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5 major tech companies that have expanded into Australia

Australia has built a global reputation as a fertile ground for innovative companies to expand their business into. The Australian government supports innovation and entrepreneurship primarily through the Research and Development Tax Incentive (RDTI). The RDTI seeks to ease the financial burden of the research and development (R&D) needed to create new products and services, one of the most costly elements for tech businesses. 

The associated talent this attracts has encouraged some of the most valuable tech companies in the world to gain a foothold in the Australian market. This enables them to take advantage of the innovative spirit of the Australian tech sector and meet the voracious appetite Australians have for cutting edge products and services. 

Here are five international businesses that have identified Australia as a promising market with the available technological skill base to meet their needs. 

Square Inc.

Square is a US company that offers payment solutions to businesses of all sizes. After entering the Australian market in 2016, Square opened its headquarters in Melbourne in 2018 along with the company’s first engineering hub outside of the United States. As the company itself said, the move to increase its footprint in the Australian market is motivated by Australia’s vibrant small business sector and high demand for innovation. 

Airbnb

Australia is one of Airbnb’s largest markets outside the US, showing Aussies have a clear desire to engage with new and innovative ways to find accommodation options. Setting up a Sydney office in 2012 was a no-brainer for the company, as it allowed them to leverage their already strong presence in the country in a forward thinking and innovation minded environment. Their location in Sydney also enabled them to benefit from the city’s experience with the travel and tourism market. 

Dropbox

Dropbox chose Australia as the location for its first headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014. The file sharing service recognised that a physical presence in Sydney would open their business up to the wealth of talent in the Australian labour market and give them greater access to the growing user base in the country. 

Dropbox’s entry into Australia occurred just a few weeks after another file sharing company, Hightail (formerly YouSendIt) established an Australian presence through their new offices in Melbourne. 

Zoho Corporation

Zoho is a multinational corporation that offers companies a wide range of business solutions on a software as a service basis. It established itself in Australia with a significant investment in infrastructure to signal its commitment to growing its already sizeable Australian customer base. 

Zoho built two data centres, in Sydney and Melbourne, and located its offices in the northern New South Wales town of Byron Bay. It may have seemed strange not to opt for the more typical choice of Sydney or Melbourne, but Byron Bay offered some unique advantages. Investing in a smaller regional centre would increase employee retention rates and the location offers ready access to highly sought after university graduates. 

Blacklane

Blacklane is a company founded in Germany that provides a VIP chauffeured ride service. They cater to high end corporate clients who can book the service in advance through an app and enjoy the luxury of getting to their destination in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series or similar. 

Blacklane’s Brisbane office opened its doors in 2019 and its Australian staff are tasked with expanding its Australian client base and potentially partnering with the likes of Qantas and Air New Zealand to offer complimentary rides to their premium customers. 

If you are an international tech company looking to set up your R&D on Australian soil contact us to find out how we can help your innovative company connect with our trusted Australian research and development partners and access the Australian R&D Tax Incentive. 

Alternatively, if you’re an Aussie company looking to find out more about the RDTI, we offer free R&D Tax claim audits to show you how to claim more!