 3,500 software companies from around the world and learn more about how to connect with our software buyers today.