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Top startups to watch in 2021

It’s not easy for startups to make a splash these days, particularly as more and more are emerging across the country all the time. Unfortunately for some, markets are getting crowded, and consumers are getting increasingly discerning. 

That being said, there are still several that manage to make their way to meteoric success. As Australia continues to invest record amounts of venture capital into its startups, it’s certainly an exciting time for those who can break out. 

The ones that make it tend to be those that appeal to specific, underserved demographics or solve a clear problem, and plan their business model around long-term growth and scalability. Here are six such businesses who did just that, making them ones to watch this year. 

Who knows ­– there might just be a future global powerhouse somewhere on this list. 

DiGii Social

Already expanding at an exceptional rate, DiGii Social is making a name for itself in Australia and beyond, including countries in the UK and South-East Asia.


Getting its start in 2020, the team at DiGii Social recognised the unique set of challenges that children growing up with smartphones, apps, and social media face. So, with its online platform aimed at primary school students in years five and six, it aims to teach safer online practices in a way that is as fun and collaborative as it is educational. 

Koala Mattress 

This is a business that has combined the consumer’s need for a good night’s sleep with the trend towards sustainability and come up with a range of products that have wide appeal. With comfortable mattresses and a wide selection of beds, as well as living room furniture, sheets, and dining sets, Koala Mattress has something for every home. 

Not to mention the fact they partner with environmental charities, including WWF and 1% for the Planet, to help bolster the effort towards becoming a more environmentally friendly society. 

As such, the company has already attracted an incredible amount of funding and looks set to continue its growth in the coming months. 


In the wake of a global pandemic, it’s not hard to see why health has been at the forefront of most people’s minds. Enter HealthEngine, which connects patients with healthcare professionals all over Australia. 

No matter what ailment you’re suffering from, you’ll be able to find the right professional for you in just a few clicks when you use HealthEngine. By removing unnecessary phone calls and infuriating hold music from the process of trying to find a good doctor, Health Engine has quickly solidified itself as a mainstay of the medical sector. 


While health has been one major concern for people, as has, finding ways of enjoying leisure activities and entertainment in a safer, more contained way. So, in comes Gathar to bring the joy and sense of occasion of a restaurant meal to your home. 

With top-quality menus and amazing private chefs, there’s a lot to love about the food and experience that Gathar offers. Gathar is already popular among foodies in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, and has plans to expand further across Australia very soon.

Ads on Wheels

Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best. Such is the case with Ads on Wheels, the business that pays people to put ads on their cars so they can make money as they drive. 

Endorsed by big-name brands like Nissan and the Road Safety Commission, they have enjoyed two years’ worth of success in Perth so far, and hope to take their operations to every major city in the country. 


It’s been quite a year for the Australian property market. While 2020 brought with it an entirely unprecedented slump, 2021 has seen incredible growth. House construction is at an all-time high, while prices look set to rise an incredible 16% over the next two years. 

OpenAgent is cashing in on this extraordinary boom, by offering users the chance to compare more than 30,000 real estate agents across Australia. So, they can find the best person to sell their home with without unnecessary hassle.


By contributing writer: Luke Fitzpatrick – freelance business journalist (published in Forbes, Entrepreneur & Tech In Asia) & guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in cross-cultural management and the pre-MBA program.


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