SafetyCulture is one of the fastest growing companies in Australia. It’s been tapped on the shoulders to be the ‘next Atlassian’ or great Australian success story in the startup world.
In fact, its CEO and Founder, Luke Anear, has raised the largest amount of capital for any Australian startup – a whopping $60 million in just 90 minutes. SafetyCulture is now worth $440 million.
Prior to building one of the most successful tech companies in Australia, Luke used to work as a private investigator in the workplace compensation industry, and his experiences inspired him to start SafetyCulture to reduce workplace-related injuries and deaths. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, he started his company in his garage and was actually based in Townsville.
Today, SafetyCulture is best known for its workplace, health and safety apps, iAuditor and Spotlight. Both these apps help companies in all sectors achieve safer workplaces, and have been used more than 30 million times worldwide to conduct inspections on site.
You can hear how Luke did ALL of this in the latest episode of The Make It Happen Show!
We were so excited to have Luke appear on The Make It Happen Show. Tim had a fantastic time talking to Luke about his entrepreneurial journey, and he offers some fantastic words of wisdom for any business owner out there looking to scale their business.
Here are 4 amazing insights we got from Luke about how he built the ‘next Atlassian’ in this episode of The Make It Happen Show.
1. About the challenges we all face as business owners
As your business grows and evolves, so will the challenges you face as an entrepreneur.
For Luke, he found this to be the case particularly as the team itself grew and expanded to operate in other countries.
“The problems you face when you have 5 people are different from those when you have 50, and 500 people.”
Now, with over 300 people employed across 4 countries, Luke and his executive team have adapted procedures and put new systems in place to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive across the business.
In his words, you have to keep breaking and experimenting as you keep scaling.
2. About the untold hardships of starting and building a business
Luke talks a lot about traction throughout the interview. In his experience, that’s the biggest hurdle facing many entrepreneurs and business owners.
Simply put, traction is the holy grail. There are a lot of distractions facing entrepreneurs when they’re getting started, and they’re often afraid of being told that something is a bad idea.
But once you get traction, and people start using your product, everything gets easier. It’ll become more tangible in your eyes and in the eyes of potential investors, customers will believe in the product, and you’ll have a talking point when you go to market.
Simply put: you could have the best idea in the world, but if you haven’t validated it, or gotten people to use or pay for it, then it’s still an idea. Traction trumps everything else.
3. About disruption
Disruption doesn’t come from innovation – it comes from customer adoption of what you create.
As a starting goal, Luke and his team wanted to get 10,000 users of their app in the first year. They smashed that goal in a matter of weeks, and to top it off, 80% of downloads from the outset were from outside Australia.
That initial, high-adoption phase of their app paved the way for SafetyCulture to disrupt and digitise an archaic industry.
4. About attracting investors
Luke’s approach to capital-raising, at first, seems rather counterintuitive.
While most would position the story around what their future plans are for their business, Luke’s got quite a different formula.
“I go in there with just the conversation focussed on here’s what we’ve done. Even if that isn’t much, we started with an idea, built this, people used, and now we’ve got some traction. I’ll see if they’re interested in that point, in digging in anymore, otherwise, that’s where I end it.”
Natural curiosity is the key to building organic relationships with potential investors. As Luke says, you want a “happy marriage” – so the key to finding investors who would in all likelihood be a good match is to see if they have a natural curiosity for what you’re doing.
You can listen to Luke’s episode of The Make It Happen Show now
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